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West to Serve as Vice Chair of House Higher Education Committee, Advocate for Investment in Students

ROCKFORD, Ill. – Continuing his advocacy to strengthen the state’s education system, state Rep. Maurice West, D-Rockford, will help lead the House Higher Education Committee as vice chair this General Assembly.

“Our higher education system has faced unprecedented challenges during the pandemic, but will be an important economic force as we move forward,” West said. “As we advocate for needed investment in our education system, we must also continue our work to increase access, improve college affordability, ensure student safety and other issues relevant to students, educators and all college employees.”

Beginning his second term on the committee, West brings a background perspective having previously worked as the director of career development at Rockford University. West also has served as a member of the Appropriations-Higher Education Committee, where he advocated for increased funding for the state’s Monetary Award Program (MAP) to directly help students afford attending a university. While the House Higher Education Committee will focus on legislation that addresses pandemic-specific issues, it will still review efforts to help students and educators long-term.

“As we continue to deal with the economic effects of this pandemic, it’s going to be critically important that we focus on our state’s higher education system to help residents get back on their feet and access new opportunities,” West said. “I pursued public service in part because I wanted to help children in Rockford succeed at every step of the education process. Achieving a degree opens up many doors, and we have to responsibly invest in our universities and community colleges so that every resident can pursue the future they want and deserve.”


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