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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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Passing a state budget is arguably the most important thing the Illinois General Assembly does every year — or at least should do every year.

After last year's drama — when a two-year standoff ended with a Republican revolt against Governor Bruce Rauner — it's an open question about how things will go this year.

So I set out to answer a simple question: Will there be another impasse?

There was a rare meeting Thursday among Gov. Bruce Rauner and the top leaders of the Illinois General Assembly.

Governor Bruce Rauner’s office has been criticized by a state audit.

Illinois primary voters have spoken. This year’s race for governor will be a battle between two of the wealthiest men in the state.

But this outcome almost didn’t come to pass.

Democrat J.B. Pritzker won easily, but incumbent Republican Governor Bruce Rauner barely escaped a humiliating defeat.

How would contenders for the state's top legal office have handled the budget stalemate?

Brian Mackey

Five of the Democrats running for Illinois governor met at a debate Wednesday night in Springfield. Among the prime topics was House Speaker Michael Madigan's handing of harassment in his political organization.

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A divided Illinois Supreme Court says it was okay for the government to seize a woman's Harley-Davidson — even though it was her husband who used it to drive drunk.

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has been campaigning relentlessly against last year’s income tax increase.

But in his annual budget address Wednesday, he'll call for spending the extra money that rate hike has generated.

Brian Mackey/Illinois Newsroom

Governor Bruce Rauner is scheduled to unveil his fourth budget proposal Wednesday in a speech to the General Assembly. Illinois lawmakers enacted a budget for one of the three years he's been in office.

Brian Mackey

A new law allowing public funding of abortion in Illinois will take effect as scheduled on January 1, 2018. That's after a judge on Thursday ruled against anti-abortion groups who sued to block it.

Brian Mackey

With roughly three months to go until Illinois' primary election, there are seven men seeking the Democratic Party's nomination to be governor of Illinois.  One of the key questions facing primary voters: To counter the vast wealth of incumbent Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner, do Democrats need their own billionaire at the top of the ticket?

A group of state lawmakers and anti-abortion groups sued the state of Illinois Thursday. They’re trying to block a new law that will allow state money to pay for some abortions.

Monday was an important date on the way to the 2018 elections. It was the beginning of the period when Illinois candidates have to file petitions with, in some cases, thousands of signatures needed to get on the ballot.

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Petra Henderson was the designated driver on a bar crawl with her husband. But after the last stop of the night, she says he jumped on her Harley and offered a choice: get on the back or walk home.

Her husband drove drunk on her motorcycle. Should the state get to take it away?

State Rep. Jeanne Ives says she’s taking on Governor Bruce Rauner in the upcoming Republican primary.

The former Wheaton city councilwoman and West Point graduate acknowledges it will be tough going up against Rauner’s vast personal wealth. But she says the governor has betrayed Republican principles, and wants to give voters a choice.

The Illinois House dealt a series of rebukes to Gov. Bruce Rauner on Wednesday, as Republicans joined Democrats to override nearly a dozen of the governor’s vetoes.

Legislation meant to address the gender pay gap is one step closer to becoming law.

The Illinois House voted Wednesday to override Gov. Bruce Rauner’s veto of the measure.

The Illinois House is advancing legislation to ban “bump stocks.” The devices gained national prominence this month, when they were reportedly used by the Las Vegas shooter.

The state of Illinois has taken another step toward improving its financial situation, selling $1.5 billion in bonds to help pay down the backlog of overdue bills.

Gov. Bruce Rauner has spent much of the past few years bad-mouthing the Illinois economy — saying his agenda would turn things around. But not everyone in his administration is sounding the alarm.

Illinois politicians continue reacting to Sunday’s mass shooting in Las Vegas. Their responses are often falling along party lines.

Police in Illinois have limited power when it comes to matters of immigration. Attorney General Lisa Madigan issued legal guidance Wednesday to remind officers of what's permissible.  

More than two months after the Illinois General Assembly finally approved a state budget, Gov. Bruce Rauner is moving ahead with a plan to begin cutting into the $15 billion backlog of bills.

File photo: Brian Mackey

Democratic Illinois Comptroller Susana Mendoza is urging Republican Governor Bruce Rauner to step up the pace in dealing with the state's debt.

Illinois is finally making good on some of its most overdue bills — compensating people who were unjustly imprisoned.

A day after Gov. Bruce Rauner of Illinois vetoed the state’s first budget plan in two years, the Democrats who control the legislature are plotting when they'll try to override him.

Two bond rating agencies say Illinois is on the right path with the budget plan passed Sunday in the state House of Representatives.

Springfield’s top political leaders are continuing to meet in private as the clock runs down on Illinois’ budget year.

Brian Mackey

Springfield's top political leaders are continuing to meet in private as the clock runs down on Illinois' budget year.

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