Massachusetts Senate creates working group on federal government shutdown

Posted Jan 24

Furloughed workers wait in line to receive food and supplies from World Central Kitchen, the not-for-profit organization started by Chef Jose Andres in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019. The organization devoted to providing meals in the wake of natural disasters, has set up a distribution center just blocks from the U.S. Capitol building to assist those affected by the government shutdown. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) (Andrew Harnik)

Furloughed workers wait in line to receive food and supplies from World Central Kitchen, the not-for-profit organization started by Chef Jose Andres in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019. The organization devoted to providing meals in the wake of natural disasters, has set up a distribution center just blocks from the U.S. Capitol building to assist those affected by the government shutdown. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) (Andrew Harnik)

By Shira Schoenberg | sschoenberg@repub.com

The Massachusetts Senate has formed a working group to look at the impacts of the federal government shutdown in Massachusetts and how to help affected residents.

The seven-member working group, which includes Democrats and Republicans, will be led by Sen. Jason Lewis, D-Winchester.

Members from Western Massachusetts include Sen. Jo Comerford, D-Northampton, and Sen. Don Humason, R-Westfield.

The U.S. government has been shut down for 34 days due to a dispute between President Donald J. Trump and Congress over funding for Trump’s proposed border wall.

“Creating this bipartisan working group will allow us to effectively strategize ways to protect and care for individuals and families affected by the government shutdown, while also preparing for the long-term implications for our economy,” Senate President Karen Spilka, D-Ashland, said in a statement.

Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, R-Gloucester, said in addition to affecting federal workers, the shutdown “holds a looming possibility of far reaching impacts for our state and our economy.”

According to Tarr and Spilka’s offices, the group will examine ways to help struggling families and individuals who need help buy groceries or afford housing and childcare. It will evaluate proposals designed to extend unemployment insurance and attempt to assess coming challenges to the state if the shutdown continues.

Link to official article:

(https://www.masslive.com/news/2019/01/massachusetts-senate-creates-working-group-on-federal-government-shutdown.html)

Donald Humason