May 25, 2023

Senate Passes FY24 Budget, Adopts 12 Sen. Keenan Amendments

BOSTON – The Senate voted May 25 to approve a $55.8 billion FY24 budget, which included 12 amendments filed by Senator John F. Keenan to provide crucial funding to initiatives and programs in each of the six communities of the Norfolk & Plymouth District, as well as resources impacting the region and the Commonwealth. 

“While continuing to prioritize funding improvements to education, health care, transportation and housing, I am pleased that the Senate’s Fiscal Year 2024 budget includes some unique provisions that reflect a year of conversations with constituents, advocates, and other concerned citizens who shared with me their hopes for a better Massachusetts and their suggestions for how to accomplish that,” said Sen. Keenan. …continue reading

March 6, 2023

Sen. Keenan files 47 Bills for the 193rd General Court 

BOSTON – State Senator John F. Keenan filed 47 bills this legislative session dealing with issues including mental health treatment, substance use disorder, and workforce development. These bills join the nearly 7000 bills in total and the more than 80 bills filed by other state senators and representatives that Sen. Keenan has cosponsored. 

“With every new session comes countless opportunities to improve the lives of those living in the Norfolk and Plymouth District and throughout Massachusetts. Legislation plays a big part in that,” said State Sen. John F. Keenan. “These 47 bills have the potential to help so many should they be signed into law on their own or as part of larger legislative packages.”  …continue reading

November 15, 2022

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

BOSTON – On November 10, Gov. Charlie Baker signed into law a $3.76 billion economic development bill approved by the Legislature that will make broad statewide investments and dedicate nearly $2.5 million in funding secured by Senator John F. Keenan and his House colleagues for economic development initiatives in Abington, Braintree, Holbrook, Quincy, and Rockland. 

“Working with my counterparts in local government and legislative colleagues, we identified economic, environmental, and healthcare projects in need of funding and secured money in this bill to address district priorities. With this money now approved, long awaited improvements in each of our communities will progress,” said Sen. Keenan. …continue reading

November 2, 2022

Massachusetts Passes Protections For MS Patients 

BOSTON – Legislation filed by Senator John F. Keenan (D-Quincy) to protect individuals living with multiple sclerosis from losing helpful treatments due to changes in their insurance coverage was signed into law by Gov. Charlie Baker on Tuesday following its recent approval in the State Senate and House. 

“For anyone living with MS, timing is vital. Finding a successful treatment is usually done through a lengthy and frustrating trial-and-error process. In the meantime, any physical damage the illness inflicts on the patient is permanent and likely to persist even after a successful treatment is identified,” said Sen. Keenan. “Finding a treatment that works and then having that treatment taken away due to a change in insurance coverage is devastating.” …continue reading

August 17, 2022

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

BOSTON – The general governmental bond bill recently passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Gov. Charlie Baker included $2.5 million in authorizations for the five communities of the Norfolk & Plymouth Senate District. These five separate line items were submitted and advocated for by Sen. John F. Keenan. If appropriated by the Governor in a future capital plan, the Commonwealth will release these funds for new and ongoing projects in each community.  

“Any bit of funding that we can bring back into our communities is helpful. This money will have an especially concentrated benefit as it will directly support projects that have been prioritized by each municipality,” said Sen. Keenan.  …continue reading

August 12, 2022

Massachusetts Passes Major Clean Energy Legislation 

BOSTON – Massachusetts has passed comprehensive climate legislation to reach net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. The bill, approved by the House and Senate leadership on July 21 and signed by Governor Charlie Baker on August 11, includes four amendments filed by Senator John F. Keenan making electric vehicle use in Massachusetts more accessible for Massachusetts drivers. 

An Act driving clean energy and offshore wind includes a wide slate of policy changes and new programs intended to cut carbon emissions in Massachusetts through greener transportation, energy-efficient buildings, and clean power generation. …continue reading

July 28, 2022

Commonwealth Passes FY23 Budget 

BOSTON – Gov. Charlie Baker signed a $52.7 billion FY23 budget into law on Thursday, following a vote by members of the Senate and House approving the bill earlier this month. The spending plan invests millions of dollars in new statewide initiatives and allocates more than $130 million to Abington, Braintree, Holbrook, Quincy, and Rockland. 

