Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Rep. Mirra Named To Special Commission Studying The Future Of Work In Massachusetts

House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading) has appointed State Representative Lenny Mirra (R-Georgetown) to serve on a special legislative commission that will study and evaluate the future of work in Massachusetts.

Created as part of a comprehensive economic development and jobs creation bill that was signed into law on January 14, the commission will study how automation, artificial intelligence, global trade, access to new forms of data and the internet of things will impact the workforce, businesses and the economy. The commission’s main objective is “to ensure sustainable jobs, fair benefits and workplace safety standards for workers in all industries, including, but not limited to, access to adequate and affordable health insurance, financial security in retirement, unemployment insurance and disability insurance.”

“Lenny is a small business owner who understands the many challenges facing workers and employers,” said Representative Jones. “His experience and expertise will be a tremendous asset to the commission as it develops its recommendations to help the state’s workforce and businesses adapt to changes in technology and meet the challenges and opportunities of a post-pandemic economy.”

“I'm honored to have been chosen by Minority Leader Jones for this very important commission,” Mirra said. “I very much look forward to working on ways to grow jobs in the commonwealth and help businesses grow here.”

The 17-member commission is being co-chaired by Representative Josh Cutler of Pembroke and Senator Eric Lesser of Longmeadow, and will also include Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development Rosalin Acosta or her designee as a member. Governor Charlie Baker and Attorney General Maura Healey both have two appointments to the commission, which will include individuals with expertise in future of work issues, workforce training and education, and fair labor and workers’ rights, as well as representatives from the labor community and the business community.

The commission will file a report on its findings and recommendations, including any suggested legislation, by September 1, 2021. The report will include policy recommendations designed to support life-long learning and talent development for workers of all ages; help workers maintain relevant skills or learn new skills; prepare young people to succeed in the careers and workplaces of the future; and incorporate new technologies into workforce training.

Mirra currently serves as the Ranking Minority Member on both the Joint Committee on Community Development and Small Businesses and the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy, and is also a member of the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing. He represents the Second Essex District, which is comprised of Georgetown; Groveland; Merrimac; Newbury; West Newbury; Precincts 2 and 3 in Boxford; and Ward 4, Precinct 3 and Ward 7, Precinct 3 in Haverhill.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Representative Kelly Pease To Serve As A Member Of The PFAS Interagency Task Force

House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading) has appointed State Representative Kelly Pease (R-Westfield) to serve on an interagency task force that will review and investigate water and ground contamination of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in Massachusetts.

Created as part of the Fiscal Year 2021 state budget, the 19-member task force will work to develop response plan strategies, explore various treatment and disposal options, and assess how state agencies can most effectively reduce or eliminate the risks associated with PFAS contamination. As part of its investigation, the task force will look at the use of fluorinated aqueous forming foam in firefighting and fire training activities and evaluate effective non-fluorinated alternatives, while also examining ways to limit Massachusetts residents’ exposure to per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances through food packaging.

“One of the first bills Kelly filed as a legislator was a proposal to have the Department of Environmental Protection study the effect of PFAS substances in commercial products,” said Representative Jones. “His advocacy efforts in this area will serve the task force well as it works to address the serious public health and environmental issues associated with PFAS exposure.”

The task force is being co-chaired by Representative Kate Hogan of Stow and Senator Julian Cyr of Truro, and will also include among its members a scientist with expertise in per- and polyfluoroalkyl substance-contaminated water, and a physician trained in environmental medicine. Additional members serving on the task force include the attorney general; the secretary of energy and environmental affairs; the secretary of public safety and security; the commissioner of environmental protection; the commissioner of public health; the commissioner of agricultural resources; the director of the Massachusetts emergency management agency; the state fire marshal; the executive director of the Massachusetts Municipal Association, Inc.; the executive director of the Massachusetts Water Resources Authority; and the executive director of the Massachusetts Water Works Association, Inc.

The task force is scheduled to report back to the Legislature with its findings and recommendations by December 31, 2021.

Pease was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in November of 2020. He is currently serving as the Ranking Minority Member of the Joint Committee on Higher Education, and is also a member of the Joint Committees on Bonding, Capital Expenditures and State Assets; Education; and Veterans and Federal Affairs.