Brian Mackey

Brian Mackey covers Illinois state government and politics from the WUIS Statehouse bureau. 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) 206-6020.

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State News
10:32 pm
Mon June 2, 2014

Term Limits Push Has Enough Signatures, But Lawsuit Still Threatens

Movers load a box containing the nearly 600,000 signatures gathered in an effort to impose term limits on Illinois lawmakers.

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 5:22 pm

Illinois officials say a citizens' initiative to put term limits on state legislators has gathered enough signatures to appear on the ballot. But there are other roadblocks before that can happen.

  Collecting nearly twice the number of required signatures paid off for the Term Limits and Reform group.

Rupert Borgsmiller, director of the Illinois State Board of Elections, says a sample validated roughly 61 percent of those signatures. He says he expects to present those findings to the board for final approval on June 17.

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State News
7:03 am
Mon June 2, 2014

How the legislative session could shape the political conversation in the general election

With the Illinois General Assembly’s spring session over, lawmakers aren’t scheduled to return to the Capitol until November. Two months of fierce debate over state spending and taxes culminated in a stalemate, so they passed a placeholder budget that will likely have to be revisited at the end of the year.

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State News
6:56 am
Fri May 30, 2014

What's left for lawmakers in the spring legislative session?

The Illinois General Assembly is winding down its spring legislative session Friday, and could wrap up a day ahead of tomorrow’s scheduled adjournment. As IPR'S Brian Mackey reports, just a few big issues remain.

Topic A is the budget. Lawmakers spent months debating whether to make 2011’s temporary tax hike permanent or, with no other options, slash funding for state programs. In the end, they chose neither.

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State News
6:44 am
Thu May 29, 2014

House Votes To Undo Medicaid Cuts On Adult Dental, Podiatry

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 2:34 pm

The Illinois House has voted to undo a series of cuts in the state's program of health care for the poor. Backers of the change say the cuts have come with a significant cost.

 Two years ago, Democrats and Republicans agreed to massive reductions in the Medicaid program, with savings estimated at greater than $2 billion. Now Democrats say some of those cuts are costing more than they're worth.

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State News
8:17 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Quinn Supports Minimum Wage Referendum

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 4:02 pm

Gov. Pat Quinn says he supports asking voters whether Illinois' minimum wage ought to be raised to $10 an hour.

The state Senate approved that question today for the November ballot.

Senator Kimberly Lightford, a Democrat from Maywood, says polling shows support for the hike across the state. She says a ballot question could give lawmakers the push they need.

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State News
11:44 am
Wed May 28, 2014

IMSA spared major budget cut

The Illinois Math and Science Academy has been spared a significant cut under the budget approved Tuesday in the Illinois House. Lawmakers had previously voted to slash 1.8 million dollars from the elite public school's state funding.

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State News
11:59 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

House Democrats Reject Gov's Budget Ultimatum

The floor of the Illinois House during Tuesday's debate over the FY15 budget.

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 11:16 pm

Two months after Governor Pat Quinn laid out his vision for Illinois' budget, the House of Representatives has approved a state spending plan. Quinn presented two options: make 2011's temporary tax hike permanent, or make steep cuts across government. Lawmakers considered those options and chose ... neither.

Quinn has been clear about the potential consequences of letting Illinois' income tax rate drop, as it's scheduled to do at the end of the year.

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State News
6:45 am
Tue May 27, 2014

Lawmakers advance bill to start hydraulic fracturing process sooner

Legislation intended to hasten the arrival of hydraulic fracturing in Illinois is advancing in the General Assembly. Illinois authorized the oil and gas extraction technique, commonly known as "fracking," last year.

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State News
11:50 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Il House rejects "doomsday" budget

The Illinois House has overwhelmingly rejected a 34.5 billion dollar "doomsday'" budget that would mean deep cuts to schools and social services next year. The budget plan was developed by legislative leaders after it became clear there weren't enough votes to support an earlier budget that relied on extending Illinois' temporary income tax increase.

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State News
7:01 am
Fri May 23, 2014

Senate approves resolution calling for Il to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment

The Illinois Senate has approved a resolution calling for Illinois to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment. The resolution is part of an ongoing effort to amend the U.S. Constitution to say rights cannot be deprived based on sex. 

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