Residents voice concerns to local lawmakers at annual Government Reception

Hampden County

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – The Affiliated Chambers of Commerce of Greater Springfield held its annual Government Reception Thursday night.

This annual networking event helps build and develop relationships between government officials and local business owners. Throughout the night, guests can talk about issues that are important to them, whether it pertains to a local business or issues on Beacon Hill.

22News spoke with some people at the Government Reception who said one topic that came up often was the fact that in our region there are more jobs available than are people to fill them, which is causing problems for business owners.

Another topic that has been important to both business owners and officials is the recent proposal that would ban flavored tobacco products including menthol. That bill would also place at 75 percent excise on e-cigarettes.

Representative Joseph Wagner told 22News the latest information about the bill, “I believe it’s on the governor’s desk. That was very, very, late last night. The Senate only took it up yesterday. but I think we resolved any difference that may have been if there were any so that bill is on its way.”

Governor Charlie Baker has not indicated if he will sign the bill or not. This proposed bill is completely separate from the current ban on vape products.

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