Monitoring the Reopening Advisory Board

Last week, Governor Baker announced the creation of the Reopening Advisory Board, a 17-member advisory board to discuss the needs of the business community in order to open safely. I am honored to share that Massachusetts Speaker of the House Robert A. DeLeo has selected me to monitor the deliberations of the Reopening Advisory Board on behalf of the Massachusetts House of Representatives.

“As the House’s Economic Development and Emerging Technologies Committee Chair, Representative Ferrante has a deep knowledge of the mechanisms that drive, and slow, our economy,” said Speaker DeLeo. “I am proud to select her to lead the effort of contributing to the work of the Governor’s Reopening Advisory Board on behalf of the House. Her thoughtful approach to legislating and her service on behalf of workers and business owners will bring value to the statewide discussions about how and when to safely reopen the economy during this public health crisis.”

The Reopening Advisory Board is led by Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito and Secretary of Housing and Economic Development Michael Kennealy and includes public health officials, leaders from the business community, and members of municipal government from across the Commonwealth. The Board will not be deciding when to re-open the economy, but it is charged with advising the administration on strategies to re-open the economy in phases, based on health and safety metrics.

Over the coming weeks, the Board will meet with key stakeholders and solicit input from a variety of constituencies to develop a report that will include Department of Public Health approved workplace safety standards, industry frameworks and customer protocols and guidelines, including enforcement mechanisms and coordination with municipal leaders. Governor Baker has asked the Reopening Advisory Board to report to him on May 18th, but has made clear that public health data and guidance from health care experts will dictate the timeline of the re-opening process.

May 18th is coming quickly and I am impressed by this board’s commitment to getting the work done. Since last Tuesday, when this board was announced, it has been “no days off” with meetings four to five hours per day, including the weekend.

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in three crises: health care, economic decline and unemployment, and food security. I am proud to have been given the responsibility to review and to monitor these important issues on behalf of the House of Representatives and bring a voice from Cape Ann to the table.

Parties interested in submitting comments to the board may do so using the form at: https://www.mass.gov/forms/submit-comments-to-the-reopening-advisory-board

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