Amanda Vinicky

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. 

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Illinois
4:02 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Inspector General Discloses Political Hiring Investigation

Attorney Michael Shakman's lawsuit accuses Gov. Pat Quinn's administration of political hiring at the Illinois Department of Transportation, which until late June was headed by Anne Schneider. In this photo, taken in April, Schneider is introducing a state roads plan with Quinn by her side.

Originally published on Thu July 24, 2014 6:56 pm

  As Gov. Pat Quinn battles a lawsuit accusing his administration of political hiring, the state watchdog charged with investigating ethics violations is asking to get involved.

Confidentiality restrictions prevent the Inspector General from saying what he is or isn't looking into.

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Illinois
4:33 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Illinois' Credit Prognosis: Negative

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 6:29 pm

Wall Street's view of Illinois' financial health has taken a hit, thanks largely to the state budget that took effect at the start of this month. Pensions also continue to be a drag. 

When Illinois Democrats passed the state's latest budget, many seemed to hold their nose. Credit ratings agencies are more direct: Standard & Poors has revised Illinois' credit outlook to "negative." 

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NPR Story
4:07 am
Wed July 23, 2014

Trucker Asks: Are Police Above The Law?

A screenshot of the video Brian Miner posted of being pulled over in June by an Illinois State Trooper.

Originally published on Tue July 22, 2014 7:58 pm

It has been just over half a year since Illinois made it illegal to talk on your phone while driving without the use of a hands-free device. There are some exceptions: you can hold your phone if your car is stopped -- say at a railroad crossing for a freight train -- and in park or neutral, or if you pull off onto the shoulder. The law also makes an exemption for law enforcement. A recent YouTube sensation that raises the question: should police get special treatment?

    

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Rauner Initiative
5:35 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Supreme Court Won't Take Up Term Limits

Originally published on Thu July 17, 2014 5:22 pm

  An effort to institute term limits in Illinois has hit a major road block. The state Supreme Court says it will not rush to hear the case.

 The Supreme Court's decision could be the end of Republican Bruce Rauner's term limits initiative.

Limiting how long legislators can be in Illinois' General Assembly has been a staple of his campaign for governor.

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NPR Story
5:41 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Election-Year Fight Over What's Next In Probe Of Quinn's NRI

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 6:02 pm

After a day-long meeting Wednesday, a legislative commission will meet again Thursday morning in Chicago. They're set to begin with a call to the U.S. Attorney's office. Democrats and Republicans are at a standstill over what to do next in their probe of Gov. Pat Quinn's controversial anti-violence program.

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Politics
6:35 am
Wed July 16, 2014

Lawmakers To Decide Whether To Delay Probe Of Anti-Violence Program

Governor Pat Quinn's troubled anti-violence program will be in the spotlight Wednesday as a bipartisan legislative commission meets in Chicago. It's not yet clear how lawmakers will proceed, given that the federal government wants them to put a hold on their investigation of the program. How this all affects the race for governor remains to be seen.

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Illinois
6:58 am
Tue July 15, 2014

New Rules For Deciding Who Can't Carry Concealed Weapons

A year after Illinois legalized concealed carry, new rules are out to determine the process for deciding who can't carry a gun in public. The Illinois State Police issued the emergency rules this week.

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NPR Story
4:25 am
Tue July 15, 2014

Bill Backlog Improvement Could Be Temporary

Originally published on Tue July 15, 2014 12:55 am

  The amount of money Illinois owes to companies and organizations that have provided goods and services for the state is at its lowest level since 2010, but that improvement could be short-lived.

At one point, Illinois had a stack of overdue bills totaling about $10 billion.

It took so long for the state to pay back its vendors that some were forced to close their doors - they couldn't pay their bills.

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NPR Story
10:41 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Republican Bruce Rauner Defends His Personal Tax Bill

Bruce Rauner

Originally published on Mon July 14, 2014 9:52 am

Bruce Rauner -- the Republican nominee for Illinois governor -- says he followed the letter of the law when filing his taxes.  But he won't say whether it was fair.

Rauner, a businessman, has said his wealth puts him in the top .01%.

Even so, a Chicago Tribune analysis showed that in several recent years, he paid no Social Security or Medicare taxes.

Rauner has released limited parts of his tax returns.

It's believed he took advantage of I-R-S rules to legally cut his tax burden.

Rauner defended that ...

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NPR Story
5:06 am
Fri July 11, 2014

Tensions Rise With Waters Over Flood Expense

There's an irony to the arch on the entranceway of Clarksville's park, which reads "Touch the Mississippi." Normally, that requires stooping down; now the river laps up a main downtown drag, and comes to you.

Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 11:07 am

Heavy rains have led to flooding all across the Midwest in recent days: in Iowa, Illinois, and in the small town of Clarksville, Missouri, which sits on the Mississippi River. That river is expected to reach its crest there Wednesday, and residents hope the walls they’ve built to keep out the water will hold. Especially because this time, they had to build those walls themselves.

Ask a Clarksville resident how long they’ve lived there, and the answer is usually given in the context of a flood.

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