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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State and federal legislators from Illinois are proposing new laws in response to Sunday’s mass shooting in Las Vegas.

Brian Mackey/NPR Illinois

State Rep. David Harris is the latest in a growing list of Illinois lawmakers who say they’re not running for re-election.

Harris, R-Arlington Heights, has been attacked for breaking with his party to raise taxes and end the state's two-year budget impasse.

“The fact that we now have a budget, I think, is a good thing," Harris said Wednesday in a telephone interview. "It prevented the state from going to the status of junk bonds, which would have been disastrous."

Harris said he’s worried the Republican Party has become too divided.

FLICKR User Jim Bowen

Illinois politicians continue reacting to Sunday’s mass shooting in Las Vegas, but responses are falling down party lines.

As happens with just about every mass shooting, and the more routine violence that plagues parts of cities like Chicago, Democrats say it shows the need for tighter gun laws.

Illinois U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin says military-grade weapons should not be considered normal.

But Republicans prefer to set aside those conversation, which is what Gov. Bruce Rauner did when asked whether he would support a so-called assault weapons ban.

Illinois financial regulators are recommending an increase in the fees that currency exchanges charge for cashing checks. Opponents say it will hurt the state's poorest residents.

Currency exchanges petitioned the state for the higher rate — which could be up to 3%, depending on the amount of the check.

They say the move to direct deposit and pre-paid cards has cut into profits — putting the industry into decline.

A federal indictment alleges Larry Wyllie misused taxpayer money to build a dog-training school and to give himself a retirement bonus. It also says that, as superintendent, he lied about the finances of Lincoln-Way High School District 210, using money borrowed for construction to pay for regular expenses.

District 210 mainly serves Frankfort, Mokena and New Lenox, southwest of Chicago. Household income and property values are well above the state average; yet, among hundreds of Illinois school systems, Lincoln-Way’s finances are ranked third from the bottom.

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