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.

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University of Illinois

The administration of Gov. Bruce Rauner is touting the low interest rate Illinois got in last week’s bond sale. But at least one public finance expert says that’s not the full story. 

Given Illinois’ low credit rating and ongoing fiscal disaster, it was expected the state would have to promise a bigger payday in order to attract investors to its bond sale.

Instead, Illinois got a historically low interest rate — which the Rauner administration wasted no time in touting.

elliottaviation.com

The Illinois Constitution says you can’t have laws targeting individual people or businesses.

To get around that, lawmakers will sometimes pass bills that seem general but everyone knows who’s benefiting.

That’s what happened for Elliott Aviation, which services private and corporate planes in Moline.

In order to encourage expansion here in Illinois rather than in Iowa, lawmakers voted to eliminate property tax bills for private aviation companies at Quad City International Airport.

The local school district sued, saying the law would cost it $150,000 a year.

Brian Mackey

Illinois US Senator Dick Durbin continues to tamp down speculation that he might run for governor in 2018.

Illinois is approaching a full year without a budget — owing largely to the stalemate between Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and the Democrats who control the legislature.

That has some Democrats looking ahead to 2018 — whispering about Durbin as a possible candidate.

Gov. Bruce Rauner marked the end of the legislative session with a blistering attack on Democratic legislators. He then embarked on an eight-city tour — mostly downstate — where he continued his critique.

One of Rauner’s main messages is that Democrats are holding the state budget “hostage” in order to get their way. I thought that accusation of political ill-will had a familiar ring, so I decided to take a closer look at the governor’s communication strategy.

Former Gov. Jim Edgar expressed a dim view of stopgap funding measures during an appearance Tuesday on the public radio program The 21st. He also shared his views on whether current Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Democratic supermajorities in the legislature will ever come to terms on the anti-union aspects of the governor’s "Turnaround Agenda."

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