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. 

State of Illinois

By the end of this month, Illinois state government will be back to having no budget.

Illinois hasn't had a true state budget for a year and five months. Even so, there's some talk of trying to work ahead on a spending plan for the future.

Anyone even remotely connected to state government will tell you that one of the most difficult parts of going without a budget for so long is that it's created tremendous uncertainty.

That's what's behind Senate Republican Leader Christine Radogno's recent call for an 18-month budget.

The wealthy governor of Illinois is calling for state legislators to go without pay until a balanced budget is passed.

The comptroller's office reports lawmakers last received paychecks in June.  It has put elected officials' pay in a queue, along with $10 billion of overdue bills the state can't currently afford.

Several Democrats are suing to reinstate their monthly income. But the governor criticized them in a video message.  

"If they won't do a balanced budget, they shouldn't be paid first," he said in the video. "No budget, no pay."

Wikimedia Commons

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner frequently talks about the need to grow the state's economy. However, manufacturers say the energy law he signed yesterday will make it harder for them to compete.

The law requires residential and business customers to pay a subsidy to Exelon so they can  keep nuclear power plants in Clinton and the Quad Cities open. 

Mark Denzler of the Illinois Manufacturer's Association says the hike in electric rates will cost some of his members millions of dollars per year.

Republican Governor Bruce Rauner and Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan may not agree on much when it comes to the Illinois budget.

But as they negotiate, both men apparently find it helpful to accuse the other of pushing for a tax increase.

Rauner, Madigan and the legislature’s other top leaders discussed the budget privately in Chicago.

After, Madigan said it will be difficult to pass any tax hike before a new crop of legislators are sworn in next month.

Illinois' new comptroller says she'll continue the practice of waiting to pay public officials' paychecks.

Democrat Susana Mendoza took the oath of office for comptroller Monday in the statehouse rotunda. She's coming in as a handful of Democratic lawmakers are suing her office so they can be paid on time.

"I hope my former colleagues in the legislature will understand my decision to continue to prioritize the most vulnerable people in our state over payments to legislators -- unless a court instructs me to do otherwise,” Mendoza said.