Press Releases:

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 

October 28, 2021

Senate Approves New Legislative Districts 

October 22, 2021

Senate Advances Genocide Education Bill

October 7, 2021

Senate Approves VOTES ACT, Enacting Comprehensive Election Reform

September 27, 2021

Citing Rising Healthcare Costs, Sen. Keenan Calls for MAC Act Passage

JULY 21, 2021

Legislature approves $261 million supplemental budget, including Sen. Keenan’s MBTA amendment

JULY 13, 2021

MA Senate passes final budget, Sen. Keenan highlights local aid

JULY 8, 2021

Sen. Keenan Calls for Criminal Prosecution of Sackler Family

In the News:

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.

Quincy Patriot Ledger – September 27, 2021

Quincy State Sen. John Keenan pushes for more affordable healthcare

BOSTON – State Sen. John Keenan touted his proposed healthcare affordability bill on Monday during a briefing by advocacy group Health Care for All. The group released the results of a survey showing more than half of the Bay Staters who responded – more than 1,000 – have had trouble paying for healthcare in the past. 

Keenan’s bill, dubbed the More Affordable Care Act, would eliminate copays for service and treatments among certain chronic conditions that disproportionately affect people of color. It would also lower premiums for adults and small businesses by creating a reinsurance program to share the cost risk of very sick patients. The bill also aims to slow the rate of rising healthcare costs through state benchmarks and stronger rate reviews for insurers. 

WBUR – September 8, 2021

Mass. Renters On The South Coast Were Twice As Likely To Be Evicted, Despite Federal Moratorium

The other tool the government created to prevent evictions during the pandemic was an expanded rental assistance program, which tenants in southeastern Massachusetts were far more likely to use than the federal eviction moratorium. The court will often dismiss an eviction if the government is willing to pay the landlord what they’re owed in full.

So far, landlords recouped at least $268 million during the pandemic from federally funded rental assistance programs in Massachusetts. But nearly three-quarters of the money allocated for the programs has yet to be spent because of lack of awareness or difficulty accessing the program, an issue playing out across the country.

“We still have a lot of work to do,” said John Keenan, a Massachusetts state senator who chairs the Legislature’s Joint Committee on Housing. “The money’s just not getting where it should go, and if it did, we wouldn’t have the increased number of evictions in some areas.”

Commonwealth Magazine – July 27, 2021

Baker official pitches housing plan to close racial home-ownership gap

As the state is experiencing soaring home prices, Sen. John Keenan, a Quincy Democrat, asked Kennealy if there is any data on the impact of home buyer assistance programs – which are meant to increase the pool of buyers – in an environment where there is such limited inventory. Keenan questioned whether that would raise prices further, and suggested it might make sense to focus on housing production before homebuyer assistance.  

Kennealy responded that the administration is mindful of that concern, but feels it is “really important to do both.” “Clearly, it’s a question of balance,” Kennealy said.

Quincy patriot ledger – july 9, 2021

South Shore officials blame Purdue Pharma following $4 billion settlement

State Sen. John Keenan, a Quincy Democrat, is calling for individual members of the Sackler family to face criminal charges for their role in the opioid epidemic. 

“While the bankruptcy court settlement announced today is substantial, I believe that members of the Sackler family who directed and profited from the marketing of oxycontin should face federal criminal charges as well,” Keenan said in a statement.

Weymouth and Quincy are among more than 1,700 other communities across the country that collectively are suing 16 drug manufactures and distributors who officials say promoted opioids.

Quincy Patriot Ledger – July 1, 2021

More Affordable Care Act addresses lessons learned during the pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic revealed and amplified deep inequities in our health care system, and the Commonwealth, despite previous successes in expanding health care, was not immune. Massachusetts must pave the way in addressing extreme health care costs and their underlying causes. The More Affordable Care Act, currently before the Legislature, poses solutions to some of the greatest challenges in health care and should pass this session.   

Conversations I have had with constituents through the COVID-19 pandemic highlighted important elements of challenges relative to coverage and cost: the unique struggles of small business owners, marginalized groups, and individuals in low-income living situations. Health care costs and related access issues that already posed problems only got worse during the pandemic.

CommonWealth Magazine – June 29, 2021

Plan pitched to lower consumer health care costs

Consumer advocacy organization Health Care for All is pushing a proposal introduced by Rep. Christine Barber, a Somerville Democrat, and Sen. John Keenan, a Quincy Democrat, which would take steps to reduce out of pocket costs. Most significantly, it would require insurers to cover care without copays for seven chronic conditions that disproportionately affect low-income communities of color. They are: diabetes, asthma/COPD, hypertension, coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure, opioid use disorder, and bipolar disorder/schizophrenia. 

Barber said these diseases were picked because of their prevalence in poor communities of color. She compared the bill to provisions in the Affordable Care Act that required preventive care to be covered without copays, to make it easier for people to obtain basic care that prevents expensive complications.