Press Releases:

November 15, 2022

Norfolk & Plymouth Communities Receive $2.4M in Economic Growth and Relief Bill

November 2, 2022

Massachusetts Passes Protections For MS Patients 

August 17, 2022

Norfolk & Plymouth District to Receive $2.5M in Bond Bill

August 12, 2022

Massachusetts Passes Major Clean Energy Legislation 

July 28, 2022

Commonwealth Passes FY23 Budget 

July 15, 2022

Norfolk & Plymouth Communities Receive Millions in Authorizations in Transportation Bond Bill 

July 14, 2022

Senate Passes Legislation Expanding Protections for Reproductive & Gender-Affirming Care

July 7, 2022

Senate Passes Early Childhood Care & Education Bill 

May 31, 2022

State Senate Passes FY23 Budget, Adopts 15 Sen. Keenan Amendments

May 6, 2022

Senate Passes Work and Family Mobility Act 

April 29, 2022

Senate Passes Sports Wagering Bill 

April 28, 2022

Sen. Keenan Joins Advocates to Call for Increased Resources for Sober Housing 

April 19, 2022

Senate Passes Landmark Climate Legislation

April 5, 2022

Governor Baker Signs $1.67 Billion Supplemental Budget

February 9, 2022

Legislature Approves Nero’s Law

January 11, 2022

Senator Keenan Reflects on 2021 Highlights

December 14, 2021

Legislature Passes and Governor Baker Signs American Rescue Plan Act and Supplemental Spending Bill 

In the News:

The Bay State Banner – December 14, 2022

Report calls for increase in rental assistance

State Sen. John Keenan, who co-chairs the legislature’s Joint Committee on Housing, says he supports expanding the state’s rental voucher program, citing benefits to the commonwealth on top of helping households stay housed.

“People can’t afford housing, and they move out of the commonwealth, and that denies us workers,” says Keenan. “And with a very expensive housing market, it makes it very difficult to draw workers to the commonwealth at every level.”

Keenan says that despite the high price tag for adopting universal rental assistance, there is an appetite within the legislature for action, and he expects legislation expanding the MRVP program to come before his committee in the coming session.

WBUR – September 15, 2022

Public utilities chief defends agency’s oversight of T safety 

The head of the state agency that oversees MBTA safety matters took questions from legislators on Beacon Hill Wednesday, after a federal report found the Department of Public Utilities failed to use its authority to address major issues facing the beleaguered transit system.

State Sen. John Keenan, vice chairman of the Legislature’s joint transportation committee, told DPU Chair Matthew Nelson that Keenan feels a strong “sense of urgency” regarding the T.

“Safety doesn’t happen overnight, but you know what? … People die in an instant on our MBTA, and we have to recognize that,” Keenan said.

Boston Globe – August 12, 2022

Revenge porn does real harm to real victims. Why won’t the state Senate act?

Guess he must have missed the words offered on the Senate floor by Senator John F. Keenan, who briefly tried to attach the revenge porn bill to an unrelated bond bill when he said he had indeed heard from his Quincy constituents who told him their stories.

“We probably all have stories, but the fact is, there is not much people can do now under existing law. …It’s a loophole we absolutely should close. We should close it on behalf of all the victims who’ve come forward, and all the victims who have not.”

Boston Globe – July 19, 2022

‘What good does it do to keep the public in the dark?’ Lawmakers grill state’s top transportation officials in safety oversight hearing

Senator John Keenan, a Quincy Democrat and vice chair of the committee, cited the 2019 outside safety review panel report that found a “culture of blame and retaliation” in which workers did not feel comfortable raising safety concerns to management.

masslive – June 16, 2022

State Senate passes bill banning prison, jail construction in Massachusetts for 5 years

Keenan said he agrees the state should have fewer correctional facilities and incarcerated people, and should have more diversion and behavioral health programs. But the state does have old facilities, he said, and at some point officials are “going to have to address that.”

“Over the next five years, we should be planning and designing and contemplating that and then look to construction — responsible construction — that’s consistent with all of our goals, which is to limit incarceration,” the Quincy Democrat said.

Masslive – June 09, 2022

Driver’s licenses for immigrants without legal status in Massachusetts becomes law; Beacon Hill overrides Gov. Charlie Baker’s veto

Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr, echoing the governor’s rhetoric, told his colleagues Thursday that, “I truly wish we had taken a different path.” The bill poses an “incredible threat to the integrity of the electoral process.”

But Sen. John Keenan refuted Baker’s logic, as he emphasized Green Card holders are already permitted to apply for driver’s licenses.

“We all know that noncitizens in Massachusetts can get driver’s licenses and have been getting driver’s licenses, so why is it a problem now?” Keenan asked on the Senate floor. “Why is the registry all of a sudden today incapable of handling the review of documents?”

WBUR – May 12, 2022

Home inspectors urge state board to clarify law on shortcut inspections they say put consumers at risk

Sen. John Keenan, senate chair of the legislature’s Joint Committee on Housing, in an interview said the board has “fairly broad discretion in determining the activities that somebody who possesses a license can engage in.”

An inspection with no report “runs afoul of the statute and the regulations,” he said, but the regulations don’t spell out what inspectors cannot do.

Commonwealth Magazine – March 24, 2022

Wind down of housing assistance raises concerns

The governor, in his version of the supplemental budget bill, allocated $60 million for housing assistance programs, to ensure tenants maintain access to RAFT through the end of the fiscal year in June, once the federal program winds down. The House version of the bill upped that to $100 million. Amendments senators will consider during Thursday’s debate, including one introduced by Housing Committee chair Sen. John Keenan, a Quincy Democrat, would double the amount to $200 million.

Another amendment introduced by Keenan would increase the maximum per-family benefit from $7,000 to $10,000 a year.

Lowell sun – march 3, 2022

Local legislators tour housing projects in Devens

Eldridge made it clear that, no matter what may or may not happen at Vicksburg Square, communities around the state must continue to face the state’s affordable housing crisis head on. Likewise, and while he was impressed with the successes in Devens, Keenan stressed that communities must continue in those efforts.

“As Senate chair of the Joint Committee on Housing, I have appreciated the opportunity to see promising projects promoting more accessible, affordable and equitable housing,” Keenan said. “Communities need to continue to address Massachusetts’ housing crisis.”

WBZ NewsRadio – December 13, 2021

VOAMASS Unveils Newly Renovated Men’s Hello House Near Mass And Cass

For State Senator John Keenan, this cause is personal. He spoke about his father needing this kind of treatment and said these men are real people in need of real assistance.

“They are not dead ends,” Keenan said. “I have talked to so many over the years and I would tell you what has impressed me most is that when somebody goes through treatment and recovery, when you see who they are, it is absolutely amazing.”

WBUR – November 22, 2021

Somerville and Boston want rent control, but Beacon Hill could get in the way

“One of the concerns about rent control — and I will do more research on this — is that you’re not creating any more housing,” Keenan said.

Though Keenan agreed rent control could help reduce the rents for some tenants, he argues it could drive up the rents for others. Keenan said he’s looking forward to learning from both sides at a Jan. 11 hearing on housing bills, including some related to rent control.