Amanda Vinicky

217-206-6019

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. 

state of Illinois

There's a reason analysts say Illinois has the nation's lowest credit rating. It has the nation's largest unfunded pension liability. 

Credit analysts like Moody's Ted Hampton are waiting to see what the Illinois Supreme Court has to say about Illinois' 2013 law reducing workers' pensions. 

A ruling against the law it may not further downgrade Illinois' worst-in-the-nation credit rating. That's because Hampton says the rating already presumes it's not feasible. 

But Hampton says there is way the justices' decision may nudge the rating higher.

state of Illinois

The Illinois Supreme Court has opened its doors for a special evening session tonight. The justices want Gov. Bruce Rauner and other legislators to meet and watch as they hear a case. 

Chief Justice Rita Garman says in a news release that she wants to give lawmakers a window into the system's essential checks and balances. 

Rauner's office announced that he will attend the session, beginning at 6:20 p.m.

childcarecenter.us

Protestors filled the Illinois capitol yesterday and staged a small sit-in in front of Gov. Bruce Rauner's office. They're trying to pressure Rauner and legislators to come up with money for a program that helps low-income families afford daycare. 

Valena Mulonzi works at Steps to the Future daycare in Calumet City. She says lawmakers should listen to parents' pleas.

The many years legislators spent crafting a measure to rein in the state's pension costs came to a head yesterday in 52-and-a-half minute hearing before the Illinois Supreme Court. It's now up to the seven justices whether a law that reduces employees' and retirees' benefits is constitutional.

Even before then-Gov. Pat Quinn signed the pension overhaul into law just over a year ago, everyone knew it would come to this.

state of Illinois

Lawmakers will have nearly two billion dollars less to work with as they craft next year's budget.

There's one big reason Illinois isn't going to have that $1.9 billion to spend on assets like education, health care, foster care and long-term care.

Brian Mackey

A legal battle over union fees is brewing in Illinois between the Republican governor and Democratic attorney general.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan says Gov. Bruce Rauner had no authority to bring a fight over union dues to federal court. She's trying to dismiss the case.

Rauner is trying to get rid of so-called "fair share" dues on two fronts: Earlier this year, he ordered state agencies to stop collecting them, and he's suing in federal court to toss out the underlying state law that requires them.

A legal battle over union fees is brewing, between Illinois Republican governor and Democratic Attorney General.

Illinois' Attorney General says Gov. Bruce Rauner had no authority to bring a fight over union dues to federal court. She's trying to dismiss the case.

Republican Gov. Rauner is trying to get rid of so-called "fair share" dues on two fronts: he's ordered state agencies to stop collecting them, and he's suing in federal court to toss out the underlying state law that requires them.

Last month, Gov. Bruce Rauner unveiled his budget --- chock full of cuts to state programs. But now it's the legislature's turn to take a swipe at a state spending plan. Amanda Vinicky reports on a hearing, at which the governor's office had to testify before lawmakers about its own budget.

A disease responsible for the deaths of millions of bats has spread in Illinois.

The white-nose syndrome gets its name from a fungus that grows on affected bats' noses. Scientists say infected bats often show odd behavior - like taking daytime flights - when they're supposed to be hibernating. It's suspected that depletes their fat reserves, and causes the bats to become emaciated, and eventually die. 

Sweeping legislation intended to combat a heroin epidemic has been introduced by a bipartisan group of legislators.

Before he became a state legislator, Republican Rep. John Anthony was a cop in Champaign, and a sheriff's deputy in Kendall County.

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