“With this budget now approved, we have a good understanding of the kind of progress we can make over the next 12 months. The municipalities that I represent will see an increase in state aid of more than 5 percent over last year and a nearly 11 percent increase in funding for public schools,” said Senator John F. Keenan. “Not only are we increasing our investments over what we budgeted last year, but we are expanding our scope of local and state-wide services to better help all residents of Massachusetts.” …continue reading

July 15, 2022

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

BOSTON – The Massachusetts Senate on Thursday passed legislation authorizing more than $10 billion for a wide array of state-wide transportation infrastructure projects and initiatives. Communities in the Norfolk and Plymouth Senate District will benefit from the broad spending as well as from funding specifically for local projects. 

“The funding and policy outlined in this bill will go a long way in improving how we move about the Commonwealth and throughout our local region. Whether we travel by road, bridge, waterway, bus, bike, subway, rail or on foot, every aspect of transportation will be impacted and improved upon by these new resources,” said Sen. Keenan.  …continue reading

July 14, 2022

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

BOSTON — The Massachusetts State Senate voted unanimously Wednesday to pass a bill protecting providers, residents, and visitors to the Commonwealth who engage in legally-protected reproductive and gender-affirming healthcare from legal action by people from other states, and to ensure that existing access to these services are affordable. During debate, Senator John F. Keenan urged his colleagues to also include full insurance coverage without cost-sharing for services relative to miscarriages. …continue reading

July 7, 2022

Senate Passes Early Childhood Care & Education Bill 

BOSTON – On July 7, the Massachusetts Senate passed comprehensive legislation to lower costs for early childhood care and education. The bill the Senate approved included language from a trio of amendments filed by Senator John F. Keenan to ensure proper oversight and representation on appointed boards tasked with educator workforce development and workplace childcare benefits. 

“The Senate’s early childhood care and education bill seeks to ensure that Massachusetts children will get the supports they need that their families can afford,” said Sen. Keenan. “This legislation represents a vital investment in our Commonwealth’s future.” …continue reading

May 31, 2022

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

BOSTON – The State Senate voted May 26 to approve a $49.78 billion FY23 budget. The final Senate budget incorporates 15 amendments filed by Senator John F. Keenan, and makes significant investments in education, housing, health care, and key projects serving Norfolk & Plymouth Senate District residents. 

“I am gratified that the Senate spending plan makes significant investments in priorities strongly supported by constituents,” said Sen. Keenan. “Passage of this bill provides funding to address so many needs while also giving us a detailed map for serving the Commonwealth over the next fiscal year.”  …continue reading

May 6, 2022

Senate Passes Work and Family Mobility Act 

(BOSTON – 05/06/2022) The Massachusetts State Senate on Thursday passed An Act Relative to Work and Family Mobility, which would allow Massachusetts residents who lack federal immigration status to apply for a Massachusetts standard driver’s license. 

Much like the comparable bills already passed in 16 other states, this legislation has broad positive impacts. States with similar legislation already signed into law have seen a reduction in hit-and-run incidents and lower insurance costs. In New Mexico, traffic fatalities declined 23% after its own law’s enactment, and California had roughly 1,200 fewer hit-and-run accidents in the two years after enacting a similar law in 2016, a decrease of 9%. …continue reading

April 29, 2022

Senate Passes Sports Wagering Bill 

BOSTON – During its April 28 formal session, the Massachusetts Senate approved legislation to legalize commercial sports wagering in the Commonwealth. The bill also featured several amendments filed by Sen. Keenan, including legislation to prevent underage gambling and increase transparency in compulsive gambling assistance programs.  

The bill, which would allow for in-person and online sports betting, also includes several consumer safeguards and addresses gaming addiction and recovery. This legislation is estimated to generate $35 million in tax revenue annually. …continue reading

April 28, 2022

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

BOSTON – Sen. John F. Keenan joined representatives of recovery agencies Wednesday evening to call upon state and community leaders to increase the number of sober housing facilities in Massachusetts, as well as increasing resources for existing facilities.  

“We recognize that the road to recovery can be long and difficult, so we need to do our part to lighten the loads of those traveling it,” said Sen. Keenan. “If we want people to be successful in recovery, we need to make sure we have the services that are proven to be hugely beneficial in helping people avoid substances and establish healthy habits.” …continue reading

April 19, 2022

Senate Passes Landmark Climate Legislation

BOSTON – During its April 14 formal session, the Massachusetts Senate approved sweeping climate legislation that included provisions filed by Sen. John F. Keenan to put electric vehicle (EV) charging stations at public transportation parking lots and to improve the Commonwealth’s EV rebate program.

