Brian Mackey

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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Illinois is investing $29 million to try to get an accurate count in the 2020 Census. On the line are two seats in Congress and the Electoral College.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker has signed a series of laws meant to protect immigrants in Illinois. The Democrat says it’s a direct response to the rhetoric and actions of President Donald Trump.

The Illinois Supreme Court is letting Walgreens off the hook for improperly collecting a tax on sparkling water.

The Illinois General Assembly ended its spring legislative session last weekend, passing what some are calling the most productive session in a generation.

Illinois lawmakers are trying to make it easier for parents to share diaper changing duty.

Sunday night, the Illinois General Assembly finished what by most accounts was a historic session.

From the legalization of marijuana to a massive expansion of gambling, lawmakers made significant changes to the state. We thought we’d listen back to some of the voices that made news in the last week of the 2019 legislative session.

HOUSE REPUBLICAN LEADER JIM DURKIN: “It's been a long year, we've had a lot of emotions that have gone on in this chamber.”

The Illinois General Assembly finally finished its annual legislative session this weekend, with lawmakers approving item after item on Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s agenda.

Observers and participants are calling it one of the most significant sessions in living memory.

Illinoisans will soon pay more for gasoline and cigarettes. Those are just two tax increases needed to pay for a $45 billion infrastructure plan, which includes money from sports betting and additional casinos.

The American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, the biggest labor union representing Illinois state workers, has reached a contract deal with Governor J.B. Pritzker’s administration.

The usual May 31st deadline for the Illinois General Assembly passed last night, but lawmakers are not yet done with their work.

Democrats are almost finished carrying out one of Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s top campaign pledges, as the Illinois House on Thursday approved tax brackets for his proposed graduated income tax.

Friday is the last day of the Illinois General Assembly’s scheduled spring legislative session, and lawmakers still have a long list of things to do.

Illinois voters will get to decide the future of the state’s income tax. Democrats on Monday approved a measure to put a graduated income tax on the ballot next fall.

Illinois lawmakers are back in Springfield Monday. They’ve got a long to-do list — with just five days until the end of session.

Democrats are advancing legislation that spells out the rates for a proposed graduated state income tax.

The Illinois General Assembly has just one week left in its spring legislative session, and the number of outstanding issues are beginning to pile up.

A graduated income tax constitutional amendment seems to be on track, but lawmakers are still hashing out details — and rounding up votes — on crafting state budget, funding an infrastructure program, legalizing marijuana, and expanding gambling.

Affordable-housing advocates are joining the chorus calling on Illinois lawmakers to approve an infrastructure plan.

Illinois officials faced tough questioning Monday over the lease of a warehouse for file storage.

The Legislative Audit Commission hearing also got at broader questions over how state government spends money.

Republicans are trying to get back in on next year's budget negotiations. Meanwhile, as red states compete to place more and more restrictins on abortion, activists want Illinois to move the other way.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is finally getting specific on what could be in a massive statewide building plan — and what taxes and fees could be raised to pay for it.

Illinois Republican on Thursday were trying to elbow their way back into budget negotiations.

The move comes as lawmakers have just two weeks left in their annual legislative session, with a long to-do list that includes passing a state budget.

News Analysis — The Illinois Department of Corrections did not fare well in a recent state audit. Among the findings was that the agency could not account for 3,568 pieces of equipment.

Dig into the numbers and property records, and you’ll find a bigger story about the challenges of pursuing efficiency in state government.

Governor J.B. Pritzker has nominated an Ohio prison official to lead the Illinois Department of Corrections.

Illinois gets an April surprise — $1.5 billion in unexpected revenue — as lawmakers debate what the windfall means. The public also got its first look at the long-anticipated language in a proposal that would legalize marijuana for recreational use.

Meanwhile, an audit found that child abuse and neglect investigations suffered during the budget impasse of 2015-17, and lawmakers advanced legislation that would more than double the gas tax in order to pay for infrastructure building and repair.

Illinois lawmakers say they’re ready to move ahead with a major road construction program. It would mean tax and fee increases on gasoline, license plates and driver’s licenses.

An audit released Tuesday paints a damning picture of Illinois’ child-welfare agency.

Listen to a special State Week, recorded in front of an audience at the Lincoln-Herndon Law Offices state historic site in downtown Springfield.

Host Sean Crawford, along with regular panel members Brian Mackey, Daisy Contreras and Charlie Wheeler, are joined by guest Hannah Meisel of The Daily Line. The discussion focused on the governor’s push for a graduated income tax and Senate Democrats pushing it through that chamber. You'll also hear about prospects for recreational marijuana, sports betting, a capital construction program and more.

The Illinois Senate is moving the state closer to a major overhaul of its tax system.

Senate Democrats approved a constitutional amendment that would change Illinois’ flat income tax to one that’s graduated — where the wealthy pay more.

Illinois’ former legislative inspector general went public this week with a complaint that one of her reports was buried. She says the office is desperately in need of reform, and absent that, is effectively powerless.

Meanwhile, WBEZ-FM is reporting Gov. J.B. and First Lady M.K. Pritzker are under federal investigation for removing toilets from a mansion in order to lower their property tax bill.

The former ethics watchdog for the Illinois General Assembly says the office is “broken.”

Julie Porter says as her term was ending earlier this year, lawmakers on the Legislative Ethics Commission buried a report in which she concluded one of their colleagues had engaged in wrongdoing.

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