Letter: Working for the region
In announcing her 2014 campaign for the 2nd Franklin House District, Susannah Whipps Lee complained of “... little effective economic leadership from our state Legislature.”
Had Ms. Lee examined the fiscal ’14 state budget, she would have found the following line items, all signed into law, all benefiting the economy of Franklin County and the North Quabbin region:
∎ $250,000 for a precision manufacturing pilot program at Franklin County Technical High School to provide training to students, unemployed and underemployed individuals, including veterans, from Franklin County and the North Quabbin Region;
∎ $50,000 for the North Quabbin Chamber of Commerce to establish a regional tourism council for the North Quabbin region;
∎ $50,000 for the UMass-Amherst’s Center for Economic Development to conduct an analysis in the North Quabbin region aimed at revitalizing the region’s economy and jump-starting its industrial base;
∎ and $443,900 in the final fiscal ’14 supplemental budget for Community Transit Services in recognition of the critically important role transportation plays in the economy of Franklin County and the North Quabbin Region.
And, late last year, with the help of state funding through the Department of Public Health, the delegation helped facilitate an alliance between Athol Hospital and the Henry Heywood Memorial in Gardner, which is improving health care access to North Quabbin residents.
These initiatives are the result of the cooperative efforts of all the members of the Franklin County and North Quabbin delegation, House members and senators alike, and represent only what has been accomplished in the last few months.
We all understand the challenges facing this area of our state, and all of us are committed to doing more.
Chairman, Senate Committee on Ways and Means
Senate Majority Leader