DiDomenico hosts first Poverty Commission hearing

Senator Sal DiDomenico, as Co-Chair of the Massachusetts Poverty Commission, hosted the first public hearing in Springfield with Co-Chair and State Representative Marjorie Decker, along with several commissioners. Organizations and individuals who work on addressing poverty in the area attended the hearing to testify and share their experiences and best practices for lifting people out of poverty.

“It is a privilege to hear directly from people who are working on the front lines each day to combat poverty and support families in need,” said Senator Sal DiDomenico. “Our commission’s goal is to study how we can best address inequality, reduce poverty, and promote opportunity in the Commonwealth over the next decade and these hearings are foundational to our work. I look forward to meeting with community members across our state to hear their perspectives and reflect on how state government can be doing more to help our residents in need.”

The Massachusetts Poverty Commission was created through the state budget and the law establishes this special commission to study poverty in the Commonwealth. Senator DiDomenico was appointed Senate Chair of this commission by Senate President Karen Spilka.

Specifically, the commission is tasked with studying ways to tackle poverty and address inequality in the Commonwealth and make recommendations that, if implemented, would significantly reduce poverty in our state over the next 10 years. The study will include, but not be limited to:

1 . A historical analysis of poverty rates in the Commonwealth;

2. An analysis of demographic disparities in poverty rates including, but not limited to, any racial or ethnic disparities;

3. An assessment of the underlying causes of poverty, including any specific issues that contribute to the disparities identified;

4. An analysis of regional disparities in poverty rates in the Commonwealth; and

5. A survey of existing public programs and services that most effectively reduce poverty both in the Commonwealth and in other states.

This was the first of three public hearings in geographically diverse areas of the Commonwealth. Findings and recommendations will be submitted to the Legislature by December 31, 2024.

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