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 legislators are trying to help state taxpayers get around limitations in the new federal tax law. But the federal government may negate the plan before it even has a chance to become law.

Conversations around gun violence often revolve around long-term solutions, like improving schools or the local economy.

But even if those things were easy — and they’re not — it would take a generation to realize the benefits.

And for the Illinoisans living and dying in these communities — mostly low-income, black communities — they don’t have time to wait.

BRIAN MACKEY / NPR ILLINOIS

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?

The question may sound simple, but the answer, like most things in state government, is complicated.

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

The University of Illinois president told a panel of lawmakers Thursday that he'd like to maintain a freeze on tuition rates.

Tim Killeen, president of the U. of I. system, spoke directly to state Sen. Dan McConchie, whose daughter received financial aid offers from other Big Ten universities, but not the U. of I.

Consequently, she’s joining thousands of other traditional college students moving out of state.

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

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

The auditor general’s report found that the governor’s office hasn’t kept track of state equipment, like a missing sofa. It also says the administration couldn’t name who was responsible for a computer that had vanished, or whether it contained confidential information.

Rauner says “nobody’s perfect.”

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