Sen. Halpin talks higher education spending at annual McDonough County dinner – WGEM

MACOMB (WGEM) – Sunday evening marked the 37th annual McDonough County Democratic Coalition President’ Day Dinner.

At the Macomb Arts Center, dozens of area residents broke bread while also hearing from 17th District State Council Committeewoman Pamela Davidson and Sen. Mike Halpin, who represents the 36th District.

During Halpin’s remarks he spoke mainly of higher education, as he’s the co-chair of the state’s Higher Education Committee.

Halpin gave support of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s recently proposed education budget that calls for a $219 million increase.

“The 36th District includes not just Western Illinois University, but Knox College, Augustana College, Monmouth College and then three community college districts,” Halpin said. “It’s really a central focus of the district is higher education.”

Halpin said the 7% all-around increase is a win.

That includes a $100 million increase for the Monetary Award Program (MAP), an $80.5 million in aid to public universities, a $19.4 million increase for community colleges and a near $3 million increase for the Minority Teachers of Illinois Scholarship Program (MTI).

Halpin said dedicating more funds to the state’s higher education could give Illinois a greater “return on investment.”

”A dollar spent on education is not money that goes away, it’s money that we get a return on,” Halpin said. “When we have high school students come into college here in Illinois that graduate here in Illinois, then they get a job here in Illinois, raise a family here in Illinois, so we get all that money back plus some.”

During the dinner, members of the McDonough County Democratic Coalition recognized different community members with awards.

Tammie Leigh Brown-Edwards received the award for the 2023 Dr. Essie Rutledge Humanitarian Spotlight for Social Justice in Action. John Curtis was recognized as the 2023 Rep. Lane Evans Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. Beth Nelson was given the Truman Award.

Halpin was elected to the 36th Senate District in November. He also sits on the Veterans Affairs Committee.

Copyright 2023 WGEM. All rights reserved.

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February 20, 2023 at 07:16AM

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