Brian Mackey

Illinois Statehouse Reporter

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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Illinois Prisons
9:59 am
Wed July 9, 2014

In Illinois Legislature, A Culture Change On Criminal Sentencing

Originally published on Wed July 2, 2014 7:26 am

Not long ago, it seemed every time a different type of crime started making the news, members of the Illinois General Assembly would rush to increase the penalty for that offense. But today — with prisons stuffed beyond capacity and state finances ailing — lawmakers have begun taking a more deliberate approach. Brian Mackey reports on a criminal sentencing culture change in the Illinois General Assembly.

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State Supreme Court Ruling
1:19 pm
Thu July 3, 2014

Illinois Constitution Protects Retiree Health Insurance

The Illinois Supreme Court says the free health insurance enjoyed by state retirees is protected by the Illinois Constitution.

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Minimum Wage Hike
8:57 am
Mon June 23, 2014

Quinn Fundraising Appeal Tied To Bill Signing

Gov. Pat Quinn speaks to reporters in this file photo.

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 8:43 am

Voters will get to weigh in on whether Illinois should raise its minimum wage for adults to $10 an hour. Gov. Pat Quinn approved the ballot question Sunday, and 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.

Critics say this is a ploy to get more Democrats to the polls — since turnout tends to be lower in non-presidential election years.

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Also Suing Romney Campaign
3:19 pm
Thu June 12, 2014

Lawsuit: Rutherford 'Coerced And Intimidated' Employee Into Political Work

Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford speaks with reporters in this file photo from August 2013.
Credit Brian Mackey

A former state employee Thursday filed more allegations of political and sexual harassment against Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford.

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Illinois' Economy
9:47 am
Thu June 5, 2014

Moody's: Budget Could Undo 'Significant Progress'

"I don't know how you can blame us or the governor for a negative bond rating," Senate President John Cullerton says. "The Republicans are the ones saying, 'Don't raise the taxes, we don't need that. Make structural changes,' whatever that means."

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 8:46 am

The credit rating agency Moody's says Illinois is at risk of undermining progress toward better finances. It says the failure to extend current income tax rates could lead to a worsening deficit.

Moody's says because lawmakers failed to stop an automatic tax cut scheduled for the end of the year, Illinois could have to increase its backlog of unpaid bills. The state already has the lowest credit rating in the nation.

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