- July 19, 2022 - BOSTON GLOBE.
‘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.
- February 5, 2024 - BOSTON GLOBE
I visited supervised consumption sites in six cities. Here’s what I found.
With overdose numbers at record highs in Massachusetts, there is growing interest in allowing supervised consumption sites, also known as safe injection sites or overdose prevention centers. Research shows nobody has died from an overdose at these sites, that they help limit the spread of sexually transmitted and blood-borne infections, and that they save money by reducing associated health care and emergency response costs, and serve as paths to treatment. However, the concern is always, “They’ll ruin whatever neighborhoods they’re in.” To find out if they do, I went to neighborhoods where sites are already located to see for myself.
In Montreal, Vancouver, Toronto, Quebec City, and New York, and in Philadelphia where sites are proposed, I spent hours walking the neighborhood streets and alleyways, sitting at bus stops, talking with people, and lingering in parks and doorways.
- December 13, 2021 - WBZ NEWSRADIO
"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.
- September 15, 2022 -WBUR
“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 . . . 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."
- November 30, 2023 - WCVB
- November 9, 2023 - AXIOS
Massachusetts could finally ban “revenge porn”
The proposal would also allow prosecutors to divert minors caught with nude images of other minors to an education program instead of charging them with possession of child pornography or having them register as sex offenders. Massachusetts would be the 49th state in the country to adopt a revenge porn ban, a distinction not lost on supporters who have been pushing for the bill for years. What they’re saying: “We are obviously behind the rest of the country,” bill sponsor Sen. John Keenan told Axios. “That suggests to me that it’s beyond time to do it.”
- January 11, 2024 - NBC Boston
Revenge porn ban clears Mass. house unanimously
“For every person that comes forward and tells this story, we know that there are five, 10, 15 people who don’t tell this story, because they know there’s really no remedy available to them. There’s no way to prosecute these types of crimes,” said Massachusetts Sen. John Keenan, who sponsored the bill. “So we’re going to push really hard over the next few weeks to get this to the Senate floor and to the governor’s desk.
- September 12, 2023 - BOSTON25 – VIDEO
Survivors urge MA lawmakers to finally ban nonconsensual pornography
State Sen. John Keenan, a sponsor of the bill, testified the crime disproportionately involves underage survivors. “For every person who comes forward there are dozens and dozens who do not feel they can come forward,” Keenan said. “They don’t want to and for a number of reasons can’t reveal what has happened.” A similar bill passed the House last year, and then months later, passed the Senate by a voice vote. But lawmakers failed to agree on a compromise bill – meaning the bill failed to make it to the governor’s desk by the deadline in the last year. Lawmakers have until roughly the end of the year to act. Keenan said he feels “very confident” in the bill’s chances this year.
- January, 2022 - See John onAbington CAM Community Chat - Abington CAM
- March 9, 2022. John talks about Work and Family Mobility Act, An Act Relative to the Harmful Distribution of Sexually Explicit Images, and more on QATV's State View at: Senator John Keenan (qatv.org)
- March 17, 2023 - AXIOS
Lawmakers aim to crack down on vaping black market.
Driving the news: State Sen. John Keenan and state Rep. Marjorie Decker filed a bill last month to increase sales taxes even more on cigarettes and vaping products.
Keenan, one of the key lawmakers behind the 2019 law, tells Axios he’s also asking Senate leaders for more state funding for the Massachusetts Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program, which runs awareness campaigns about health defects tied to smoking. Plus: Keenan says he’s prepared to take on opponents trying to roll back the restrictions passed in 2019, like one bill proposed last session to repeal the menthol cigarette ban. What they’re saying: “We just want to make sure we’re getting to as many people as possible with information that shows how dangerous these products are, how addictive these products are and how the industry, I believe, continues to target younger people,” says Keenan, a Quincy Democrat.