An Act Driving Climate Policy Forward, also known as the Drive Act, covers a variety of climate-related issues including transportation, clean energy, and housing infrastructure with the aim of achieving the Commonwealth’s ambitious goal of reaching net-zero emissions by 2050… continue reading

April 5, 2022

Governor Baker Signs $1.67 Billion Supplemental Budget

BOSTON – Governor Charlie Baker signed into law a $1.67 billion midyear spending plan approved by the Legislature that will increase funding for human services and infrastructure improvements, and includes provisions championed by Sen. John F. Keenan that will assist individuals living in rental properties.  

“While the pandemic did not create the Commonwealth’s housing crisis, the living situations of so many Massachusetts residents were further strained by COVID-19. These funds will bring stability to so many recovering from the pandemic and should make housing more accessible to all,” said Sen. John F. Keenan… continue reading

February 9, 2022

Legislature Approves Nero’s Law

BOSTON – This week, the House and Senate passed An Act allowing humane transportation of K9 partners, also known as Nero’s Law, which would ensure law enforcement officers’ K-9 partners receive life-saving medical attention and transport if injured in the line of duty. The bill was filed in response to the tragic events that took the life of New Bedford-native and Yarmouth Police K-9 Sergeant Sean Gannon and severely injured his K-9 partner, Nero. 

“Whether we are talking about the injury of K-9 Nero in Yarmouth or the death of K-9 Kitt in Braintree, recent tragedies within our law enforcement community have demonstrated the serious need for increased protection of K-9 officers,” said Senator Keenan (D-Quincy). “The passage of Nero’s Law affords these officers the respect and support they deserve, while also helping prevent future loss of life.” …continue reading

January 11, 2022

Senator Keenan Reflects on 2021 Highlights

BOSTON – Sen. John F. Keenan will continue to focus on local needs, public health, transportation, and housing as the Massachusetts State Senate enters the new year. 

“Following the work of my office and the Legislature in 2021, I look forward to continuing our work on behalf of the people of Abington, Braintree, Holbrook, Quincy, and Rockland in 2022,” said Senator Keenan. “Over the last twelve months, we turned the challenges and obstacles of the pandemic into opportunities to support all the residents of the Commonwealth, particularly the most vulnerable and to make important investments in our future.” …continue reading

December 14, 2021

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

BOSTON – Following final votes earlier this month by both the Massachusetts Senate and House, Gov. Charlie Baker on Monday signed a $4 billion spending plan drawing on funds from the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) and state surplus revenues to mitigate impacts of the ongoing pandemic, and support key local and statewide programs… continue reading

October 28, 2021

Senate Approves New Legislative Districts

BOSTON – The Massachusetts State Senate on Wednesday voted 36-3 to adopt a redistricting plan that, if signed by the Governor, would add the Town of Hanover to the Norfolk & Plymouth District. The new redistricting plan will take effect in January 2023. …continue reading

October 22, 2021

Senate Advances Genocide Education Bill

BOSTON – The Massachusetts State Senate on Thursday voted to pass An Act concerning genocide education, a bill filed by Senator Michael Rodrigues and co-sponsored by Senator John F. Keenan, which provides education to middle and high school students on the history of genocide and promotes teaching of human rights in public schools… continue reading  

October 7, 2021

Senate Approves VOTES ACT, Enacting Comprehensive Election Reform 

BOSTON — The Massachusetts State Senate voted Wednesday to pass the comprehensive voting reform bill known as the VOTES Act, which permanently codifies the popular mail-in and early voting options used in Massachusetts in 2020, while also enacting same-day voter registration and increasing ballot access for service members serving overseas… continue reading

September 27, 2021

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

BOSTON – Referring to its potential to help South Shore businesses recover from financial burdens of the pandemic, Senator John F. Keenan on Monday called on the passage of the More Affordable Care Act (S.782)… continue reading

July 21, 2021

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

BOSTON — Members of the Massachusetts Senate voted Wednesday to approve a $261.5 million supplemental budget for Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21), which addresses time-sensitive funding deficiencies and restructuring oversight of the MBTA. The supplemental budget includes most of an amendment offered by Senator John Keenan shaping the subcommittee work of the new MBTA Board of Directors… continue reading

