February 16, 2017                                                                                                                           





BOSTON – State Senator Adam G. Hinds (D- Pittsfield) announces today that he has been named Senate chair of the Joint Committee on Tourism, Arts and Cultural Development, as well as Senate vice-chair of the Joint Committee on Economic Development and Emerging Technologies.


Hinds said, “These Committees are critical for building our economy and creating jobs. Attracting more people to the region means doubling down on tourism, culture and economic development.  In this role I will be focused on strengthening existing businesses, attracting others, and increasing incomes for working families.”


The Joint Committee on Tourism has jurisdiction over all legislation concerning tourism, arts and cultural development in the Commonwealth.  Senator Julian Cyr (D- Truro) will serve as Hinds’ vice-chair.


The economic power of tourism is evident throughout Hinds’ district.  According to 1Berkshire, the countywide organization focused on economic development and promotion of the region as a preferred place to visit, live and grow a business, spending in Berkshire County by visitors has increased by more than 25% in five years, equaling more than $453 million.  Statewide, tourism is recognized as the #3 industry in Massachusetts, accounting for 135,000 jobs, $1.3 billion in annual tax revenue and $20.2 billion in direct spending.


“We're very pleased to hear about these committee assignments for our new State Senator. It will be significant for our region to have this influential voice helping steer policy and funding within these economic areas that are so critical to the Berkshires and western Mass,” said Jonathan Butler, President & CEO, 1Berkshire.

In the Massachusetts Senate, Democratic members are nominated for committee assignments and chairmanships by Senate President Stan Rosenberg (D- Amherst).  Those decisions are then ratified by the members. 


"Through his work in his community and throughout western Mass, Senator Hinds knows the importance of promoting tourism and economic development for the Commonwealth.  He will bring his strong intellect, work ethic, and knowledge to all of his committee assignments," said Senate President Rosenberg.


“The arts and cultural community is very excited to work with Senator Hinds in his capacity as chair, and we recognize how important this Committee is to his district.  Our members have enjoyed getting to know the Chairman to date and we look forward to working with him and his team during this legislative session,” said Andre Green, Political Director, MASSCreative.  MASSCreative is the statewide advocacy group for Massachusetts’ arts and cultural sector.


The Joint Committee on Economic Development, which is now chaired by fellow western Massachusetts Senator Eric Lesser (D- Longmeadow), oversees such matters as commercial and industrial establishments; casino gambling and gaming; industrial development, science and technology; research and development; information, networking, the Internet, data storage and access; biotechnology and medical devices; environmental technologies; and workforce training.


In addition to his chairmanship and vice-chairmanship, Hinds will serve on several other policy committees with jurisdiction over matters important to western Massachusetts:


  • Joint Committee on Higher Education;
  • Joint Committee on Housing;
  • Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Use and Recovery;
  • Joint Committee on Municipalities and Regional Government; and the
  • Senate Standing Committee on Intergovernmental Affairs.


Further, Hinds serves as the Senate co-chair of the Rural Caucus and is an active member of the Gateway Cities, Regional School Districts, and Regional Transit Authorities Caucuses. 


“These Committees and Caucuses mean we are well placed to make a difference for western Mass,” Hinds added.


Descriptions of all Joint Committees and Standing Senate Committees, as well as the matters pending before them, can be viewed online: https://malegislature.gov/Committees/


It is expected that Speaker Robert DeLeo will pass out committee memberships and Chairmanships for members of the House of Representatives today.