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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Illinois U.S. Senator Dick Durbin says he has some tough questions for President Trump’s Supreme Court nominee. But he also says he hasn’t made up his mind.

The Illinois Governor’s Mansion reopened Saturday after a multi-million-dollar renovation.

There are Illinois connections in Friday's indictments related to Russian hacking around the 2016 elections.

Democrats are trying to flip several Congressional seats in Illinois this fall. That’s put some Republicans in a tricky spot when it comes to questions about President Donald Trump.

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is investigating fast food restaurants over hiring practices.

At issue are so-called no-poaching agreements. That’s where restaurant franchisees are prohibited from hiring people away from other franchise owners.

With America and China officially in a trade war, Illinois companies say they’re already seeing consequences.

Gov. Bruce Rauner boards a city bus for an apology tour of Illinois’ flagship college towns. Illinois Nazis are back in the news. And it’s official — there will be at least four party-affiliated candidates on the ballot for governor this fall.

Gov. Bruce Rauner and black state legislators are escalating a fight that began earlier this week.

The latest skirmish between Governor Bruce Rauner and the AFSCME labor union took place in a Springfield courtroom today. This time it was before a panel of appellate judges.

It’s been just about three years since AFSCME workers were due for a new contract. But Gov. Rauner made tough demands — like a new pay structure, more expensive health insurance, and more power to outsource jobs.

Mike Newman is the No. 2 man in the Illinois branch of AFSCME.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner was asked Tuesday whether he would support a shorter prison sentence for Rod Blagojevich.

A busy week in Springfield as the Illinois General Assembly approves a budget, the House ratifies the ERA, and a leading Democrat is accused of inappropriate behavior.

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.

As Illinois lawmakers try to pass a state budget by Thursday, credit rating agencies say they’re less focused on the timing of a spending plan than they were a year ago.

With just two days remaining in the spring session of the Illinois General Assembly, lawmakers are optimistic about passing a state budget on time.

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.

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.

The gun debate returned to the Illinois Capitol Wednesday. The group Moms Demand Action was lobbying to require state licenses for gun dealers.

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

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?

The University of Illinois president told a panel of lawmakers Thursday that he'd like to maintain a freeze on tuition rates.

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is expecting a new addition to his family: he and First Lady Diana Rauner are becoming first-time grandparents.

Rauner, 61, has six children, all grown, so this was bound to happen at some point.

Still, the governor seemed caught off guard when reporters asked about it this week.

“Uhhh, well,” Rauner said before laughing. “Um, OK. I wasn’t going to about that, but I’m happy — you know what, we’re so excited, I’m sort of busting at the buttons.”

Governor Bruce Rauner’s office has been criticized by a state audit.

Governor Bruce Rauner has signed what education officials say is the final law needed to make major changes to the way Illinois funds public schools.

The big bipartisan overhaul was signed into law last summer. But as sometimes happens with major legislation, the government officials whose job is to implement it came back to lawmakers saying mistakes were made, and no new money would flow without a legislative fix.

State Senator Andy Manar, the central Illinois Democrat who sponsored the legislation, blames that partly on ...

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

But this outcome almost didn’t come to pass.

Democrat J.B. Pritzker won easily, but incumbent Republican Governor Bruce Rauner barely escaped a humiliating defeat.

CREDIT JIM MEADOWS / JEANNE IVES / BRIAN MACKEY

Voters will finally have their say in Illinois' primary election Tuesday. It’s been a record-breaking year in terms of political fundraising. That’s largely because of two men. 

Gov. Bruce Rauner spent more than $65 million dollars when he was elected four years ago. As of last week, J.B. Pritzker topped that, nearing the $70 million dollar mark, and that’s just for the primary.
 

A key difference? Rauner mixes his own money with other donations whereas Pritzker has just one funder, himself.

Polls are open tomorrow from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.

A mother is suing Illinois and Sangamon County officials for failing to prevent her daughter's suicide.

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan today issued a warning to his fellow Democratic legislators … on sexual harassment.

In the past month, Madigan has let go of two key political operatives. Last week, he made public some information about complaints against people in his government office.

Now, he says because of recent meetings with staff, he felt compelled to make the rules “crystal clear" to legislators. He says sexual comments, advances and relationships with staff are inappropriate — whether or not the staffer works for that legislator.

With more student protests expected after the shooting in Parkland, Florida, the ACLU of Illinois is encouraging schools to respect free speech rights.

How would contenders for the state's top legal office have handled the budget stalemate?

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