July 13, 2021

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

BOSTON – The State Senate and House of Representatives voted Friday to pass and send to the Governor a $48.1 billion budget for Fiscal Year 2022 that reflects the Legislature’s commitment to advancing the recovery of the Commonwealth from the COVID-19 pandemic and funding essential statewide programs and services in a fiscally prudent way… continue reading 

July 8, 2021

Sen. Keenan Calls for Criminal Prosecution of Sackler Family

BOSTON – Senator John F. Keenan is calling for individual members of the Sackler family to
face criminal charges for their role in the opioid epidemic, following Thursday’s announcement
that the Commonwealth’s lawsuit against the family and its company, Purdue Pharma, is
resolved… continue reading

July 2, 2021

Senate Passes Infrastructure Funding Bill

BOSTON (07/02/2021) — The Massachusetts State Senate on Thursday passed legislation to invest $300 million in municipal transportation and infrastructure projects, including a nearly $4 million appropriation for the Norfolk and Plymouth district… continue reading

June 24, 2021

Senator Keenan Highlights Need to Connect Individuals in Housing Crisis to Financial Assistance

BOSTON — With financial hardship continuing to be a persistent side effect of the ongoing pandemic, Massachusetts renters and landlords are both being urged to pursue forms of financial relief currently available to them through the state government… continue reading

June 17, 2021

Cynthia Sierra Named Commonwealth Heroine

BOSTON – The Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women (MCSW) invited legislators to nominate a woman in their district to the Commonwealth Heroine Class of 2021. While never an easy task to pick just one person, Senator John Keenan and Representative Bruce Ayers, both of whom represent the City of Quincy, nominated Cynthia Sierra, the Chief Executive Officer of Manet Community Health Center. “At the outset of the pandemic, Cynthia quickly and efficiently prepared Manet to lead,” said Senator John Keenan… continue reading

june 16, 2021

Senate adopts record local aid and makes critical investments to move the Commonwealth beyond the pandemic

BOSTON – The Massachusetts Senate passed its Fiscal Year 2022 budget, funded at $47.7 billion, on May 27. Approved with unanimous bipartisan support, the budget makes significant investments in the Commonwealth’s recovery from the COVID pandemic, local aid for schools, seniors, first responders, libraries, the health care safety net, and critical programs for Veterans, children, and those with mental and behavioral health needs… continue reading

may 27, 2021

MA Senate passes budget, Senator Keenan highlights local aid and adopted amendments  

BOSTON – On Thursday, May 27, the Massachusetts Senate passed its Fiscal Year 2022 budget, funded at $47.7 billion. The budget makes significant investments in the Commonwealth’s recovery, local aid for schools, seniors, first responders, seniors, and libraries, the health care safety net, and critical programs for Veterans, children, and those with mental and behavioral health needs.

The Senate funded statewide Chapter 70 school aid at $5.5 billion, matching House appropriations and representing the highest level of funding to date for education. With an increase of $219.6 million over Fiscal Year 2021, this funding reflects the Legislature’s commitment to meeting the needs of students and educators, especially as they move to a return to classroom learning.  

“Based on conversations with school leaders in my district,” Senator Keenan said, “I am aware that students, teachers and administrators need more support than ever, particularly as students return to classrooms after being home-schooled or learning remotely. It is my hope that schools in my district, and across the Commonwealth, will feel the relief that this funding is intended to bring.”… continue reading

February 17, 2021

State Senator John Keenan Looks Forward to New Committee Roles

BOSTON – Committee assignments have been announced for the current session of the Massachusetts State Legislature, and Senator John F. Keenan (D-Quincy) says he looks forward to working with new committee members in both the House and Senate on issues important to his district, from housing and transportation to creating a resilient post-pandemic Commonwealth. Keenan, who last session chaired the Senate Committee on Post Audit and Oversight, will now serve as chair of the Joint Committee on Housing and Vice-chair of the Joint Committee on Transportation… continue reading

january 28, 2021

Baker-Polito Administration Announces $12.8 Million in Anti-Violence Grant Funding 

