Western Mass. residents advocate for legislation at annual Beacon Hill Summit

Boston Statehouse

Tradesman, nurses, and financial professionals were in the group that met with top state leaders to address policies that impact the western part of the state. 

Members of the Springfield Regional Chamber attended the annual Beacon Hill Summit to advocate on behalf of residents who live outside the metro Boston area. 

They met with State Senators Eric Lesser and James Welch as well as Senate President Karen Spilka and Governor Charlie Baker. 

A popular topic of discussion at Wednesday’s meeting was transportation. The group wanted to know what lawmakers were doing to improve both job and housing opportunities in the western part of the state.

“Many of us in western Mass, especially the western mass delegation, legislative delegation is pushing hard for the connection between eastern Massachusetts and western Massachusetts,” Senator Welch said.  

A study committee lead by Senator Lesser is looking into the financial and logistical aspects of an east/west commuter rail line connecting Springfield and Boston. 

On top of improving transportation, public officials laid out a comprehensive plan for both education and housing. 

“I’m interested in some of the things he talked about, the housing initiative that he was bringing up is of particular interest in the construction industry, we need housing in this part of the state and we need to improve housing all over,” Charles Payne of Chicopee said.  

Western Massachusetts residents also had the opportunity to ask questions and advocate for bills that they feel are the most important this session. 

One of the major reasons the Beacon Hill Summit is held every year is to ensure the state legislature takes into account the needs of residents in the western part of the state. 

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