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.

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Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed legislation meant to bring state jobs back to Springfield.

A new report is trying to calculate a more realistic tally of what crime costs in Illinois.

Governor Bruce Rauner has vetoed legislation intended to prevent wrongful convictions.

A conservative political group is suing to overturn the Illinois campaign law restricting so-called independent expenditure committees.

Illinois U.S. Sen, Dick Durbin says Rod Blagojevich should have gotten a shorter prison sentence.

Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed Illinois’ budget into law.

The Illinois General Assembly has approved a budget for the state — and Governor Bruce Rauner is indicating he’ll “enact” it into law.

Illinois is one step closer to having a budget for next year — the state Senate approved a spending plan late Wednesday night.

It follows years of bitter partisan fighting over state taxes and spending. But the mood around this year’s budget is remarkably different.

How To Stop Gun Violence? Just Ask

May 18, 2018

Conversations around gun violence often revolve around long-term solutions, like improving schools or the local economy.

But even if those things were easy — and they’re not — it would take a generation to realize the benefits.

And for the Illinoisans living and dying in these communities — mostly low-income, black communities — they don’t have time to wait.

Passing a state budget is arguably the most important thing the Illinois General Assembly does every year — or at least should do every year.

After last year's drama — when a two-year standoff ended with a Republican revolt against Governor Bruce Rauner — it's an open question about how things will go this year.

So I set out to answer a simple question: Will there be another impasse?

There was a rare meeting Thursday among Gov. Bruce Rauner and the top leaders of the Illinois General Assembly.

Illinois gubernatorial candidates are making their final push ahead of Tuesday's primary in what's become an increasingly fierce - and expensive - contest.

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.

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?

As we get ready to welcome 2018, we thought we’d take a few minutes to listen back to another wild year in Illinois government and politics.

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.

A law taking effect January first is meant to force Illinois government to be more honest about its money problems.

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Illinois Sunshine Project

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?

Monday was an important date on the way to the 2018 elections. It was the beginning of the period when Illinois candidates have to file petitions with, in some cases, thousands of signatures needed to get on the ballot.

Illinois’ senior Republican Congressman has declined to endorse Governor Bruce Rauner in next year's primary election.

Gov. Bruce Rauner is declaring victory after the House failed to override a key veto. The bill was a priority of organized labor.

State Rep. Jeanne Ives says she’s taking on Governor Bruce Rauner in the upcoming Republican primary.

The former Wheaton city councilwoman and West Point graduate acknowledges it will be tough going up against Rauner’s vast personal wealth. But she says the governor has betrayed Republican principles, and wants to give voters a choice.

The Illinois House is advancing legislation to ban “bump stocks.” The devices gained national prominence this month, when they were reportedly used by the Las Vegas shooter.

Gov. Bruce Rauner has spent much of the past few years bad-mouthing the Illinois economy — saying his agenda would turn things around. But not everyone in his administration is sounding the alarm.

The Illinois state treasurer is urging legislators to override one of Governor Bruce Rauner’s recent vetoes. Democrat Mike Frerichs says the legislation is needed to help people claim life insurance benefits.

State and federal legislators from Illinois are proposing new laws in response to Sunday’s mass shooting in Las Vegas.

State financial regulators are recommending an increase in the fees that currency exchanges charge for cashing checks. Opponents say it will hurt Illinois' poorest residents.

It’s been two months since Illinois government finally passed a full budget. Legislators hoped that would accelerate the payment of overdue bills, which total more than $15 billion. But the governor’s office is holding that up.

Another voice is urging Gov. Bruce Rauner to work with the budget that was passed over his objections.

Illinois’ two-year budget impasse is over. The House of Representatives on Thursday overrode the governor's budget veto, giving final approval to a spending plan and tax increase.

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