Brian Mackey

Brian Mackey covers state government and politics for WUIS and a dozen other public radio stations across Illinois. 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) 206-6412.

Subscribe to Brian Mackey's State of the State podcast on WUIS' podcast page, or by copying this URL into iTunes or any other podcast app.

M. Spencer Green/AP

A group of Chicago-area legislators are once again planning to push for tougher gun laws.

It comes the wake of last year’s increase in violence in parts of the city. State Representative Mike Zalewski says the proposal would force judges to impose longer prison sentences on people who carry guns illegally, or carefully explain their reasoning if they choose not to.The Riverside Democrat says the idea is to make court decisions more transparent. 

“Judges will be guided by the fact that the General Assembly wishes you to take your time on these cases," he said.  

Flickr user Mark Hillary / "My bed" (CC BY 2.0)

The Illinois Supreme Court considered a case Thursday that asks whether not-for-profit hospitals have to pay property taxes.

The case involves Urbana-based Carle hospital and clinics — though it could affect health systems across Illinois.  

At issue is the constitutionality of a state law that exempts not-for-profit hospitals from paying property taxes.

Laurel Prussing, the mayor of Urbana, says losing that tax money cost the city 11 percent of its tax base. 

llinois state legislators opened a new two-year session of the Illinois General Assembly Wednesday. Amid the ceremonies and celebrations, the focus remains on the political stalemate that's left Illinois without a budget for more than 18 months.

Democrats remain in firm control of the General Assembly, so it's not surprising Michael Madigan was re-elected speaker of the House for a 17th time. That's despite a Republican Party campaign to pressure Democrats into dropping him.

Wikipedia

The Illinois House approved a plan meant to help victims of violent crime across the state.  

Many people who commit crime started out as victims. And in some neighborhoods, this can lead to a cycle of trauma and retribution.  The plan would  address the role of trauma in criminal behavior, targeting high-risk, underserved communities. People would be on the ground, building relationships to help victims better deal with their grief and anger. 

 

US Senator Dick Durbin says he has "deep concerns" about president-elect Donald Trump's choice for attorney general.

The Illinois Democrat met Wednesday with nominee Jeff Sessions, a Republican senator from Alabama.

Durbin says he asked Sessions about his longstanding position against special protections for immigrants who were brought to America illegally as children.

Pages