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.

Flickr user Mark Hillary / "My bed" (CC BY 2.0)

The Illinois Supreme Court considered a case Thursday that asks whether not-for-profit hospitals have to pay property taxes.

The case involves Urbana-based Carle hospital and clinics — though it could affect health systems across Illinois.  

At issue is the constitutionality of a state law that exempts not-for-profit hospitals from paying property taxes.

Laurel Prussing, the mayor of Urbana, says losing that tax money cost the city 11 percent of its tax base. 

llinois state legislators opened a new two-year session of the Illinois General Assembly Wednesday. Amid the ceremonies and celebrations, the focus remains on the political stalemate that's left Illinois without a budget for more than 18 months.

Democrats remain in firm control of the General Assembly, so it's not surprising Michael Madigan was re-elected speaker of the House for a 17th time. That's despite a Republican Party campaign to pressure Democrats into dropping him.

Wikipedia

The Illinois House approved a plan meant to help victims of violent crime across the state.  

Many people who commit crime started out as victims. And in some neighborhoods, this can lead to a cycle of trauma and retribution.  The plan would  address the role of trauma in criminal behavior, targeting high-risk, underserved communities. People would be on the ground, building relationships to help victims better deal with their grief and anger. 

 

US Senator Dick Durbin says he has "deep concerns" about president-elect Donald Trump's choice for attorney general.

The Illinois Democrat met Wednesday with nominee Jeff Sessions, a Republican senator from Alabama.

Durbin says he asked Sessions about his longstanding position against special protections for immigrants who were brought to America illegally as children.

Brian Mackey/Illinois Public Radio

Partisan gridlock has caused Illinois to run without a full budget for more than a year-and-a-half. But there's one area Democrats and Republicans are working together.

It's one of the rare bright spots in Springfield: Members of both parties have been coming together to improve the criminal justice system.

"I think that's right. In fact, in the bill that you just called me about -- there was very strong bipartisan support."

Representative Barbara Flynn Currie is majority leader in the Illinois House. The "bill" she referred to is now a law.

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