Amanda Vinicky

217-206-6019

Read Amanda's "Leadership" blog.

Amanda Vinicky has covered Illinois politics and government for WUIS and the Illinois Public Radio network since 2006.  Highlights include reporting on the historic impeachment and removal from office of former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, winning a national award for her coverage of Illinois' electric rate fight as a result of deregulation, and following Illinois' delegations to the Democratic and Republican national political conventions in '08 and '12.  

Though she's full-time with WUIS now, she previously interned with the station in graduate school; she graduated from the University of Illinois Springfield's Public Affairs Reporting program in '05.  She also holds degrees in journalism and political science from the University of Illinois Urbana Champaign. 

Amanda is insatiably curious, so please reach out to her and get in touch if you notice something interesting going on at the Capitol! She can be reached at (217) 206-6019 or (773) 217-0316. If she's not in the statehouse bureau, you can usually find Amanda tweeting, dining at a local restaurant, taking a jog around Springfield or Chicago or practicing yoga. 

WUIS

Low-level marijuana users may soon catch a break in Illinois. Rather than going to jail, it would be more like getting a speeding ticket.

The repercussions for having pot vary; Rep. Kelly Cassidy, D-Chicago, says there are more than 100 different local ordinances all over the state.

An architectural rendering of the proposed Lucas Museum of Narrative Art, which may be built on Chicago's lakefront. Credit LMNA Architecture Renderings / Lucas Museum of Narrative Art press kit

The force of the Illinois legislature is behind bringing George Lucas's museum and Barack Obama's presidential library to Chicago.

A measure to ward off legal problems that could prevent the Star Wars creator's museum and the President's library from being located in Chicago first popped up Wednesday evening. 

Less than 24 hours later, it's on the way to the governor. It's supposed to take at three days at minimum for that to happen.

But this measure had support from leaders like House Speaker Michael Madigan.

WUIS

Low level marijuana users may soon catch a break in Illinois. Rather than going to jail, it'd be more like getting a speeding ticket.

The repercussions for having pot vary; Rep. Kelly Cassidy says there are more than 100 different local ordinances all over the state.

"And the outcome from this patchwork system puts in place an unjust and confusing system wherein where you live and what you look like dictates whether or not you'll be arrested for extremely low-level marijuana possession," Cassidy said.

FLICKR User Jim Bowen

There's a hold-up over efforts to save programs dealing with autism and drug prevention from ending in Illinois. It seems like advocates should be celebrating.

After Gov. Bruce Rauner says he was forced to earlier this month suddenly pull $26 million worth of state grants, the Illinois Senate used the legislative version of searching under the couch cushions for change.

senatorraoul.com

Illinois lawmakers are trying to help bring President Barack Obama's library and George Lucas' proposed museum to Chicago.

A Senate committee approved a measure to ensure the city has legal authority to build on park land. Its sponsor -- Democratic Sen. Kwame Raoul -- introduced the measure yesterday.

“The bill also makes clear that previously submerged land can be used for museums,” Raoul said. “And that provision is in the bill to address a question raised by a federal judge in ongoing litigation.”

Flickr user Jim Bowen / "Illinois State Capitol" (CC BY 2.0)

There's a hold-up over efforts to programs dealing with autism and drug prevention from ending. It seems like advocates should be celebrating.

After Gov. Bruce Rauner says he was forced to earlier this month suddenly pull $26 million worth of state grants, the Illinois Senate used the legislative version of searching under the couch cushions for change.

It may seem ridiculous to call $26 million "change," but in the scope of the state $32 billion budget, it's a small fraction. The plan with Senate Bill 274 is to gather the money from reserves in special state funds.

Public school teachers and their unions may be next, as Gov. Bruce Rauner seeks to loosen requirements on collective bargaining dues.

flickr/dankdepot

Patients with certain illnesses are on their way to being able to use medical marijuana in Illinois, but time is running out.

Illinois' medical marijuana program is set to continue for another two and a half years. Sick people haven't even been able to legally buy cannabis yet.

Democratic Rep. Lou Lang says that wasn't his intent; he'd wanted the program to last twice that long. Lang blames a delay in Illinois awarding licenses to firms to grow and sell cannabis.

Today marks Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's 100th day in office. He sat down in the Capitol for a one-on-one interview with WUIS Statehouse Bureau Chief Amanda Vinicky.


Copyright 2015 WUIS-FM. To see more, visit http://www.wuis.org/.

Illinois' budget, and Gov. Bruce Rauner's influence on it, will be examined by a special legislative committee. The powerful House Speaker announced its creation today.

It's either a sign of a contentious budget battle, or an early attempt at reaching a compromise.

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