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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The Illinois law meant to prohibit distracted driving may not prohibit watching videos behind the wheel, so state lawmakers are trying to change it.

The Illinois State Police says its cars have been hit 14 times this year — more than in each of the previous three years in their entirety.

The Illinois State Police was under fire Monday for the state’s huge backlog in testing crime-scene DNA.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker wants to create a host of new taxes to help balance Illinois’ budget — on everything from e-cigarettes to medical insurance companies.

NPR Illinois reporters have been breaking down those revenue-generating ideas. Today we’re looking at a potential tax on shopping bags.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker delivered his first budget address at a time of acute fiscal distress for the state of Illinois. It also comes after Democrats have taken total control of the executive and legislative branches of state government, including supermajorities in the Illinois House and Senate.

For this week's Illinois Issues report, NPR Illinois reporters analyzed the governor's speech:

There is a mystery at the heart of Illinois government. Statehouse reporters have been in private discussions about it for weeks. After internal deliberations here at public radio, we thought it was finally time to go public.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker spent his first full day in office taking steps aimed at setting himself apart from his predecessor.

J.B. Pritzker is set to become the 43rd governor of Illinois on Monday. He won in part by promising to make college more affordable, improve the state’s finances, and reform the criminal justice system.

Statehouse editor Brian Mackey sat down with Pritzker over the weekend for a conversation focused on his policy agenda, the problems facing Illinois, and ethics in government.

For the first time in more than two decades, the Illinois House of Representatives has a new majority leader. And the appointment is breaking new ground.

The Pritzker Agenda

Jan 10, 2019

Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker takes office next week on the heels of the most decisive election victory in a generation. And he’ll be working to pass his agenda through the biggest Democratic majorities in the General Assembly since the 1960s.

That raises a question: What precisely does that agenda consist of? 

Illinois is continuing to lose population, according to new Census estimates out Wednesday.

Anti-abortion groups are once again going before the Illinois Supreme Court.

They're trying to block last year’s new law allowing state government to pay for abortions.

Illinois Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker is making legalizing marijuana one of his top priorities.

News Analysis — This coming Sunday, December 9, marks the 10th anniversary of the day the FBI arrested Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.

The event led to his impeachment, criminal conviction and a 14-year prison sentence. There were also changes in state ethics laws.

But there are those who say the corruption was not the worst part of the Blagojevich administration — and I am among them. I'll make that argument in this week's Illinois Issues in-depth report.

The Illinois Supreme Court on Tuesday heard its first-ever case on Illinois’ tough biometric privacy law, which imposes restrictions on the collection of things like retina scans and fingerprints.

At issue is whether people can sue just for having their information collected.

A new report suggests a third of the deaths in Illinois prisons are preventable.

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan says he expects to work “very well” with Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker and will support two of Pritzker’s major proposals.

Billionaire J.B. Pritzker’s big investment paid off. The Illinois Democrat soundly defeated incumbent Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner Tuesday night.

It’s thought to be the most expensive governor's race in American history. And Pritzker's win gives Democrats complete control of Illinois government.

A day after defeating incumbent Bruce Rauner, Illinois Gov.-elect J.B. Pritzker is beginning his transition into government.

Illinois election officials say there’s been a huge spike in early voting this year. But it’s not yet clear just what that means.

Days before the election, a leading motorcycle group is rescinding its endorsement of Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner.

The Democratic candidate for Illinois governor is facing a racial discrimination lawsuit against his campaign — from his own campaign workers.

Ten current and former staffers accuse J.B. Pritzker’s campaign operation of subjecting them to harassment and retaliation. Pritzker denies the accusations.

The major party candidates for Illinois governor met for the second of three debates Wednesday night, and both men stuck mostly to the same attacks they’ve making for months.

A new poll shows Illinois Democrats are far more enthusiastic about voting in this fall’s election than Republicans.

Non-profit hospitals in Illinois will still get to avoid paying property taxes. That’s after a ruling Thursday by the Illinois Supreme Court.

A new report says Illinois state government is at “elevated risk” in the event of an economic downturn.

As of Monday, there are 50 days until Election Day. And in the race for Illinois governor, debate season is finally getting underway.

Illinois Supreme Court Justice Anne Burke is again pressing Catholic church officials on the issue of abuse.

Thousands of Illinois Democrats met Thursday in Springfield for the party’s annual state fair brunch.

Candidates repeated familiar attacks on Republicans. But some say they need to do more.

Gov. Bruce Rauner has signed legislation meant to bring state jobs back to Springfield.

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