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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For the first time, an infant was among the newly discovered cases of COVID-19 announced daily by the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Officials on Sunday said they’d confirmed 296 new cases of coronavirus disease, though official tallies are thought to significantly understate the actual number of infections.

Despite fear and uncertainty amid a global pandemic, hundreds of thousands of Illinois voters turned out for Tuesday’s primary election. Overall, however, turnout was down significantly compared to the last presidential primary in 2016.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is ordering the cancellation of any event with more than 50 people. It’s the latest mandate in the ongoing effort to slow the spread of coronavirus disease.

Illinois takes drastic steps to slow the spread of coronavirus disease, including banning sporting events and other large gatherings. Meanwhile, politicians are deciding how to campaign amid a global pandemic with just days to go before Illinois’ primary election.

Citing the risk from coronavirus disease, the Illinois Department on Aging is ordering senior centers to close.

Citing concerns about coronavirus disease, the Illinois General Assembly is cancelling session for next week. Authorities are also restricting other large gatherings in the Capitol building.

Illinois politicians would be allowed to use campaign money to pay for child care under legislation being considered in the General Assembly.

With less than a month until Illinois’ primary election, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders is leading in a new poll of Illinois voters. But the field is still quite divided.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is already making plans to spend money from a significant change in the state income tax, even though it can only happen if voters agree to amend the Illinois Constitution this November.

A significant chunk of Pritzker’s annual budget proposal, delivered Wednesday, depends on the governor's graduated income tax.

A bipartisan group of lawmakers has introduced an amendment to the Illinois Constitution meant to transform the way legislative district boundaries are created here.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker wants to elbow Iowa and New Hampshire out of the way in future presidential elections — so Illinois can seize the starring role in the primaries.

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan is defending his handling of harassment and assault complaints against former state Rep. Jack Franks.

An audit is criticizing cybersecurity practices at the Illinois State Board of Elections, but the board is taking issue with some of the findings.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker used his State of the State address Wednesday to call for a culture change in Illinois government — particularly when it comes to corruption.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker is set to deliver his first stand-alone State of the State address Wednesday. Here’s a preview of what he’s expected to say — and what some lawmakers want to hear.

Last weekend, lawmakers elected Don Harmon to be president of the Illinois Senate. It’s been described as a bitter fight, but it has nothing on some of the conflicts from Illinois’ past, including one particularly “discreditable row” from the year 1857.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s personal lawyers are seeking to keep him from having to sit for a deposition in a racial discrimination lawsuit against his campaign.

There is a new president of the Illinois Senate: Don Harmon, a Democrat from Oak Park, won the support of his colleagues during a special meeting Sunday afternoon.

As the U.S. Senate prepares for President Trump’s impeachment trial, Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin has a warning for his colleagues.

This week, WBEZ Chicago reported on a 2012 email in which then-lobbyist Mike McClain priased a former state worker for having “kept his mouth shut on ... the rape in Champaign,” among other things.

Tuesday marks one year since J.B. Pritzker was sworn in as governor of Illinois. Since then, the state has raised its minimum wage, legalized marijuana, and passed several other pieces of legislation long sought by Democrats.

Pritzker marked the occasion with a series of interviews, including with our Statehouse reporter.

Friday was the deadline for major party presidential candidates to try to get on the ballot for Illinois’ upcoming primary election.

Marijuana sales began with more than $3 million in sales on New Year’s Day. Backers of the law, however, say that news ought to take a back seat to the more than 11,000 pardons for past pot convictions Gov. J.B. Pritzker issued a day earlier.

As we close the book on 2019, we thought we’d take a few minutes to listen back to what has been a most consequential year in Illinois government and politics. From novice politicians taking power to a flood of major legislation, these are some of the voices that made news in 2019.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker on Tuesday issued pardons for more than 11,000 low-level marijuana convictions.

It would be difficult to overstate how consequential the past year was in Illinois government and politics. This week on State Week, the panel looks back at some of the top stories of 2019.

Illinois U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin says some of his colleagues have gone too far in public comments about President Trump's impeachment.

Freshman Illinois Congresswoman Lauren Underwood says she will vote to impeach President Donald Trump.

Illinois Governor J.B. Pritzker said Monday he has not spoken to House Speaker Michael Madigan about a series of federal inquiries. That’s despite reports that investigators appear to be targeting the speaker's inner circle.

Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker is giving $5 million to a campaign supporting a graduated income tax. It’s the first reported contribution in what’s expected to be an expensive fight over the state’s tax policy.

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