Brian Mackey | WGLT

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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As the COVID-19 pandemic spreads and the number of confirmed cases and deaths in Illinois increases, the state faces a growing medical, social, and economic crisis.  Governor J.B. Pritzker is urging people to abide by his "Stay at Home" order and calling on the federal government for more help.

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.

Illinoisans voted in the primary election as COVID-19 continued its spread across the state.

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.

Updated 9:50 p.m. Saturday, March 14

On Saturday evening, Sangamon County health officials announced there are two confirmed cases of coronavirus disease in Springfield.

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.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker is closing all schools in Illinois — public and private — for two weeks. It’s the latest way the state is trying to prevent local spread of the global COVID-19 pandemic.

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 new cases of the coronavirus disease known as COVID-19, Illinois public health officials say the question of the virus spreading here is no longer a question of if, but when and how widely. At least two Chicago conventions were canceled, though officials say the risk to most Illinoisans remains low.

The Illinois House voted this week to ban red-light cameras in some of the state’s communities, but the legislation leaves out Chicago and some of the biggest suburbs.

Meanwhile, reproductive health activists lined up behind a push to bring comprehensive health and sexual education to all public school kids in Illinois, from grades K-12.

Gov. J.B. Pritzker presents his budget to the General Assembly, WBEZ reports on another trove of emails to and from Speaker Michael Madigan's top aides, and former Gov. Rod Blagovich gets an early release from prison.

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.

This week a bipartisan group of Illinois lawmakers introduced a constitutional amendment that would create an independent commission to draw the boundaries of legislative districts.

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

A former legislative ethics watchdog calls out the Ethics Commission, former state Rep. Luis Arroyo pleads not guilty (but is thought to be cooperating with the feds), and Gov. J.B. Pritzker wants Illinois to supplant Iowa and New Hampshire at the front of the presidential primaries.

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 focused on corruption in his State of the State address this week, a day after former state Sen. Martin Sandoval pleaded guilty to soliciting bribes for doing his job.

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.

State Sen. Don Harmon is now president of the Illinois Senate. Meanwhile, state officials say more than 500 non-citizens were inadvertently registered to vote.

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.

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

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.

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