BOSTON – This week, the Baker-Polito Administration announced nearly $13 million in state and federal grant funding to support the Violence Against Women Act, Services Training Officers Prosecutors (VAWA STOP) and the Senator Charles E. Shannon Jr., Community Safety Initiative (Shannon CSI). The grants are targeted to prevent, and respond to violence against women and gang violence in communities across Massachusetts. The state funding for the grants was approved by the Legislature as part of the Fiscal Year 2021 budget. “I am pleased to see this anti-violence funding in the district, particularly for an organization like DOVE, which does such important work,” said Senator John Keenan. “The pandemic has highlighted, as with many other causes, the need for heightened support of social service organizations.”… continue reading

NOVEMBER 24, 2020

Senator John F. Keenan to Host Virtual Office Hours in December 

BOSTON – Massachusetts Senator John Keenan (D-Quincy) will host virtual Office Hours on Monday, December 7 and Wednesday, December 9 from 6:00 – 7:30PM. Office hours, which in the past have been held in person in locations across Abington, Braintree, Holbrook, Quincy and Rockland, are now being held online to offer constituents a safe option to meet with the Senator..…. continue reading

NOVEMBER 18, 2020

Senator John Keenan and Representative Danielle Gregoire Honored for Work to End Tobacco Harms

BOSTON – Tobacco Free Mass is giving its Tobacco Free Mass Legislative Champion Award for 2020 to Senator John Keenan and Representative Danielle Gregoire for their outstanding efforts to end the harms of tobacco use in Massachusetts. Senator Keenan and Rep. Gregoire were co-sponsors of An Act Modernizing Tobacco Control, the legislation that ended the sale of menthol cigarettes in Massachusetts, taxed e-cigarette and vape products, and made sure that insurance covers support and medicine to help people stop using tobacco..…. continue reading

September 21, 2020

Senator John F. Keenan Receives National Distinguished Advocacy Award for Championing Lifesaving Cancer Public Policy 

BOSTON – Massachusetts Senator John Keenan received the National Distinguished Advocacy Award, the most prestigious award presented by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), in recognition of his significant contributions to the fight against cancer. Sen. Keenan received the award along with Massachusetts State Representative Danielle Gregoire, and both were recognized for their role as champions of first-in-the-nation legislation that prohibits the sale of all flavored tobacco products, including menthol flavors, e-cigarettes, chewing tobacco, and cigars, in the Commonwealth.  ..…. continue reading

november 21, 2019

Senate Passes Landmark Legislation to Ban Flavored Tobacco,
Protect Young People from Nicotine Addiction

BOSTON – “For far too long, Big Tobacco has targeted our kids with flavored products,” said Senator John Keenan (D – Quincy), lead sponsor of the legislation to ban flavored tobacco products. “By banning the sale of the flavored products that attract young people, implementing a 75 percent excise tax on e-cigarettes, and expanding coverage of cessation treatment, we are telling Big Tobacco their days of hooking kids in Massachusetts are over. Hopefully, this effort will serve as a roadmap for the rest of the country. I am proud to stand with my colleagues in the Massachusetts Legislature in passing this landmark legislation.”.…. continue reading

October 10, 2019

Senator Keenan applauds advocates, lawmakers for $1.5 billion new investment in public schools

BOSTON – On Thursday, October 3, the Massachusetts State Senate unanimously passed the Student Opportunity Act, voting to invest an unprecedented $1.5 billion dollars in public education across the Commonwealth. Following years of discussion on how to improve public school funding in Massachusetts, this bill makes significant new investments in employee health care costs and special education, and provides additional funds for low-income students and English language learners… continue reading

MARCH 7, 2019

John Keenan Meets with Holbrook Students to Discuss Teen Vaping, Flavored Tobacco Ban

HOLBROOK, MA – On Tuesday, March 5, State Senator John Keenan met with members of the Holbrook Middle-High School Civics Club to discuss the increase in teen vaping across Massachusetts. The Holbrook Civics Club has been working to raise awareness about the health risks associated with e-cigarettes and vape products such as JUUL, and joined Senator Keenan to discuss legislation that would ban the sale of flavored tobacco products statewide… continue reading

FEBRUARY 15, 2019

State Senator John Keenan Looks Forward to New Roles

BOSTON, MA – Committee assignments have been announced for the next session of the Massachusetts State Legislature, and Senator John F. Keenan (D-Quincy) says he looks forward to working with new committee members in both the House and Senate…. continue reading