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.

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.

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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.

Matt Turner / Flickr

Top leaders in the Illinois Senate continue to negotiate on a "grand bargain" to end the state's budget standoff.

They left the Capitol on an 11-day break Thursday without voting on the proposals. Senate President John Cullerton, a Democrat, is negotiating with his Republican counterpart. He told his colleagues when session resumes next month, come back ready to vote.

Meagan Davis / Flickr

Members of the Illinois Senate spent hours Tuesday considering a deal meant to end Illinois' 18-month budget standoff.

Scott Proctor / Flickr via Creative Commons

The Illinois Supreme Court considered a case Thursday that asks whether not-for-profit hospitals have to pay property taxes.

It involves Urbana-based Carle hospital and clinics,  though it could affect health systems across Illinois.

At issue is the constitutionality of a state law that exempts not-for-profit hospitals from paying property taxes. Laurel Prussing, the mayor of Urbana, said losing that tax money cost the city 11 percent of its tax base.

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The Illinois House has approved a plan meant to help victims of crime in some of the state's most violent neighborhoods.

The idea is that today's victims often become tomorrow's perpetrators, and early intervention by people trusted in the community could stem the cycle of violence.

It's sponsored by Democratic state Representative Jehan Gordon-Booth, from Peoria, whose stepson was shot and killed nearly three years ago.

Illinois State Capitol exterior
Justin Brocke / Flickr

Details of a massive, bipartisan compromise meant to end Illinois' budget stalemate emerged Monday in the Illinois Senate. But, the plan has been put on hold.

Rube Goldberg would be impressed by this budget plan. It's got cuts to government pensions, six new casino licenses, and a gradual minimum wage hike.

Emma Shores / Staff

Illinois U. S. Senator Dick Durbin said he has "deep concerns" about president-elect Donald Trump's choice for attorney general.

The Illinois Democrat met Wednesday with nominee Jeff Sessions, a Republican senator from Alabama.

Durbin said he asked Sessions about his longstanding position against special protections for immigrants who were brought to America illegally as children.

Tom Wilkins / Flickr

An Illinois group is warning that if Obamacare is repealed without a replacement, there could be significant human and financial consequences.

President-elect Donald Trump and Congressional Republicans made repealing the Affordable Care Act a key plank in their campaigns.

That could be expensive, says Illinois Hospital Association president A. J. Wilhelmi.

"Hospitals faced with cuts have tough decisions to make, and those decisions include laying off staff, reducing services, and putting projects on hold for infrastructure improvement, "Wilhelmi said.

Gill Off Ballot Again

Sep 19, 2016
David Gill

A central-Illinois physician has lost another round in his fight to become an independent candidate for Congress.

David Gill says it’s not fair that independent candidates like him have to gather nearly 15 times as many signatures as Democrats and Republicans.

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A Bloomington doctor running for Congress has successfully sued to keep his name on the ballot.

David Gill is running as an independent, and failed to file the number of valid signatures required by Illinois law.

He went to court because the signature requirement is much higher for independents than it is for Democrats and Republicans.

He explained his position after a hearing Wednesday in Springfield.

Katherine Johnson / Creative Commons

You’ve probably heard of a “one-party state,” but what about a "one-man party"?

One man setting the agenda. One man calling the shots. And perhaps most importantly - one man - writing the checks.

Last week’s shootings in Dallas, Minnesota and Louisiana have renewed attention on the relationship between police officers and African-American citizens.

Earlier this week on Illinois Edition, we heard from several activists with the Black Lives Matter movement. Today we’re going to hear from across the protest line.

On Monday, reporter Brian Mackey spoke with Chris Southwood, the president of the Illinois Lodge of the Fraternal Order of Police.

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