Brian Mackey | WGLT

Brian Mackey

Brian Mackey covers state government and politics for NPR Illinois and a dozen other public radio stations across the state. He was previously A&E editor at The State Journal-Register and Statehouse bureau chief for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.

Subscribe to a podcast feed of Brian Mackey's stories by copying this URL into iTunes or any other podcast app. You can also subscribe to the RSS feed of his stories.

Illinois legislators are trying to help state taxpayers get around limitations in the new federal tax law. But the federal government may negate the plan before it even has a chance to become law.

John Cullerton
Seth Perlman / AP

A relatively rare occurrence in Springfield on Thursday: Gov. Bruce Rauner met with Illinois' top legislative leaders to talk about the budget.

Charles Rex Arbogast / AP

Illinois primary voters have spoken. This year’s race for governor will be a battle between two of the wealthiest men in the state.

An Illinois labor union is suing Gov. Bruce Rauner over an Illinois law. The case — filed Thursday afternoon in federal court — expects bad news for labor in the (potential) landmark Janus v. AFSCME case before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Five of the Democrats running for Illinois governor met at a debate Wednesday night in Springfield. Among the prime topics was House Speaker Michael Madigan’s handing of harassment in his political organization.

Rich Saal / The State Journal-Register (pool)

Gov. Bruce Rauner outlined his plans for the Illinois budget in a speech to lawmakers Wednesday afternoon.

Gov. Bruce Rauner is scheduled to unveil his fourth budget proposal Wednesday in a speech to the General Assembly.

Illinois lawmakers have only enacted a budget for one of the three years he’s been in office.

That led to service cuts and some layoffs, but the state didn’t collapse. For most people, life went on as normal.

So we asked Statehouse reporter Brian Mackey: Does it really matter if Illinois has a budget?

A new law allowing public funding of abortion in Illinois will take effect as scheduled on January 1. That’s after a judge on Thursday ruled against anti-abortion groups who’d sued to block it.

With roughly three months to go until Illinois' primary election, there are seven men seeking the Democratic Party's nomination to be governor of Illinois.

One of the key questions facing primary voters: To counter the vast wealth of incumbent Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, do Democrats need their own billionaire at the top of the ticket?

Brian Mackey explores the potential upsides — and downsides — of an ultra-wealthy candidate.

Pritzker Campaign / Facebook

Illinois’ two Democratic U.S. senators took sides in the primary for governor Friday.

Jeff Roberson / AP

AT&T and other mobile phone providers are pushing legislation they say will ease congestion on their networks. But some towns and cities across Illinois are worried it’s really a power grab.

Seth Perlman / The Associated Press

Gov. Bruce Rauner on Tuesday narrowly escaped having one of his vetoes overridden.

Seth Perlman / AP

Gov. Bruce Rauner has declared a harvest emergency as a result of rain-related delays across the state.

A state representative from the Chicago suburbs says she’ll challenge Gov. Bruce Rauner in next year’s Republican primary.

Rich Saal / The State Journal-Register/Pool

The Illinois House dealt a series of rebukes to Gov. Bruce Rauner on Wednesday.

Meagan Davis / Flickr

Illinois state lawmakers are on their way back to Springfield.

Justin Brocke / Flickr

A report released Monday says Illinois’ poor credit rating should be blamed on “governance weakness,” not the state’s economy.

Seth Perlman / The Associated Press

There has been another high-level departure from Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration.

Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza is urging Gov. Bruce Rauner to step up the pace in dealing with the state’s debt.

Illinois is finally making good on some of its most overdue bills — compensating people who were unjustly imprisoned.

Obama waves
Achmad Ibrahim / The Associated Press

The Illinois General Assembly is honoring former President Barack Obama by naming part of a major highway after him.

IPR

As Illinois’ top political leaders struggle to end a two year budget standoff, one of them has announced she’s resigning.

Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno is stepping down effective Saturday. That’s the first day of Illinois' new budget year, and would be the third without a real budget unless she and the other legislative leaders cut a deal.

David Stillman / Flickr

A nonpartisan research group said Illinois’ desperate financial condition is getting even worse.

The Civic Federation of Chicago said unless something is done soon, by next year the state’s pile of unpaid bills could consume half of all new tax revenue.

The group has published an 86-page report outlining where it thinks Illinois ought to go.

Daniel X. O'Neil / Flickr

Illinois lawmakers have returned to Springfield as state government is closing on 22 months without a budget.

Governor Bruce Rauner has been saying he’s heard there's good progress on an overall budget deal.

Seth Perlman / AP

State legislators in Springfield are moving to address gun violence in Chicago. The Illinois Senate Thursday passed stricter gun laws long sought by the Chicago Police.

Doug Kerr / Flickr

Governor Bruce Rauner was in the Chicago suburbs Monday pushing to add toll-lanes to Interstate 55. He also took the opportunity to attack Illinois Democrats.

Meagan Davis / Flickr

Attorney General Lisa Madigan is taking her case over state employee pay to the Illinois Supreme Court.

Madigan is asking the justices to review a lower court order that has kept state workers getting paid during the 20-month budget stalemate.

Meagan Davis / Flickr

Illinois senators are putting Governor Bruce Rauner’s agency directors under the magnifying glass. It’s part of the ongoing fallout from Rauner’s move to block the bipartisan "grand bargain” — meant to end Illinois’ 20-month budget stalemate.

AFSCME.org

Members of AFSCME, the biggest labor union representing Illinois state workers, have taken a big step toward a possible strike.

AFSCME has been fighting with Gov. Bruce Rauner over its contract for more than two years.

And the strike authorization vote comes more than a year after Rauner broke off negotiations, saying they were at impasse.

Daniel X. O'Neil / Flickr

After 19 months without a state budget, Illinois senators Tuesday were not yet ready to move forward on a compromise plan intended to end the impasse.

Democrats and Republicans spent hours behind closed doors, arguing about whether the deal negotiated by their leaders was good enough to end Illinois’ unprecedented budget fight.

It came a day after Senate President John Cullerton, a Democrat, made the case for his so-called grand bargain in a speech Monday in Chicago.

“If not this plan, then what? If not now, then when?" Cullerton asked.

Not today, apparently.

Pages