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.

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State News
6:13 am
Thu October 16, 2014

After 22 Years, Crime Victims Back On Ballot

Attorney General Lisa Madigan, facing away, confers with supporters of Marsy's Law before a news conference Wednesday at the AG's Springfield office.

Originally published on Wed October 15, 2014 10:04 pm

This story first appeared as Illinois Issues' State of the State column in the October 2014 edition of the magazine.

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State News
5:57 am
Fri October 10, 2014

Familiar Jabs, Talking Points In First Quinn/Rauner Debate

Gov. Pat Quinn, left, and Bruce Rauner at Thursday's gubernatorial debate in Peoria.

Originally published on Fri October 10, 2014 4:37 am

The two leading candidates for Illinois governor met Thursday night in Peoria for the first debate of the election season. Both men stuck closely to the ideas they’ve been honing for months on the campaign trail.

Democratic Governor Pat Quinn and his Republican challenger, Bruce Rauner, are running carefully scripted campaigns.

Quinn has a populist message: That he’s a friend of the working man, always looking out for the little guy.

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State News
5:55 am
Fri October 10, 2014

Raw Tape: Watch First Quinn/Rauner Debate

Gov. Pat Quinn, left, and Bruce Rauner met Wednesday in Peoria for the first debate of the fall election season.

Originally published on Fri October 10, 2014 4:38 am

Incumbent Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn and Republican nominee Bruce Rauner met for the first formal debate of the general election season Thursday in Peoria. The panel included Illinois Public Radio/WUIS Statehouse Bureau Chief Amanda Vinicky and Illinois Issues Executive Editor Jamey Dunn.

Watch or listen to the full debate:


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State News
6:55 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Watchdog group says next governor needs to overhaul prison system

A watchdog group says whoever wins the race for governor is going to face difficult choices about Illinois’ prisons. The group Wednesday is laying out what it’s calling a “roadmap” for overhauling crime and punishment, and wants to know where the candidates stand. 

The non-partisan John Howard Association says decades of “tough on crime” policies have led Illinois to lock up 49-thousand people in a system designed to hold 32-thousand.

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State News
2:47 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Chicago Mayor wants penalties for drug possession reduced

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel Tuesday called on state lawmakers to reduce penalties for drug possession. 

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State News
4:29 pm
Wed September 10, 2014

New Jersey Governor campaigns for Rauner

Republicans across America have high hopes for Bruce Rauner's campaign to be the next governor of Illinois. Campaigning with him Wednesday in Springfield was New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. 

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State News
5:57 am
Fri August 29, 2014

IL education funding, pensions and credit worthiness

It’s expected to be some time before the courts decide whether Illinois can trim retirement benefits for public school teachers, university workers, and state employees. But the uncertainty continues to affect the credit outlook of schools and community colleges across the state. Illinois Public Radio's Brian Mackey writes about this in the latest Illinois Issues magazine and has this report:

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State News
3:55 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Governor drops GED from Illinois law

Governor Pat Quinn recently signed legislation that will remove all references to the GED from Illinois law. It’s part of a much broader change in the education program for people who didn’t finish high school.

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State News
6:56 am
Mon June 23, 2014

Gov. Quinn approves minimum wage ballot question

Voters will get to weigh in on whether Illinois should raise its minimum wage for adults to 10 dollars an hour. Governor Pat Quinn approved the ballot question Sunday, and as IPR'S Brian Mackey reports, he wasted no time campaigning on the issue.

The question is just advisory. Lawmakers don’t have to heed the people’s advice, but supporters of the increase say they hope it’ll pressure reluctant legislators to go along.

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Politics
3:52 pm
Fri June 13, 2014

Conservative activist Jack Roeser died

  The Illinois Republican Party says longtime conservative activist Jack Roeser has died. The wealthy businessman spent years on the outside, fighting the party establishment. 

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