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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 U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin says talk of impeaching President Donald Trump is premature.

That's at odds with positions taken last week by at least three of the Democrats running for governor in Illinois.

Illinois Senate Democrats on Wednesday passed part of a budget plan for state government.

If it also passes the House and is signed into law, it would be the first real budget Illinois has had since 20-15. But that’s a big “if.”

A nonpartisan research group says Illinois’ desperate financial condition is getting even worse.

The Civic Federation of Chicago says unless something is done soon, by next year the state’s pile of unpaid bills could consume half of all new tax revenue.

A controversial abortion measure was approved Wednesday in the Illinois Senate. It would expand government funding of the procedure.

There was another setback Wednesday for efforts to end Illinois' budget stalemate.

Senate Democrats attempted a series of test votes on items in the so-called “grand bargain.” But Republicans refused to go along, saying more negotiation is needed to reach a deal they can support.

Brian Mackey

The death of a one year old child in Joliet Township has Illinois' child-welfare agency on the defensive. Department of Children and Family Services director George Sheldon testified Wednesday before a state Senate committee.

Illinois Senate Democrats are hoping to win bipartisan support for a partial government spending plan.

The proposal would release more than $800 million that’s been collected in special state accounts for higher education and human services, areas that have been particularly squeezed during the 22-month budget stalemate.

Ten Republican senators voted for at least one bill in the grand bargain. We asked all of them about Gov. Bruce Rauner's role in stopping them from going further.

The Illinois Senate’s so-called grand bargain was put on hold Wednesday. After months of negotiations and a deadline from their own caucus leader, Senate Republicans say they aren't quite ready to vote.

Democrats blame the last-minute withdrawal on interference by Gov. Bruce Rauner. 

The Illinois Senate made progress Tuesday on its so-called grand bargain.

City governments across Illinois are asking to have their state funding passed along automatically. It’s the latest consequence of Illinois’ 20-month budget stalemate.

Rich Egger

A group of Illinois legislators is pushing an agenda intended to help farmers who sell at local markets. The legislation covers a variety of issues.

Democrats say no. Rauner says yes. Brian Mackey tries to figure out who's right.

Illinois Information Service

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner struck an upbeat tone in his third State of the State address Wednesday.  He also tried to project an image of someone willing to compromise -- but in such a way that Democrats say he glossed over his own role in the crisis that's hobbling Illinois government.

The Illinois Supreme Court considered a case Thursday that asks whether not-for-profit hospitals have to pay property taxes.

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With the dysfunction in Illinois politics, state government this year is projected to spend as much as $13 billion more than it will collect in taxes. And the situation could be getting worse.

Governor Bruce Rauner's administration is accusing Illinois' biggest government union of an unfair labor practice.

Former Congressman Aaron Schock has pleaded not guilty to federal corruption charges.

It happened Monday afternoon in Springfield’s federal courthouse. That’s just across the street from what had been one of the 35-year-old Republican’s district offices.

Could a campaign emphasis on "law and order" derail the emerging bipartisan consensus on crime and punishment?

Could a campaign emphasis on "law and order" derail the emerging bipartisan consensus on crime and punishment?

Could a campaign emphasis on "law and order" derail the emerging bipartisan consensus on crime and punishment?

A number of Illinois politicians continue to push the issue of of term limits.

Gov. Bruce Rauner is apologizing for saying half of Chicago public school teachers are “virtually illiterate.”

FLICKR/ TONY WEBSTER

The recent shootings in Dallas, Minnesota, and Louisiana have renewed attention on the relationship between police officers and African-American citizens.

Gov. Bruce Rauner marked the end of the legislative session with a blistering attack on Democratic legislators. He then embarked on an eight-city tour — mostly downstate — where he continued his critique.

One of Rauner’s main messages is that Democrats are holding the state budget “hostage” in order to get their way. I thought that accusation of political ill-will had a familiar ring, so I decided to take a closer look at the governor’s communication strategy.

On Monday, an organization called Illinois Voices sued the Illinois State Police and attorney general’s office. It’s targeting what it says are unconstitutionally vague and burdensome restrictions on people who have to register under the state’s sex offender laws.

The case is Does 1-4 v. Madigan, No. 16 CV 4847 (N.D. Ill.). Download the complaint here (PDF).

Former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich has been pursuing an appeal of his corruption conviction and 14-year prison sentence. On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court said it would not take up the case.

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In January, the Illinois prison population was down by more than 2,500 inmates from one year earlier. But that's still a long way off from Gov. Bruce Rauner's goal of cutting the population by 12,000 prisoners over the next decade.

Illinois government has been collecting a lot less money since an income tax rollback took effect at the beginning of last year. On Tuesday, officials warned that problems in the broader economy could make things even worse.

Gov. Bruce Rauner is scheduled to deliver his budget message to the Illinois General Assembly this Wednesday. In advance of that, interest groups are lining up to plead their case for state funding. On Monday, representatives of the state’s colleges and universities made one such pitch.

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