Illinois Senator Mike Halpin to visit local colleges and universities in new role as higher ed chair


Higher education plays a critical role in the success of western and northwestern Illinois, and State Sen. Mike Halpin will be leading efforts in Springfield to help our colleges and universities.

Sen. Halpin, D-Rock Island, has been named the chair of the Illinois Senate Higher Education Committee in his first term in the Senate, as a nod to the important role the four-year and two-year institutions have in the district he represents that stretches from the Quad Cities down to Macomb.

As chair, Sen. Halpin will help lead conversations around investments in MAP grant and capital infrastructure improvements in the state budget and other priorities to help colleges and universities statewide.

He will spend time over the Legislature’s two-week spring break visiting the four-year institutions in a listening tour aimed at helping him connect and learn more about their needs and challenges:

·         Augustana College, 639 38th St., Rock Island – 9:30-11:30 a.m., Tuesday, April 4

·         Monmouth College, 700 E. Broadway, Monmouth – 1:30-3:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 4

·         Western Illinois University, 1 University Circle, Macomb – 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., Tuesday, April 11

·         Knox College, 2 E. South St., Galesburg – 3 to 4 p.m., Thursday, April 13

Each visit will feature discussions of different programs of importance at the individual college and university, along with broader talks about the current budget negotiations in Springfield affecting higher education. Sen. Halpin is encouraging each campus to share with him any needs or concerns they have so he can best advocate for them in the final weeks of the legislative session.

Sen. Halpin praised Gov. JB Pritzker’s proposed budget for higher education in February as one of the most significant investments for colleges and universities in several decades, including a major emphasis on MAP grants that will ensure more students can afford to go to college in Illinois.

He hopes the listening tour discussions help build strong relationships with the higher ed institutions that are so important in his district and throughout the region.

“Our colleges and universities are so resilient, and they have had to battle back from the devastating effects of the 2016-2017 budget standoff in Springfield and the shutdowns from COVID-19,” Halpin said. “I am excited to visit these four excellent institutions to discuss how we can support them and the students they serve.”


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