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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MIKAELA LEFRAK / WAMU

With more student protests expected after the shooting in Parkland, Fla., the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois is encouraging schools to "nurture your students’ efforts to learn for themselves about participatory democracy."

In an open letter published Monday, the civil liberties group suggests excusing absences for students who demonstrate.

CANDIDATES' CAMPAIGNS

How would contenders for the state's top legal office have handled the budget stalemate?

One of the limitations of modern political debates is that candidates are usually only asked what they'll do. But in this era of political dysfunction and governmental obstruction, it can be just as important to know what a candidate might choose not to do.

FLICKR USER MORGNAR / (CC x 2.0)

A divided Illinois Supreme Court says it was OK for the government to seize a woman’s Harley-Davidson — even though it was her husband who used it to drive drunk.

Petra Henderson had been driving her husband to various bars, but eventually he jumped on her Harley and basically told her: Get on or walk home.

The state says by getting on, Henderson was consenting to let her husband drive, and basically enabling a crime.

Five of the Supreme Court justices agreed with that logic.

Brian Mackey / NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS

Most of the Democrats running for governor of Illinois have long since come out in favor of a graduated income tax, where wealthier people pay a higher rate on income above a certain amount. But it wasn’t until Thursday that one candidate said what he thought that amount ought to be.

The concept of a graduated income tax has been embraced by state Sen. Daniel Biss, J.B. Pritzker, Chris Kennedy, and Bob Daiber.

A law taking effect January first is meant to force Illinois government to be more honest about its money problems.

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