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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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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.”

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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.

President Barack Obama addressed a joint session of the Illinois General Assembly Wednesday. As expected, he talked about improving American politics. What follows is Illinois Public Radio's broadcast of the full speech, hosted by Niala Boodhoo with reporting and analysis from IPR's Amanda Vinicky and Brian Mackeyand former state Sen. Rick Winkel, who's with the University of Illinois' Institute of Government and Public Affairs. There's also video of the speech and a transcript provided by the White House press office.

President Barack Obama is set to address the Illinois General Assembly in Springfield Wednesday. Statehouse reporter Brian Mackey filed this preview of what the president is expected to say — and what he probably won’t say.

Brian Mackey / WUIS

As we get ready to welcome 2016, we thought we’d take a few minutes to listen back to what’s been a difficult year in Illinois government and politics. There was an epic fight between Democrats and Republicans in Springfield, disgrace for two Illinois Congressmen, and a reckoning over violence in Chicago.

Gov. Bruce Rauner spoke in public Wednesday for the first time since Tuesday's big summit with legislative leaders.

With Illinois in its sixth month without a budget, the state's top political leaders met Tuesday in Springfield. It was the first time they'd all gotten together in months. We asked Brian Mackey to tell us whether anything was accomplished.

Gov. Bruce Rauner is standing by his decision to backtrack on cuts to a low-income daycare program. That comes even as Democrats in the Illinois House failed to pass legislation that would have forced Rauner to undo his changes.

The program is meant to help parents out of poverty by subsidizing daycare, so they can work or go to school.

Rauner unilaterally slashed eligibility this summer. After months of outcry and a Democratic threat to pass legislation undoing his changes, Rauner on Monday announced he'd back off most of the cuts.

The Illinois Supreme Court has once again ruled in favor of tobacco giant Philip Morris. The decision, announced Wednesday, saves the company from a $10.1 billion judgment.

News Analysis — On September 18, 2012, the year before Bruce Rauner declared his candidacy for governor, he shared his vision for a crisis that could help reshape state government.

Brian Mackey

You might think that with the state of Illinois’ finances in flames, the top legislative leaders would be in constant meetings with the governor. You might think they were working around the clock to hammer out a compromise. You might think that, but you would be wrong.

Brian Mackey

Illinois Democrats say they're in an "epic" struggle with the state's new Republican governor. The party met in Springfield Thursday for its annual fundraising breakfast and State Fair rally.

Should criminals bear the cost of their own rehabilitation?

Brian Mackey / WUIS/Illinois Issues

The Illinois State Fair will go on, even though the budget stalemate has left officials without the means to fully pay for it.

The Illinois House and Senate will reconvene in Springfield today. The unusual June session comes as majority Democrats and Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner continue to clash.

Rauner and House Speaker Michael Madigan say they’ve had “cordial” conversations. But their public statements have a different tone.

“The middle class is suffering under the politics of Speaker Madigan and President Cullerton," Rauner said.

Madigan says he thinks it’s an “example of functioning in the extreme.”

“It doesn’t help the process," Madigan said.

The Illinois House met in Springfield Thursday for an unusual June session. Democrats took a series of votes on changes to the workers’ compensation system.

Illinois just enacted a big, bipartisan overhaul of workers’ comp a few years ago. But Gov. Bruce Rauner says costs are still too high, and that more changes are needed.

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