Dave McKinney | WBEZ
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Dave McKinney

Dave McKinney

Reporter, State Politics

Dave McKinney, state politics reporter at WBEZ, spent 19 years as the Chicago Sun-Times Springfield bureau chief with additional stops at Reuters and the Daily Herald. His work also has been published in Crain’s Chicago Business, the New York Times and Chicago Magazine.

McKinney, named by the Washington Post in 2014 as one of the country’s best statehouse reporters, has won the Society of American Business Editors and Writers Best-in-Business award, the Chicago Headline Club’s Lisagor Award for political and government reporting, the Chicago Bar Association’s Herman Kogan Award for Meritorious Achievement and the Chicago Journalists Association’s Sarah Brown Boyden Award. McKinney also was named Journalist of the Year by his alma mater, Eastern Illinois University, inducted into the university’s journalism hall of fame and was recipient of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform’s Dawn Clark Netsch “Straight Talk Award” in 2015.

In Springfield, McKinney captured Rod Blagojevich’s final words as governor on the day of his 2009 impeachment by asking if he felt obliged to apologize to Illinoisans. “Sorry for what?” Blagojevich answered in a phrase that became the next day’s front-page headline. McKinney also covered corruption under Blagojevich and George Ryan, came face to face with Fidel Castro during Ryan’s 1999 trip to Cuba and live-tweeted an exorcism by Springfield’s Roman Catholic bishop after Illinois legalized gay marriage in 2013.

A lifelong Illinoisan with family roots downstate, McKinney is married, the proud father of two children and owner of a golden retriever and Wheaten terrier.

Recent Stories

WBEZ News

Pritzker Signs Abortion-Rights Bill With Vow: ‘We Trust Women’

Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker says the bill makes the state "a national leader" in protecting reproductive rights.

WBEZ News

GOP Turns Illinois Abortion-Rights Law Into ‘Weapon’ In Bid To Retake U.S. House

The party is describing the abortion bill signed into law by Gov. Pritzker Wednesday as a tool of a "socialist Democrat death cult."

WBEZ News

10 Things Springfield Just Did That Will Affect Your Life

From pot legalization to massive infrastructure plans, the session just ending went big for change.

WBEZ News

Pritzker’s ‘Historic’ Legislative Session

A state budget, a major gambling expansion, a huge infrastructure package and a bill to legalize pot are all on their way to the governor.

WBEZ News

Illinois Gambling Expansion Bill Could Mean Huge Chicago Casino

The bill would also allow for slot machines at O’Hare and Midway Airports, and would legalize sports betting.

WBEZ News

Illinois Poised To Become 11th State To Legalize Recreational Marijuana

The bill awaits final approval from the governor, who supports it. Adults over 21 could use cannabis recreationally starting next year.

WBEZ News

Illinois Senate Advances Legalized Recreational Marijuana

The bill would let Illinoisans over 21 buy pot starting next year. It would also help expunge some pot convictions.

WBEZ News

3 Illinois Congressmen Call For Trump Impeachment

A trio of Chicago Democrats now favors impeaching Trump, putting them at odds with U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

WBEZ News

Illinois Graduated Income Tax Plan Headed To Voters In 2020

Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker's plan for a sliding-scale income tax got final approval from lawmakers Monday. Now it's up to voters.

WBEZ News

Pritzker Calls For ‘Expeditious’ Settlement Of Legionnaires’ Lawsuits

With victims’ families’ cases still pending, the governor goes to Quincy and says he’s ‘encouraged’ attorney general to resolve them.

WBEZ News

Gov. Pritzker’s Office Nixes State Funding For Lincoln Foundation Debt

A Pritzker aide said using state funds to pay off a loan for Lincoln artifacts, including a disputed hat, isn’t “appropriate.”

WBEZ News

Illinois Gov. Pritzker Looks To Tax, Fee Hikes For $41.5B Capital Bill

The governor would pay for the infrastructure projects with a host of tax and fee hikes on everything from booze to Netflix to gasoline.

WBEZ News

Relatives of Legionnaires’ Victims Still Await ‘Justice’ From Pritzker, Raoul

JB Pritzker campaigned on getting justice for victims’ families. But now that he’s governor, some are still awaiting closure.

WBEZ News

Unclear If Audit Of Sexual Harassment Complaints In Speaker Madigan’s Office Will Be Public

An audit of sexual harassment complaints in Madigan’s office could cost up to $1.4 million.

WBEZ News

Pritzker’s Showpiece Tax Plan Draws House Democratic Opponents

Pritzker’s office tells critics of his graduated income tax plan to “offer an alternative” after two key House Democrats withhold support.

WBEZ News

State Graduated Income Tax Proposal Clears Key Hurdle In Illinois Senate

Over GOP objections, Gov. JB Pritzker’s plan to overhaul the way the state taxes income now heads to the Democratic-led Illinois House.

WBEZ News

Pritzker Appointee Leaves Key Quincy Legionnaires’ Questions Unanswered

Acting veterans’ affairs head avoids answering basic questions on water testing and notification protocols at state vets’ home.

WBEZ News

Illinois Gov. Pritzker: ‘No Concerns At All’ About Feds’ Property Tax Probe

A law enforcement source tells WBEZ federal investigators are looking into dubious property tax appeals on one of the Pritzkers’ mansions.

WBEZ News

Source: Feds Probe Illinois Gov. Pritzker, First Lady For Property Tax Appeals

The investigation looks at the Pritzkers’ efforts to get a big tax break by removing the toilets from a Gold Coast mansion.

WBEZ News

Feds Seek Records On Third-Party Illinois Governor Candidate

Sam McCann, a former state senator who mounted a failed bid for governor last fall, appears to be the subject of a federal investigation.

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