BOSTON – House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading) is serving on a 15-member temporary special standing committee established by the House of Representatives to provide oversight of the use of public funds and other state efforts to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Commonwealth Resilience and Recovery Special Committee was established to “engage in an on-going review and oversight of federal and state economic response and recovery efforts in the Commonwealth” and to ensure that public funding and other intervention efforts are being “applied effectively and appropriately for the short-term and long-term benefit of the citizens of the Commonwealth.”
In addition to working with the executive branch to maximize federal assistance for Massachusetts, the committee will review existing state laws and regulations and recommend policy changes to help “mitigate economic hardship, minimize unemployment and job loss, stabilize small business ownership, access additional funding” and implement other measures to stimulate the state’s economy.
“The novel coronavirus has created an unprecedented public health emergency and economic crisis that has resulted in significant financial hardship for many individuals, families, and small businesses,” said Representative Jones. “The Legislature and the Baker-Polito Administration have been working collaboratively to pass legislation to help ease this burden, but there is still a lot more that can and must be done to help the Commonwealth weather this crisis and emerge stronger once it is over. I look forward to working with my colleagues on the committee to make sure taxpayer dollars are being allocated effectively and to determine what additional steps we can take to provide meaningful relief to Massachusetts’ residents.”
Jones is one of two Republicans serving on the special committee, along with Representative Todd Smola (R-Warren), the ranking member of the House Committee on Ways and Means. House Majority Leader Ronald Mariano (D-Quincy) is chairing the committee, with Assistant Majority Leader Joseph Wagner (D-Chicopee) serving as vice-chair and House Ways and Means Chair Aaron Michlewitz (D-Boston) serving as a member.
The remaining House committee members represent a wide cross-section of legislative committees, including healthcare financing, revenue, economic development and emerging technologies, community development and small business, labor, and workforce development, financial services, state administration, and regulatory oversight, and consumer protection and professional licensure.
The committee, which is authorized to hold remote or virtual hearings and to solicit testimony from the public, is scheduled to hold its first meeting on June 23.