State Senator Benjamin B. Downing (D – Pittsfield) is pleased to announce that he has been appointed Vice-chairman of the Joint Committee on Higher Education by Senate President Therese Murray.
As defined by the Joint Rules of the Massachusetts Senate and House of Representatives, the Joint Committee on Higher Education has jurisdiction over all matters concerning higher education in the Commonwealth and such other matters as may be referred.
“I am honored that President Murray is confident in my ability to fill this role,” said Downing. “I plan to use my position to promote the lessons of the Berkshire Compact for Higher Education statewide. I have long believed that the Compact should be the model for education policy not only in Berkshire County but for the entire Commonwealth and the nation. A child’s education shouldn’t end at year 12 or 14; we must take a comprehensive view of education, easing the transition from high school to higher education. Children must be taught from an early age to aspire to higher education and we must make those aspirations achievable and reasonably priced. I look forward to diving right in to the work of the Committee with my colleagues.”
This appointment marks the third leadership position for Downing in his freshman term as state Senator. Downing serves as Senate Chairman of the Joint Committee on Public Service, the Vice-chairman of the Senate Committee on Bills in the Third Reading, and as a member of the Joint Committees on Financial Services, Veterans & Federal Affairs, Consumer Protection & Professional Licensure and Senate Post Audit & Oversight. He has also received two appointments outside of the legislative committee structure, representing the Massachusetts Senate on the Governor’s Advisory Commission on Local Government (LGAC) and the Agriculture, Environment and Energy Committee for the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL).