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.

Governor Bruce Rauner says three of Illinois’ leading Democrats are conspiring to shut down state government.

Rauner made the accusation Wednesday in response to legal disagreements he’s had with Comptroller Susana Mendoza and Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

RAUNER: “Comptroller Mendoza takes her orders from Speaker Madigan, and they are working together to create a crisis and shut down the government.”

MENDOZA: “For the record: The only person who tells me what to do is my mother.”

Liberal Illinois lawmakers and citizens' groups celebrated International Women’s Day at the state Capitol.

 

The all-Democratic list of speakers didn’t shy away from politics. There were shots at the governor, and talk of a legislative platform focused on social services and health care access for women.

But Democratic state Senator Toi Hutchinson of Olympia Fields says there is respect for GOP women. She gave the example of Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno, who launched the “grand bargain” negotiations.

Flickr user Daniel Borman / "Money, Money, Money" (CC BY 2.0)

lllinois senators are putting Governor Bruce Rauner’s agency directors under the magnifying glass. It’s part of the ongoing fallout from Rauner’s move to block the bipartisan "grand bargain," which is meant to end Illinois’ 20-month budget stalemate. 

The governor’s budget relies on the proposal, or it will be short by $4.6 billion.  State Senator Patricia Van Pelt grilled Public Health director Nirav Shah. 

Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

Illinois moved a few inches closer to having a budget Tuesday. The state Senate began voting on its so-called “grand bargain.”

The deal has changes to business law long favored by Republicans, and a tax hike members of both parties have said is necessary to balance the state budget.

But none of that was called for a vote yet; instead, senators passed relatively easier bills, like those meant to make state and local government more efficient.

State of Illinois

Members of the Illinois Senate return to Springfield Tuesday. They’re once again expected to vote on a deal meant to end Illinois’ budget stalemate.

  

The top Republican and Democrat in the Senate have been working on this compromise since December.

It has changes to Illinois law meant to help businesses, higher income taxes meant to begin balancing the state budget, and a property tax freeze.

Senate Republicans have been reluctant to seal the deal — wanting to make sure they were getting enough of their priorities in exchange for their votes on a tax hike.

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