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.

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Illinois lawmakers introduced an electricity rate increase meant to save two western Illinois nuclear power plants, and their associated jobs.  However, the measure is facing significant opposition.

Exelon, ComEd's parent company, says it's losing money on nuclear power plants in Clinton and the Quad Cities.  Critics say the measure is a bailout -- and the largest rate increase in Illinois history.   Lobbyist Dave Lundy urged lawmakers to reject the plan.


Courtesy Brian Mackey/All Rights Reserved

Illinois residents are being asked to vote on a constitutional amendment.  It would limit the use of money from license plate renewals, gas taxes, and other such fees specifically to transportation projects.  

The measure has bipartisan support, but could it threaten funding for state parks?  

Carter Staley/ NPR Illinois

Illinois’ capital city recently hosted its final naturalization ceremony before this year’s election.  Fifty-eight men and women entered Springfield’s old state capitol as citizens of 30 nations.  An hour later, they left as citizens of one. 

WNIJ continues the series, A Nation Engaged, by asking these new citizens two questions:  What does it mean to be an American, and what can the next president do to advance your vision?  

A federal judge has put limits on election-day voter registration in Illinois.

The law in question allowed people in the most-populated parts of the state to register at their polling place, while the county seat was the only option for rural voters.

Jacob Huebert, with the conservative Liberty Justice Center which sued over the law, said it wasn’t fair.

“That’s giving an opportunity — an important opportunity — to people in high-population counties that it doesn’t give to people in low-population counties,” he said.

"Courtroom One Gavel" by Flickr User Beth Cortez-Neavel / (CC BY 2.0)

Illinois is more than a year behind on payments to people who've been wronged by state government.

These individuals can seek compensation through the Court of Claims.  Its caseload ranges from injuries caused by state workers, to the pleas of people unjustly imprisoned for crimes they did not commit.

Claims Court Chief Justice Peter Birnbaum says the court hasn't let the budget impasse interfere with its work.