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 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.

The Illinois House has approved a 1.2 percentage-point increase in the state income tax.

Last night, more than a dozen Republicans joined the majority Democrats to pass the legislation, despite the objections of Governor Bruce Rauner.

As Illinois closes in on a second full year without a budget, the top leaders of the General Assembly met Sunday for the first time this year. There are some signs of progress.

Gov. Bruce Rauner is attempting to frame the debate heading into Wednesday's special session of the Illinois General Assembly.

Gov. Bruce Rauner has called state legislators back to Springfield this week. He says he wants a budget deal. But Rauner is also spending money attacking Democrats.

Two Illinois Congressmen held a rare bipartisan community meeting Saturday.

U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, a Democrat, and U.S. Representative Rodney Davis, a Republican, discussed health care policy with the Ministerial Alliance of Springfield.

Illinois social service agencies were in a St. Clair County courtroom Wednesday, trying to convince a judge to make Illinois pay for work they’ve already done.

A new report says repealing the Affordable Care Act — also known as Obamacare — would have a disproportionately negative effect in rural parts of Illinois.

Gov. Bruce Rauner on Friday signed legislation intended to improve the fairness of Illinois courts. It should mean more people will be eligible for bail while awaiting trial.

Illinois government has been deadlocked on a state budget for 23 months. During that time, the once-perfunctory job of comptroller has gained in power and prominence.

Democratic state Rep. Scott Drury, from the Chicago suburb of Highwood, is entering the race for Illinois governor.

Both the Illinois House and Senate return to work in Springfield today. Just over two weeks remain before the annual legislative session is scheduled to end.

Illinois U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin is putting his heart into attacking the Republican health care bill — literally.

Durbin is citing his own recent cardiac procedure to point out what he and other Democrats say are flaws in the legislation.

The Illinois General Assembly is considering legislation meant to expand privacy rights on the Internet. Two of the bills cleared procedural hurdles Thursday in the House, but they both have powerful opponents.

If you’ve spent any amount of time online, chances are you’ve been confronted with a long privacy policy. And if you’re like most people, you scroll to the bottom and click “accept” — without reading it.

It’s been two years since Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner unveiled his Republican “Turnaround Agenda.” On Wednesday, a group of rank-and-file Democratic legislators responded with their own “Comeback Agenda.”

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan says Gov. Bruce Rauner is making “false statements” about the speaker’s position on selling a state building in Chicago.

On Tuesday, Rauner repeatedly declined opportunities to refute Madigan’s allegations.

The Illinois Supreme Court on Thursday decided not to answer a question about whether non-profit hospitals must pay property taxes. The case began with Carle Hospital in Urbana, but has implications across Illinois.

Ten Republican senators voted for at least one bill in the grand bargain. We asked all of them about Gov. Bruce Rauner's role in stopping them from going further.

Governor Bruce Rauner is accusing three of Illinois’ top Democrats of “coordinating” to shut down state government. All three deny the charge.

A court order revealed late last week makes it much less likely state employees will go on strike anytime soon.

City governments across Illinois are asking to have their state funding passed along automatically. It’s the latest consequence of Illinois’ 20-month budget stalemate.

A group of Illinois legislators are pushing an agenda intended to help farmers who sell at local markets.

The Illinois House is set to return to Springfield this week. Meanwhile, policymakers are still puzzling through last week's budget proposal by Gov, Bruce Rauner, partly because his administration made a significant break with tradition in rolling it out.

The immediate reaction to the governor’s proposal included confusion. Typically, the top budget aides to the governor meet with their counterparts in the legislature before the big speech. But not the Rauner administration.

State Rep. Greg Harris, a Democrat from Chicago, says this is “unprecedented territory.”

Democrats say no. Rauner says yes. Brian Mackey tries to figure out who's right.

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