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.

Some Illinois politicians are making a push to eliminate time limits on when people can be prosecuted for child sex crimes.

The move was prompted by the case of former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert.   

Although he pleaded guilty to violating federal banking laws, Hastert's 15-month sentence took into account his admission that he sexually abused teenage boys when he was a high school wrestling coach.

Brian Mackey

In the political gridlock that’s seized Illinois government, much of the attention has centered on the fight between Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Democratic leaders in the General Assembly.

But a new analysis says someone else should share the blame: voters. The people of Illinois are giving politicians contradictory instructions -- namely, keep taxes low but state services high.

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.

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.