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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Springfield’s top political leaders are continuing to meet in private as the clock runs down on Illinois’ budget year.

Democrats and Republicans are continuing to negotiate in Springfield as Illinois is approaching two years without a budget. Both sides are narrowing their focus.

MOUNT VERNON — A case with the potential to upend Illinois' budget impasse was argued Tuesday before the Fifth District Appellate Court.

A nonpartisan research group says Illinois’ desperate financial condition is getting even worse.

The Civic Federation of Chicago says unless something is done soon, by next year the state’s pile of unpaid bills could consume half of all new tax revenue.

Ten Republican senators voted for at least one bill in the grand bargain. We asked all of them about Gov. Bruce Rauner's role in stopping them from going further.

This week, a second Democrat declared his candidacy for governor. Chris Kennedy is a businessman and former chairman of the University of Illinois’ board of trustees. He’s also a member of one of the most prominent families in Democratic politics — a son of Robert Kennedy, the former Attorney General and presidential candidate, assassinated in 1968.

Democrats say no. Rauner says yes. Brian Mackey tries to figure out who's right.

Illinois legislators return to Springfield Monday. Disagreements between Democrats and Republicans have left state government without a full budget for more than 18 months — though Senate leaders are now said be trying to hammer out a compromise.

Who should pay for the Illinois courts?

Gov. Bruce Rauner marked the end of the legislative session with a blistering attack on Democratic legislators. He then embarked on an eight-city tour — mostly downstate — where he continued his critique.

One of Rauner’s main messages is that Democrats are holding the state budget “hostage” in order to get their way. I thought that accusation of political ill-will had a familiar ring, so I decided to take a closer look at the governor’s communication strategy.

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