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.

The minimum wage, abortion rights, and the state budget were among the rallying points for women marching on the Illinois Statehouse Tuesday. The event put liberal issues — and Democratic candidates — front and center.

Women from across Illinois are expected in Springfield today for a march and rally at the Statehouse.

The event is drawing a long list of Democratic officials and activists. Senate President John Cullerton and other state politicians will be joined by three gubernatorial candidates and the Rev. Jesse Jackson.

Jessie Schlacks / WNIJ

Two Illinois State Senators are pushing to fight what they say is discrimination in car-insurance pricing.

The effort follows an investigation by Consumer Reports and ProPublica that found people in minority neighborhoods pay up to 30 percent more than drivers in white areas, even when they have the same accident risk.

Tanya Watkins is with the Chicago activist group SOUL — Southsiders Organized for Unity and Liberation.

Illinois’ population losses are frequently cited in debates over the state’s tax rates and business laws.
Last year, Census figures show it was tied for the greatest rate of people leaving the state.

But Sarah Crane, with Moody’s Analytics, says a federal immigration crackdown could make it even worse.

"Any policies that severely curtail immigration will hurt the state's population growth even more than expected, in addition to labor force growth.”

M. Spencer Green/AP

The Illinois Senate approved legislation meant to address record gun violence in Chicago.

It's intended to push judges into imposing longer prison sentences on repeat gun offenders.
It passed on a vote of 35 to 9, but several legislators voted “present” — or didn’t vote at all.

Democrat Jackie Collins of Chicago, says “locking up more people is not the solution to gun violence.”

“What is needed is economic development, police reform, and stopping the flow of illegal guns in communities ravaged by deep concentrations of poverty and hopelessness.”

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