Hinds leading Senate panel on post-pandemic recovery

  • State Sen. Adam Hinds FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 7/14/2021 1:01:17 PM

State Sen. Adam Hinds, D-Pittsfield, is heading the Special Senate Committee on Reimagining Massachusetts Post-Pandemic Resiliency, which held a listening session on Monday 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 Monday’s session on transportation, investing in commuter rail, more frequent public transportation service, low-cost fares, congestion in Boston and on-demand public transportation all came up.

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

Hinds said that the committee is seeking to use the pandemic as an opportunity to address major flaws in the economy and infrastructure.

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

He said that Black women’s income levels recovered more slowly after the great recession than the general population, and that targeted investment for women and people of color has been discussed at the committee. He also said the importance of childcare has come up in the committee’s work and the digital divide has been highlighted as “more important than ever.”

Hinds represents the Berkshire, Hampshire, Franklin and Hampden Senate district, which includes Chesterfield, Cummington, Goshen, Huntington, Middlefield, Plainfield, Westhampton, Williamsburg and Worthington in Hampshire County.

Asked about what chairing the committee as a senator from western Massachusetts means, Hinds said it’s an opportunity to ensure regional equity in that state’s investments.

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

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

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