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

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.

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.

Public health officials say they‘ll work to increase vaccination rates across Illinois.

The announcement comes as the the U.S. is expected to have the worst run of measles cases since the disease was deemed eliminated in the year 2000.

A proposal to overhaul Illinois’ income tax took another step forward Wednesday. The graduated income tax easily cleared an early hurdle — passage by the Senate Executive Committee.

After years of campaigning, Democrats are moving ahead with a plan to change Illinois’ tax system. On Tuesday they formally introduced the language they want to change in the Illinois Constitution.

Tobacco sales in Illinois will soon be off-limits to anyone younger than 21 under a law signed Sunday by Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

The Illinois law meant to prohibit distracted driving may not prohibit watching videos behind the wheel, so state lawmakers are trying to change it.

Illinoisans can now get driver’s licenses and state ID cards that comply with Real ID, the strict federal security requirements that will soon be needed for air travel.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker wants to create a host of new taxes to help balance Illinois’ budget — on everything from e-cigarettes to medical insurance companies.

NPR Illinois reporters have been breaking down those revenue-generating ideas. Today we’re looking at a potential tax on shopping bags.

Illinois officials are issuing dire warnings ahead of the arctic cold blowing into the state Tuesday night.

Electronic privacy advocates are praising a ruling from the Illinois Supreme Court on Friday. The justices held that people can sue just for having biometric information collected without consent.

J.B. Pritzker is set to become the 43rd governor of Illinois on Monday. He won in part by promising to make college more affordable, improve the state’s finances, and reform the criminal justice system.

Statehouse editor Brian Mackey sat down with Pritzker over the weekend for a conversation focused on his policy agenda, the problems facing Illinois, and ethics in government.

The Pritzker Agenda

Jan 11, 2019

Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker takes office next week on the heels of the most decisive election victory in a generation. And he’ll be working to pass his agenda through the biggest Democratic majorities in the General Assembly since the 1960s.

That raises a question: What precisely does that agenda consist of? 

With two weeks until Illinois’ inauguration day, Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker is still filling key roles in his administration. He’s departing from tradition by including his lieutenant governor among them.

News Analysis — This coming Sunday, December 9, marks the 10th anniversary of the day the FBI arrested Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.

The event led to his impeachment, criminal conviction and a 14-year prison sentence. There were also changes in state ethics laws.

But there are those who say the corruption was not the worst part of the Blagojevich administration — and I am among them. I'll make that argument in this week's Illinois Issues in-depth report.

Illinois election officials say there’s been a huge spike in early voting this year. But it’s not yet clear just what that means.

The upcoming general election will decide whether Republican Bruce Rauner gets another term as Illinois governor or if the voters will choose to go with Democrat J.B. Pritzker.

But there’s one outcome of the election we already know for certain: Illinois will continue its experiment with amateur politicians running state government.

The Democratic candidate for Illinois governor is facing a racial discrimination lawsuit against his campaign — from his own campaign workers.

Ten current and former staffers accuse J.B. Pritzker’s campaign operation of subjecting them to harassment and retaliation. Pritzker denies the accusations.

The major party candidates for Illinois governor met for the second of three debates Wednesday night, and both men stuck mostly to the same attacks they’ve making for months.

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

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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

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

The Illinois Governor’s Mansion reopened Saturday after a multi-million-dollar renovation.

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