Brian Mackey

Reporter - Statehouse

Brian Mackey covers state government and politics for NPR Illinois and a dozen other public radio stations across the state. He was previously A&E editor at The State Journal-Register and Statehouse bureau chief for the Chicago Daily Law Bulletin.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

All four candidates for governor shared a stage this week for the first of three televised debates. Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and his Democratic challenger, J.B. Pritzker, picked up right where their mudslinging TV ads left off.

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democratic challenger J.B. Pritzker carried their negative campaigns on stage Thursday evening in the first of three televised debates. Libertarian candidate Kash Jackson and Republican state Sen. Sam McCann (running for governor under the Conservative Party banner) also participated in the slugfest.

A hospital room
Bill McChesney

Non-profit hospitals in Illinois will still get to avoid paying property taxes. That’s after a ruling Thursday by the Illinois Supreme Court.

NPR Illinois

The Illinois Supreme Court on Wednesday heard arguments over whether victims of the illegal drug trade can sue dealers.

Illinois Supreme Court Building
Illinois Supreme Court

Fired Prisoner Review Board member Eric Gregg is asking the Illinois Supreme Court to give him his job back. In a case argued Tuesday, the justices were also asked to consider the limits of a governor’s power to fire certain state officials.

frowning piggy bank
Carter Staley / NPR Illinois

A new report says Illinois state government is at “elevated risk” in the event of an economic downturn.

Copyright 2018 NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS. To see more, visit NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS.

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(SOUNDBITE OF ULRICH SCHNAUSS' "NOTHING HAPPENS IN JUNE")

J.B. Pritzker
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

As of Monday, there are 50 days until Election Day. And in the race for Illinois governor, debate season is finally getting underway.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Gov. Bruce Rauner attempts to reset his campaign with a speech to a small group of supporters. Will it be enough to overcome the 14 percentage points that separate the Republican incumbent from his Democratic opponent, J.B. Pritzker?

Abby Wendle / Harvest Public Media

Gov. Bruce Rauner has declared a “harvest emergency” across Illinois.

State Week logo (capitol dome)
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

A big surprise this week - Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced he's dropping out of the upcoming election.  Amanda Vinicky of Chicago's WTTW and A.D. Quig of The Daily Line join the panel.

Anne Burke
Illinois Supreme Court (via uis.edu)

Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke is again pressing Catholic church officials on the issue of abuse.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Gov. Bruce Rauner vetoed several bills in the past week. One would have raised the cap on how much money people wronged by state government can recover — Illinois’ relatively low cap of $100,000 came to light after the deaths of more than a dozen residents of the Illinois Veterans’ Home in Quincy.

Other vetoed bills would have raised the age to purchase tobacco products from 18 to 21, sought to improve relations between immigrant communities and the police, and set a minimum salary of $40,000 per year for new teachers.

shape of Illinois in coins
Carter Staley / NPR Illinois

When it comes to state spending, Illinois politicians are giving voters what they want. That’s the problem.

Anne Burke
Illinois Supreme Court (via uis.edu)

Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke is calling for a new investigation into sex abuse in the Catholic Church. Church authorities are doing just that, but Burke says the matter cannot be left to the Catholic heirarchy.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

This week, political rhetoric at the Illinois State Fair.

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Thousands of Illinois Democrats met Thursday in Springfield for the party’s annual state fair brunch.

Candidates repeated familiar attacks on Republicans. But some say they need to do more.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Gov. Bruce Rauner pledged to contribute $1 million to Republican attorney general nominee Erika Harold so she “will prosecute (House Speaker Michael) Madigan.” But when pressed by reporters, Rauner would not identify a crime with which he thinks Madigan should be charged. Did the governor cross a line?

Sara Wojcicki Jimenez and Bruce Rauner
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed legislation meant to bring state jobs back to Springfield.

Pritzker and Rauner
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois Democrats are trying to put Gov. Bruce Rauner on the spot over equal pay for women.

They’re pushing him to sign legislation that would prohibit employers from asking job applicants about salary history.

computer lab
file / NPR Illinois

Illinois lawmakers are being urged to pass tougher laws to protect student data privacy. On Tuesday, they heard stories from parents who say they have no way to protect their kids’ information.

Gov. Bruce Rauner
Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner was sued Friday by a group of former state employees who want their jobs back.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Freshman Rep. Nick Sauer, a Republican from Lake Barrington, resigned after being accused of posting a former girlfriend's nude photos online without her consent.

Meanwhile, Local 150 of the International Union of Operating Engineers endorsed two candidates for Illinois governor: Democratic nominee J.B. Pritzker and Conservative Party candidate Sam McCann, a state senator from Plainview who until recently was a member of the Republican Party.

A new report is trying to calculate a more realistic tally of what crime costs in Illinois.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

President Trump makes his first presidential visit to Illinois, delivering a speech at U.S. Steel's Granite City Works, near St. Louis.

flickr/sideonecincy

A federal judge in Chicago has approved a settlement in a lawsuit over Illinois' handling of deaf prisoners.

Vienna Correctional Center
courtest Illinois Department of Corrections / via flickr.com/chicagopublicradio (cc-by-nc 2.0)

The state of Illinois has agreed to settle a lawsuit over its treatment of prisoners who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.

Stateville Correctional Center
Google Maps

Governor Bruce Rauner has vetoed legislation intended to prevent wrongful convictions.

Dan Proft
WUIS/Illinois Issues

A conservative political group is suing to overturn the Illinois campaign law restricting so-called independent expenditure committees.

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Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois

Illinois politicians react to President Trump's varied statements on Russian interference in the 2016 elections. Gov. Rauner signs a pair of gun-control bills while promising to veto another. And the latest campaign finance numbers show the candidates for governor continuing to burn cash at an unprecedented rate. 

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