Local business leaders meeting with political leaders in Washington


WASHINGTON (WWLP) – What happens in western Massachusetts affects the country, and what happens on Capitol Hill affects us in western Massachusetts. That is why dozens of members of the Springfield Regional Chamber of Commerce are in Washington, and 22News was with them as they arrived on Wednesday.

Congressman Richard Neal (D-Springfield) hosts a Washington Symposium for the business leaders every other year. Some chamber members, like Elin Gaynor of Health New England, said that they were looking forward to informing national leaders about the challenges and successes in our region.

“”Health New England we’re in a highly-regulated industry and in the past few years, it’s come to include the federal government, and so it’s really important for us to understand what the forces are at work down here and what may change with the presidential election that’s coming up,” Gaynor said.

Thursday morning, the business leaders will hear from Congressman Neal on the floor of the House of Representatives. They will also hear from Senator Elizabeth Warren and Senator Edward Markey. Jonathan Butler, the President and CEO of One Berkshire Regional Chamber of Commerce and Business Bureau told 22News that he can’t wait to share his concerns with our representatives in Washington.

“To voice some of our perspective, hear from Congressman Neal, hear from Senators Markey and Warren, and engage on a few topics ranging from population loss to workforce alignment to issues of energy cost and higher education,” Butler said.

U.S. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-California) and possibly other congressional leaders may address the business leaders Thursday. 22News reporter Kait Walsh is there, and will bring you developments from Capitol Hill here on WWLP.com, on social media, and on 22News tonight starting at 5:00.

Follow Kait Walsh on Twitter for live updates @KaitLouiseWalsh

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