Brian Mackey

Brian Mackey covers state government and politics for Illinois Issues magazine, 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.


NPR Story
6:04 am
Mon March 23, 2015

Lawmaker: Give Bankruptcy A Chance

Originally published on Mon March 23, 2015 5:01 am

An Illinois Republican has proposed changing state law to let cities and towns declare bankruptcy.

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State News
6:52 am
Thu March 19, 2015

Negotiating Illinois' minimum wage


For the first time in years, legislation to raise the minimum wage is advancing in the Illinois House. Brian Mackey has more.

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State News
7:27 pm
Wed March 18, 2015

Governor: 'Don’t Want To Get Out In Front' On Budget Deal

Gov. Bruce Rauner took questions from Springfield business leaders Wednesday at a forum sponsored by the Illinois Chamber of Commerce.

Originally published on Wed March 18, 2015 10:59 pm

Illinois politicians continue to be focused on the massive money shortfall for the current budget year.

Illinois is running out of money, and it’s beginning to hurt. A day-care program that helps low-income parents hold jobs has run dry, and soon Illinois might not be able to make payroll at state prisons.

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State News
12:53 pm
Wed February 18, 2015

Governor Rauner proposes spending cuts for state budget

Credit Rachel Otwell

Governor Bruce Rauner is proposing deep spending cuts across state government. The Republican presented his first budget proposal to lawmakers Wednesday.

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State News
5:39 am
Tue February 10, 2015

Explaining Rauner's Latest Union Moves

Gov. Bruce Rauner speaks with Statehouse reporters in this November 2014 file photo.

Originally published on Tue February 10, 2015 11:28 am

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner is taking another shot at government employee unions. The Republican has signed an executive order prohibiting so-called "fair share" dues paid by workers who would rather not join a union. He says the alliance between unions and politicians has been a “corrupt bargain."

“There’s also a fundamental American principle of freedom of choice," Rauner says. "America is about freedom of choice and empowering individuals to control their own lives and their own future. This is allowing the employees of state government the right to decide."

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State News
5:03 pm
Wed February 4, 2015

Governor Rauner lays out ambitious agenda

Credit Brian Mackey

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner laid out an ambitious, pro-business agenda Thursday during his first State of the State address. The Republican was addressing a legislature that’s still dominated by Democrats, and the reaction was mixed.

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State News
5:44 am
Fri January 23, 2015

Supreme Tort: The Campaign To Fire Justice Lloyd Karmeier

Justice Lloyd Karmeier was targeted for defeat by just seven lawyers and law firms.

Originally published on Mon February 2, 2015 3:30 pm

A version of this story appears in the February 2015 edition of Illinois Issues magazine.

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State News
6:31 am
Fri January 2, 2015

Voices In The News 2014

Credit WUIS/Illinois Public Radio

As we welcome 2015, we thought we’d take a few minutes to reflect on the past year in Illinois state government and politics. Most of the action was in the campaign for governor, in which Bruce Rauner became the first Republican to win that office since the late 1990s. Here now are some of the voices that made news in 2014.

Sen. Kirk Dillard, R-Hinsdale: “If you’re a Democrat or an independent, there’s no action coming up on your side of the ballot on March 18. Come on over to ours and save your state.”

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State News
5:15 am
Tue December 16, 2014

Report Faults State For Closing Women's Prison

Logan Correctional Center, in Lincoln, houses the majority of Illinois' female inmates.

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 5:13 pm

Illinois’ main prison for women has nearly 2,000 inmates. An outside monitor says that’s the result of poor planning when Illinois closed the prison at Dwight nearly two years ago.

The majority of Illinois female inmates are incarcerated at Logan Correctional Center in central Illinois.

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State News
6:16 am
Thu December 4, 2014

More workers could have access to retirement plans

Millions more workers would have access to private retirement accounts under a proposal approved Wednesday by the Illinois General Assembly. It would require companies with at least 25 employees, which do not already offer retirement plans, to automatically enroll workers in a new type of individual retirement account.

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