Ed Kennedy State Senate

Issues

The Environment

As a state senator, Ed Kennedy will be a strong proponent for adequately funding state environmental agencies and protecting conservation and recreational land, waterways and watershed areas, and working farms in the First Middlesex District and throughout the Commonwealth.

Ed Kennedy is a proud and long-time member of the Sierra Club and the Appalachian Mountain Club. In 2017 as the mayor of Lowell, he joined more than 240 other mayors across the United States to sign the “We Are Still In” declaration in support of the Paris Climate Agreement.

As a member of the Lowell City Council, Ed Kennedy joined with five other city councilors to ban plastic bags in Lowell as of January 2019. The measure passed with six yes votes and three abstentions.

During his tenure on the Lowell City Council Ed Kennedy has supported installing solar panels at the Lowell landfill and on the roofs of several school buildings, adding electric cars to the municipal fleet, and increasing the number of electric car charging stations in Lowell. Ed Kennedy also initiated a proposal to bring a bike share program to Lowell. The bike share program should begin sometime this year.

Student Loan Debt and College Tuition Costs

Ed Kennedy will support creative solutions aimed at easing the burden of student loan debt in Massachusetts such as promoting economic incentives to businesses and companies who offer plans to reduce student loan debt as a way of attracting new employees and retaining current employees.

In Massachusetts, approximately two-thirds of the graduating class of 2015 left campus with an average student debt of more than $30,000 and currently almost 45% of those with student loan debt are over the age of 45. Student loan debt has a profound impact on the local economy affecting younger people’s ability to purchase a home, get married and have children, or invest in a business. For older citizens, student loan debt becomes a challenge to their retirement plans. Student debt has a real impact on the lives of our citizens, and on the economic health of our state.

Ed Kennedy is committed to lowering tuition costs at all community colleges and state universities in Massachusetts. Furthermore, Ed Kennedy will continue to support a strong STEM curriculum in every community college and high school throughout the Commonwealth. A strong background in a STEM discipline provides a solid foundation for students headed to college and a leg-up to those who choose not to pursue a bachelor’s degree, providing them with the skills and knowledge necessary to secure a good paying job.

The Opioid Crisis

In order to end the opioid crisis in Massachusetts, Ed Kennedy supports expanded access to treatment, increased availability of Narcan, opioid education in schools and hospitals, and prescription drug monitoring programs.

The Opioid Crisis began in the late 1990’s and it has impacted every state and virtually every community in the United States. More than two million people have abused or become dependent on prescription pain medicine or street drugs in the U.S. During 2016 more than 63,000 people died from a drug overdose, two-thirds of those deaths involving an opioid.

The Massachusetts Department of Public Health reports that there have been 8,236 deaths in Massachusetts during the past five years (2013-2017) and that 278 (or 3.4%) of those deaths were residents of the First Middlesex District. In addition to the loss of life and emotional impact the crisis has had on every family it touches, the economic impact has also been substantial. In 2015 alone, the per capita cost of the opioid crisis was estimated to be $3,151 in Massachusetts when mortality costs, health costs, productivity losses and criminal justice costs are considered.

Healthcare

Ed Kennedy believes that access to affordable high-quality health care is a right and that it should be available to all. He supports a Medicare for all health care system and will fight for legislation aimed at lowering the cost of prescription drugs. He also recognizes that a solution to the health care issue should come from the federal government rather than state government.

The following is a comparative grid that was prepared by the Physicans For A National Health Care Program. The grid compares the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), the American Health Care Act (Trumpcare), and the Medicare For All Proposal (Single-Payer).

Source: http://www.pnhp.org/facts/what-is-single-payer