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.

Flickr user 401(K) 2012 / "Money" (CC v. 2.0)

Illinois’ top politicians are divided on how to end their feud over passing a full budget. 

Republicans are holding out for Governor Bruce Rauner’s agenda.  It includes changes to workers compensation and imposes term limits on lawmakers.

House Minority Leader Jim Durkin says Republicans will be happy to talk about balancing the budget if these measures are implemented. 

Exelon Generation

Illinois lawmakers are considering whether to approve an energy deal on behalf of Exelon. Without it, the power company says it will close nuclear plants in Clinton and the Quad Cities.

Exelon says there are about 1,500 workers between the two plants, plus thousands of other local jobs that would be affected. Vice President David Fine says the average ComEd residential customer would see her bill go up by less than 25 cents a month over the 10 years of the deal. "And in the first couple years," Fine says, "we anticipate there'll actually be a savings — a rate decrease."

"Satsop Nuclear Power Plant" by Flickr User Tony Webster / (CC BY 2.0)

Illinois legislators are considering whether to approve an energy deal on behalf of power company Exelon.

Without it, the corporation says it will close its nuclear plants in Clinton and the Quad Cities.

Exelon says there are about 1,500 workers between the two plants, plus thousands of other local jobs that would be affected.

Exelon vice president David Fine says the average ComEd residential customer would see her bill go up by less than 25 cents a month over the 10 years of the deal.

"Money" By Flickr User Pictures of Money / (CC BY 2.0)

The Illinois government will run out of spending authority in just over a month. 

Leading lawmakers discussed the problem Monday, but even those in the meeting aren’t sure whether progress is being made.

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner wants his corporate agenda passed before he'll talk about balancing the budget through taxes and spending cuts.  But Democrats have, until now, stressed the need for a budget to come first.  

Wikimedia Commons

Illinois lawmakers introduced an electricity rate increase meant to save two western Illinois nuclear power plants, and their associated jobs.  However, the measure is facing significant opposition.

Exelon, ComEd's parent company, says it's losing money on nuclear power plants in Clinton and the Quad Cities.  Critics say the measure is a bailout -- and the largest rate increase in Illinois history.   Lobbyist Dave Lundy urged lawmakers to reject the plan.

 

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