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Hinds leading Senate panel on post-pandemic recovery


Staff Writer
Published: 7/19/2021 3:02:05 PM

State Sen. Adam Hinds, D-Pittsfield, is heading the Special Senate Committee on Reimagining Massachusetts Post-Pandemic Resiliency, which held a listening session last week on transportation.

The committee is examining how Massachusetts can recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the vulnerabilities the pandemic exposed.

“We’ve been really digging into the big issues,” Hinds said.

At last week’s session on transportation, discussion topics included investing in commuter rail, more frequent public transportation service, low-cost fares, congestion in Boston and on-demand public transportation.

“There is a real link between our transportation systems and health outcomes and economic access and fighting climate change,” Hinds said.

The committee is seeking to use the state’s emergence from the pandemic as an opportunity to address major flaws in the economy and infrastructure, he said.

“We’re being very deliberate in learning from previous downturns,” Hinds said.

Black women’s income levels recovered more slowly after the recession than those of the general population, Hinds said, and targeted investment for women and people of color has been discussed by the committee. He also said the importance of child care has come up and the digital divide has been highlighted as “more important than ever.”

Hinds represents the Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin and Hampden Senate district, which includes Shelburne, Conway, Ashfield, Buckland, Hawley, Charlemont, Heath, Rowe and Monroe in Franklin County.

Chairing the committee as a senator from Western Massachusetts means an opportunity to ensure regional equity in the state’s investments, Hinds said.

The committee will meet again on Tuesday at 11 a.m. for a hearing on workforce issues and returning to work. The session will be livestreamed.

Bera Dunau can be reached at bdunau@gazettenet.com.


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