About John McKinney
John McKinney, an eight-term state senator from Fairfield and son of former 4th District Congressman Stewart B. McKinney, has been Connecticut’s Senate Minority Leader since 2007, and the highest-ranking Republican in state politics since Governor M. Jodi Rell left office in 2011. In May, McKinney was awarded the Connecticut Republican Party’s highest honor — the Prescott Bush Sr. Award.
In the Senate, McKinney has fought to lower taxes, create jobs and eliminate wasteful government spending. He has co-authored and voted for several “No-Tax Increase” balanced budget proposals consistent with his vision of a leaner, more effective state government.
He has been the legislature’s chief proponent of creating an Office of Inspector General to combat waste, fraud and abuse throughout state government. And he has further fought to strengthen government transparency and accountability by opposing Governor Malloy’s consolidation of state watchdog agencies and proposing standing legislative committees on ethics to investigate allegations of misconduct made against members of the General Assembly.
McKinney played an instrumental role in passing bipartisan jobs legislation in 2012 which helped streamline the state permitting process and provided incentives to expanding small businesses and businesses that hire veterans off the unemployment rolls. His accomplishments also include working with Governor Rell and legislative leaders from both parties to provide small businesses with tax credits to stimulate job creation, and the passage of Jessica’s Law for Connecticut which established tougher jail sentences for child sex offenders and predators who use the Internet to harm children.
As a member of the Environment Committee, McKinney has been at the forefront of state efforts to conserve energy, improve air quality, and reduce America’s dependency on foreign oil. He has been recognized as an Environmental Hero by the League of Conservation Voters for his ongoing commitment to preserving Connecticut’s open spaces and farmland, and cleaning up Long Island Sound.
As a former member of the General Assembly’s Transportation Committee, McKinney has led efforts to address the long-term challenges of increasing traffic congestion and rising gasoline prices. He helped pass major transportation initiatives that led to the replacement of all 342 Metro North rail cars and paved the way for reducing the number of cars and trucks on Connecticut roads. He has campaigned against Connecticut’s high state gas taxes, and helped to cap the petroleum gross receipts tax in 2012. McKinney has also been a vocal opponent of Governor Malloy’s broken campaign promise and practice of raiding the state’s Special Transportation Fund (established to maintain roads and bridges) to pay for government’s ongoing operating expenses.
McKinney is committed to ensuring every Connecticut student receives a quality education and has fought to ensure that our children’s education decisions are made at the local level, rather than mandated by politicians in Hartford as part of a ‘one size fits all’ philosophy.
In the tradition of his father, McKinney is at the forefront of state efforts to end homelessness and increase access to affordable housing. In 2009, he introduced the state’s first comprehensive plan to end homelessness through supportive housing and testified before Congress in support of reauthorizing the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act named after his father. He believes we have a moral obligation to make sure all American citizens have a safe place to call home and testified that investments in supportive housing are a proven way to save taxpayer money by helping to lower health care costs, reduce crime and improve student performance.
McKinney was raised in Fairfield and is the youngest of five children of the late Congressman McKinney and his wife, Lucie. He graduated from Fairfield Prep in 1982, earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Yale University in 1986 and received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Connecticut School of Law, with honors, in 1994. Prior to being elected to the General Assembly, he practiced law at Cummings and Lockwood and was a law clerk to the Connecticut Supreme Court.
McKinney is actively involved in several nonprofit organizations. He is a former member of the Board of Directors for the Center for Women and Families in Bridgeport. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Westport/Weston Family YMCA and on the Advisory Board to Operation Hope, a homeless shelter in Fairfield. He is a past member of the vestry of Trinity Church in Southport. John and his family help provide housing and care for people with AIDS through the Stewart B. McKinney Foundation.
McKinney, 49, lives in Fairfield with his three children, Matthew, Graysen and Kate.