- September 21, 2023 - COMMONWEALTH MAGAZINE
Another union push from legislative staffers. A year after being rebuffed in their efforts to form a union, legislative staff members on Beacon Hill are making another run at the goal, this time pursuing legislative change that would open a path for their organizing efforts. Last July, Senate President Karen Spilka refused to recognize a union push by staffers to affiliate with IBEW Local 2222. State law allows employees in the executive or judicial branch to unionize, but not those who work in the Legislature. Legislation filed by Sen. John Keenan and Rep. Patrick Kearney would change the law and allow legislative staff to unionize. “All workers including legislative staff deserve the right to bargain collectively to ensure that they can have safe and healthy workplaces, good benefits, and that they can earn livable wages,” Keenan said at a hearing Wednesday on the bill before the Joint Committee on State Administration and Regulatory Oversight.
- August 23, 2023 - BOSTON GLOBE
If you ride it, you know. The Red Line is the worst. Just look at the stats.
State Senator John F. Keenan said he used to regularly take the Red Line from Quincy to the State House. Now, he starts most mornings comparing drive times to travel times on the Red Line and Commuter Rail. “Before, the train usually was faster. Now, the car seems to be faster,” Keenan said. “More people who have to go to work are driving to work.” Keenan said rider expectations are low, but ditching the MBTA is a luxury some people cannot afford. “A lot of people don’t have options,” he said. “The MBTA is it."
- August 10, 2022. See John on QATV's State View talking about the MBTA, FY23 Budget, Transportation Bond Bill, Expanding Protections for Reproductive Gender-Affirming Care, Early Childhood Care Education Bill, Economic Development Bill, sports betting legislation at: Senator John Keenan (8/10/22) (qatv.org)
- June 16, 2022- MASSLIVE.
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.
- March 3, 2022 - LOWELL SUN
"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.”
- John's recent candidate segment on QATV at: Quincy Access Television | See the Difference! | Quincy Access Television (qatv.org)
- March 16, 2023 - NBC10 BOSTON - VIDEO
March Madness Is Underway With Legal Sports Betting in Mass.
“It just seems to be everywhere… We’re trying to convince people that you can bet five dollars, for instance, and lose and yet still win. And we all know that’s not how it works. We all know, in the long run, the house always wins.”
- August 12, 2022 - BOSTON GLOBE
"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.”
- April 27, 2022. John on QATV's State View talking about transportation and climate legislation, multiple sclerosis and substance-use bills: Senator John Keenan (4/27/2022) (qatv.org)
- January 20, 2023 - MASSLIVE
Beacon Hill staffers get new chance to unionize this session.
State Sen. John Keenan and Rep. Patrick Kearney filed legislation that would clarify ambiguous state statute around collective bargaining for public employees, allowing staffers in both the Massachusetts Senate and House of Representatives to unionize. “I strongly believe that all workers should have the opportunity to join or form a union. Unions have always led the fight for good wages and benefits, safe and family friendly workplaces, and so many other worker protections and workplace improvements,” Keenan, a Quincy Democrat, said in a statement Friday. “I filed this bill because our valued, dedicated, and talented legislative staff have expressed a desire to form a union — this legislation would give them full opportunity to do so.”
- August 25, 2023 - NBC BOSTON – VIDEO
Narcan will now be available at MBTA Red Line stops.
“I witnessed a 19-year-old individual experience an overdose and luckily there was Narcan present and the overdose was reversed.” At that moment, then Harvard freshman Sajeev Kohli wanted to help prevent overdoses. State lawmakers recently approved $95,000 for a plan he and former classmate Jay Garg developed. State Sen. John Keenan sponsored the bill. “It’s seconds that really count so having Narcan available on either side of the turnstile, meaning on the platform or in the lobby of the train station & then also in the bathroom of the train station is really ready important and will save lives.”
- November 2023 - Abington Community Access
- January 31, 2022. John on QATV's State View discusses legislation on health care, mental health and substance use, disability rights, education, housing, and more at: Senator John Keenan (qatv.org) .
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- August 17, 2023 - ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION
CNA exams to be offered in languages other than English in some areas.
The CNA exam used to be available in Chinese before the COVID-19 pandemic, when the state used a different exam provider, state senators Jo Comerford and John Keenan and state representative Tackey Chan said. “The demand is immediate — it’s now, and I think we have to respond as quickly as possible,” Keenan added. “It’s long overdue. I can’t imagine how isolating it must be when somebody is in a room and unable to communicate with a nurse, CNA or anyone that comes in.”
- December 14, 2022 - THE BAY STATE BANNER
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.”