Energy & Environment Committee
- In December 2021, the Committee hosted a well-attended Council-wide “Regional Energy Outlook” virtual program, featuring a presentation and Q&A with Gordon Van Welie, President & CEO of ISO New England. WATCH HERE.
- In February 2022, the Committee hosted a briefing with Alex Piper, energy staffer in the Office of U.S. Rep. Peter Welch. Alex updated members on current matters before the House Energy & Commerce Committee, on with Rep. Welch is a senior member.
- The Committee has confirmed a meeting with U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster, a member of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, as part of the May 2022 Washington Leaders Conference..
Financial Services Committee
- In January 2022, the Committee hosted a meeting with U.S. Assistant Secretary of Labor Ali Khawar, who updated members on the Departments recent rulemaking related to ESG investing, and also discussed changes to DOL’s fiduciary rule.
- In February 2022, the Committee hosted a briefing with Gabrielle Elul, Financial Services Policy Advisory in the Office of U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren. Elul updated members on the Senator’s priorities as a member of the Senate Banking Committee.
- The House recently passed one of the Committee’s top priorities, the Securing a Strong Retirement Act of 2022, known as SECURE 2.0. The Council wrote to the New England House delegation in support of the bill last year, and will soon be sending a letter to the region’s Senate delegation in support of the bill.
- The Committee has confirmed meetings with Senate Finance Committee Chairman Ron Wyden, and Assistant Secretary of Labor Ali Khawar as part of the Washington Leaders’ Conference.
- The Healthcare Committee is one of our largest, and one with a wide array of interests and priorities. As such, we are piloting the establishment of several subcommittees within the Healthcare Committee. Based upon member feedback, we have recently launched four new subcommittees:
- Addiction & Behavioral Health Subcommittee
- Health Equity Subcommittee
- Health Innovation & Technology Subcommittee
- Workforce Subcommittee
- The purpose of these subcommittee is to enable members to play a more active role in shaping advocacy and planning programming for the broader Healthcare Committee.
- Initial response to the establishment of the subcommittees has been excellent, and each subcommittee is meeting for the first time this month. Three have already met, and the fourth will meet next week.
- In addition, the Committee recently named a new co-chair, Alison MacDonald, Vice President of Policy & Federal Affairs at Dartmouth Hitchcock.
- The Committee has confirmed a meeting with Mr. Marvin Figueroa, Director of Intergovernmental and External Affairs at HHS.
Higher Education Committee
- Increasing the maximum grant amount of the federal Pell Grant continues to be a top priority for the Higher Education Committee. We sent letters to the delegation last year advocating for an increase, and also published op-eds in several regional media outlets urging Congress to increase the maximum grant amount. We were pleased to see that President Biden’s budget proposes to increase the maximum Pell Grant by $2,175 over its current level, bringing the maximum annual amount to $8,670.
- Early College programs – such as dual enrollment for high school student and the Advanced Placement (AP) program – have also been identified as an are of significant interest for the committee. In March, the Committee hosted Massachusetts Board of Higher Education Chair Chris Gabrieli, who briefed members on initiatives in Massachusetts to support early college, and a similar meeting is in the works with a senior state education official in Rhode Island to learn more about initiatives in that state.
- The Higher Education Committee is in the midst of some leadership changes. Longtime co-chair Paula Rooney, President of Dean College, is retiring at the end of the academic year, and we are in the process of naming a replacement. In addition, longtime NEC Federal Affairs Manager Taylor Pichette, who staffed the committee, has left the Council. Our new Director of Federal Affairs XXX will officially join the Council on X and will staff this committee.
- The Committee has confirmed a meeting with Under Secretary of Education James Kvaar as part of the Washington Leaders’ Conference.
Technology & Innovation Working Group
- In February, the Council launched our new Technology & Innovation Working group, which replaces our former Technology Committee and Advanced Manufacturing Working Group. This new cross-sector working group was established to bring together Council members from a variety of industries to collaborate on issues impacting the region’s innovation economy.
- The new working group held a well-attended kick-off meeting in February where members brainstormed about priorities and issues of interest. The group identified the following as key areas of focus for the new working group:
- Advanced Manufacturing
- Blue Economy
- Connectivity – 5G & Broadband
- Cybersecurity & Data Privacy
- Supply Chain Challenges
- Research & Development
- Workforce Challenges
- In March, the Working Group hosted a meeting with staff to U.S. Rep. David Cicilline, who briefed members on the Congressman’s recently introduced “Make it in American Manufacturing Communities Act,” which the Council has supported in the past and is now considering supporting again.
- The Working Group recently sent a letter to New England members of the conference committee that is negotiating a compromise between House and Senate versions of legislation designed to promote innovation and competitiveness – the Senate’s USICA and the House’s America COMPETES Act. The letter highlighted our members priorities for inclusion in any compromise legislation.
- The Working Group has confirmed a meeting with FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel as part of the Washington Leaders’ Conference.
Transportation & Infrastructure Committee
- The Council’s Transportation & Infrastructure Committee focused significantly on the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law that was ultimately enacted late last year, sending letters to the Congressional delegation highlighting our priorities, writing op-eds supporting the bill’s passage, and holding a series of events highlighting the Council’s priorities.
- Now that the bill has been enacted, the Committee will continue to focus on the landmark legislation’s implementation. In December, the Committee hosted a meeting with U.S. Rep. Chris Pappas, a member of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee, who briefed members on the many provisions of the new law that will benefit the region.
- Another area of focus for the committee in recent months has been supply chain challenges. In collaboration with the Council’s Trade Working Group, the Committee hosted a virtual panel discussion in January of this year. WATCH HERE.
Trade Working Group
- As noted above, the Trade Working Group and the Transportation & Infrastructure Committee collaborated to present a virtual panel discussion in January of this year. WATCH HERE.
- The Trade Working Group has confirmed a meeting with Deputy U.S. Trade Representative Jayme White as part of the Washington Leaders Conference next month.