Brian Mackey

Brian Mackey covers state government and politics for WUIS and a dozen other public radio stations across Illinois. He was previously A&E editor at The State Journal-Register and Statehouse bureau chief for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin. He can be reached at (217) 206-6412.

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The Illinois General Assembly was back in Springfield Wednesday for the first of 10 special sessions on the budget and other priorities of Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.

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.

Illinois’ struggling social-service agencies lost another round in court Thursday. An appellate panel in Chicago says Illinois does not have to pay unless the state has a real budget.

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has called a “special session” of the General Assembly scheduled for next week.

BELLEVILLE — Dozens of Illinois’ social service providers were back in court Wednesday. Many have gone nearly a year without funding during the budget stalemate. They’re asking a St. Clair County judge to force Illinois to pay.

MOUNT VERNON — A case with the potential to upend Illinois' budget impasse was argued Tuesday before the Fifth District Appellate Court.

Two court hearings this week could shape the future of Illinois’ budget impasse.

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.

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

Members of the Illinois House on Thursday heard stories of misery resulting from nearly two years without a state budget. Democrats used the opportunity to attack Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Stories of misery were told at a hearing on Illinois’ failure to pass a state budget. As IPR’s Brian Mackey reports, Democrats used the opportunity to attack Governor Bruce Rauner.

Paul Coussens

The Illinois House has blocked Governor Bruce Rauner’s attempt to merge the parts of state government that deal with discrimination complaints.
In Illinois, discrimination is investigated by the Department of Human Rights. Then, the cases are judged by the independent Human Rights Commission.
Earlier this year, Governor Bruce Rauner issued an executive order to combine the functions. The Republican says the two-step process is inefficient.

A court hearing scheduled for Tuesday has the potential to shake up Illinois' already-precarious financial situation. Organizations that run the state’s Medicaid program are asking a judge to speed up their payments.

A day after the Illinois General Assembly ended it’s spring session without passing a budget, two bond rating agencies have downgraded the state’s credit.

The actions, by S&P Global Ratings and Moody's Investors Service, leave state government debt just one step above “junk” status.

The Illinois General Assembly ended its annual legislative session last night without agreeing on a budget.

Top Democrats and Republicans blamed each other.

As Brian Mackey reports, state government's long, slow financial crisis will accelerate.

The Illinois House has approved a plan to raise Illinois’ minimum wage to $15 an hour. But it faces an uphill climb to become law.

Wednesday is the last day of the Illinois General Assembly's annual legislative session.

It also happens to mark 700 days since Illinois last had a real budget. Majority Democrats still aren’t saying whether they plan to do anything about that.

The Illinois House has approved a plan to raise Illinois’ minimum wage to 15 dollars an hour. But it faces an uphill climb to become law.  A higher minimum wage has been a rallying point for Democrats and labor unions across the country.

Illinois Democrats remain divided over how to address the state’s financial crisis.

Illinois’ top election officials say the nearly two-year budget stalemate could interfere with preparations for next year’s election. The warning came at a budget hearing Sunday afternoon.

Democrats in the Illinois Senate today made another attempt to meet the demands of Governor Bruce Rauner’s economic agenda.  The Republican governor has said the expense of workers compensation insurance has driven businesses out of the state.

Douglas Coulter / Flickr/Creative Commons

Native Illinoisans would have an easier time changing the gender on their birth certificates, under legislation approved today in the Illinois House.  Under current law, only people who’ve had gender reassignment surgery can ask to change their birth certificates.  

Creative Commons

Democrats in the Illinois Senate are preparing to go it alone on a budget plan. On Tues. morning, they’re set to consider both spending cuts and tax increases. 

Illinois U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin says talk of impeaching President Donald Trump is premature.

That's at odds with positions taken last week by at least three of the Democrats running for governor in Illinois.

Illinois Senate Democrats on Wednesday passed part of a budget plan for state government.

If it also passes the House and is signed into law, it would be the first real budget Illinois has had since 20-15. But that’s a big “if.”

Mixed results today when Illinois Senate Democrats went ahead with voting on the so-called “grand bargain.” It's been widely seen as the best hope for ending Illinois' nearly two-year budget stalemate. 

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.

A controversial abortion measure was approved Wednesday in the Illinois Senate. It would expand government funding of the procedure.

There was another setback Wednesday for efforts to end Illinois' budget stalemate.

Senate Democrats attempted a series of test votes on items in the so-called “grand bargain.” But Republicans refused to go along, saying more negotiation is needed to reach a deal they can support.

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