Amanda Vinicky

Read Amanda's "The Players" 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. 

Incumbent Republican U.S Sen. Mark Kirk and Democratic U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth covered a variety of issues, including college affordability, how to make Social Security solvent, and the Iran nuclear treaty (Duckworth voted for it, Kirk did not) Thursday in Springfield in their only downstate debate.  

Both agreed that climate change is real, and caused by humans.  They differed on tax policy and Syrian refugees, and, in response to a question about the Common Core, Kirk suggested expanded school days.

Flickr user Tim (Timothy) Pearce / "Prison cell with bed inside Alcatraz main building san francisco california" (CC BY 2.0)

The Illinois Supreme Court is committing to a redesign of pretrial justice procedures, which is the system in place to deal with individuals from the time they're arrested, until their case is resolved.

The state is working with the national Pretrial Justice Institute, which is trying to get 20 states on board. Its CEO, Cherise Fanno Burdeen, says Illinois is the second. 

Burdeen says one aim is to replace the cash bail system; she says risk should be based not just on the charge someone was arrested for, but also their criminal history.

Facebook Live video stills

Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner used a live Facebook video session Wednesday to tout a new law he signed this summer requiring insurance companies and Medicaid to cover 3-D mammograms.

Immediately after the governor's stream, the Metropolitan Chicago Breast Cancer Task Force held one of its own.

Rauner, speaking from the Simmons Cancer Institute in Springfield during Breast Cancer Awareness Month, also congratulated a nurse practitioner for being cancer-free for one year. She stood beside the governor to answer questions.

The top candidates for Illinois comptroller squared off last night in a televised debate and interview on Chicago's WTTW.

Incumbent Republican Leslie Munger was appointed to the post by Governor Bruce Rauner.  Her Democratic opponent, Chicago City Clerk Susanna Mendoza, says Munger is controlled by the wealthy governor. 


Illinois has created a network of emergency foster care homes.


Department of Children and Family Services Director George Sheldon says these homes are places youth in the state's care can be sent in lieu of emergency shelters.

Sheldon told a legislative panel Tuesday that there's currently capacity for 36 kids. His goal is to have room for 50.

"Frankly, this state had a series of emergency foster homes a decade or so ago. I don't know why that was abandoned. I think it's a much more appropriate facility," Sheldon said.