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Healey-Driscoll Administration Holds First Regional Cabinet Meeting in Amherst 

Amherst — Today, the Healey-Driscoll Administration held their first regional cabinet meeting at University of Massachusetts Amherst to discuss the administration’s priorities in Western Massachusetts. In an effort to promote statewide collaboration, the administration aims to hold a regional cabinet meeting in every region across the state.  

“Our state is made up of 351 cities and towns, each with their own unique sets of characteristics and needs. By hosting regional cabinet meetings, our administration is doubling down on our commitment to work for the entirety of Massachusetts,” said Governor Healey. “Over the last year, we have made significant progress building out policies that meet the moment and make our entire state more affordable, competitive and equitable. On behalf of our entire Cabinet, we are excited to continue holding regional meetings to learn more about what makes each region so great and strategize around how we can work together to make our entire state stronger.”  

“Working for the people of Massachusetts means meeting people where they are, across the entire state,” said Lieutenant Governor Driscoll. “Our entire administration knows how important and impactful it is to learn about the issues that our communities are experiencing directly from the people themselves. That’s why we’ve been so focused on getting out across the state since day one. By hosting regional cabinet meetings, we’re taking advantage of having our entire administration together in one place to learn how we can best serve that region. It makes us all better, more empathetic leaders, and it’s our key to delivering results for Massachusetts.” 

At today’s meeting, the Healey-Driscoll Cabinet discussed issues impacting Western Massachusetts including flood relief efforts for farms and municipalities impacted by extreme weather this year and the administration’s commitment to building West-East Rail. After the meeting, Chancellor of UMass Amherst Javier Reyes led Cabinet members on a tour of UMass Amherst’s Life Sciences Laboratories

“UMass Amherst was delighted today to host Governor Healey’s Cabinet at the commonwealth’s flagship campus,” said UMass Amherst Chancellor Javier Reyes. “We deeply appreciate that the Governor and her leadership team recognize the importance of UMass Amherst as an educational and economic innovation leader, and their visit to Western Massachusetts demonstrates their strong commitment to engaging with partners across the state. We thank them for visiting and learning more about the impact of our campus firsthand.” 

The tour included a visit to Mass Spectrometry Core, a facility that plays a critical role in UMass’s Perfluoroalkyl and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)/environmental research and development in clean water. UMass Professors Caitlyn Butler, Dave Reckhow and John Tobiason, along with undergraduate and graduate students, led the group in a discussion and demonstration of how they use the facility for projects addressing environmental sustainability and protecting public health. The facility also works in partnership with state agencies such as MassDEP, MassDPH and MassDOT to do water testing around the state and help to solve PFAS issues. 

At the conclusion of the meeting and tour, Cabinet members continued to different events across the region: Lieutenant Governor Driscoll met with leadership at Springfield Technology Park to discuss their ongoing work and later joined the NDIA Small Business Innovation Summit; Secretary of Economic Development Yvonne Hao joined local officials in Turners Falls to announce awards through the state’s Community One Stop for Growth; Secretary of Health and Human Services Kate Walsh met with Chair Carlos Gonzalez and a group of Springfield health and human services providers for a roundtable discussion on health care delivery, public health challenges and social determinants of health in Springfield; Secretary of Housing and Livable Communities Ed Augustus toured a supportive housing project and a homeless shelter in Pittsfield funded in part by HLC with Representative Farley-Bouvier, Senator Mark, Mayor Tyer and Mayor-elect Marchetti; and Secretary of Education Pat Tutwiler met with the UMass Donahue Institute. Climate Chief Melissa Hoffer met with local leaders in clean energy and sustainability.