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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NPR Story
5:45 am
Tue June 24, 2014

Libertarians: Strive To Beat "Ballot-Blocking" To Get On Ballot

The Libertarian's slate of statewide candidates for the 2014 election; Chad Grimm, the candidate for governor, is to the immediate left of the podium, while Political Director Lex Green is speaking.

Originally published on Mon June 23, 2014 4:12 pm

The Libertarian Party of Illinois is running a candidate for Governor, and all of the other statewide races. But the race could be over before it begins.

Chad Grimm, a 33-year-old health club manager from Peoria, and the Libertarian party's nominee for Illinois governor, has some unconventional political views; he believes Illinois should completely do away with a state income tax, and that there should be no -- as in zero - regulations on guns: Not the type, not where they're allowed, not who can have one.

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Illinois
8:14 am
Sat June 21, 2014

Ex-IBHE Leader ‘Abused Public Resources,’ Got $48,000

Dr. George Reid

A just-released investigation by Illinois' Inspector General's office found that the former head of the Illinois Board of Higher Education (IBHE) abused public resources and wasted state funds, among other findings.

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NPR Story
5:21 am
Fri June 20, 2014

Illinois Overuses Nursing Homes: AARP

Originally published on Thu June 19, 2014 4:07 pm

The AARP says Illinois has improved opportunities for elderly people to remain in the community. But it says there are still too many living in nursing homes who need not be.

There are good reasons for helping seniors to stay independent, or at home, getting help -- and out of long-term care facilities.

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NPR Story
3:56 am
Wed June 18, 2014

Illinois Test Runs Earthquake Response

IEMA Director Jonathon Monken

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 4:25 pm

The Midwest isn't typically thought of as a place at risk of a major earthquake. Illinois Emergency Management Agency Director Jonathon Monken says the chances are higher than most people would estimate. He says the U.S. Geological Survey says that in the next 50 years, there is a 10-percent chance that Illinois could experience an earthquake of the magnitude emergency responders are running practice exercises for this week. It's meant to test capabilities in the event of a quake in the New Madrid and Wabash Valley seismic zones.

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NPR Story
4:33 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

"Fair Maps" Group Gets Some Latitude In Fight For Ballot Spot

Twenty-seven feets' worth of voter signatures may still not be enough for a redistricting group's effort to make it on the November ballot.

Originally published on Tue June 17, 2014 4:24 pm

A struggling effort to change how Illinois draws its legislative districts will live another day. State election authorities Tuesday (6/17) voted to give it some extra time to prove it deserves to make it on the November ballot.

Supporters were joyous last month when a semi-truck pulled into the state board of elections' parking lot in Springfield.

A campaign to overhaul the state's redistricting process was dropping off a 27-foot-long document, filled with a half million signatures.

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"Yes For Independent Maps" in court
4:29 pm
Tue June 17, 2014

Independent Maps Group Granted More Time To Fight Signature Challenge

A struggling effort to change how Illinois draws its legislative districts will live another day.  Election authorities today voted to give it some extra time to prove it deserves to make it on the November ballot.

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Government
5:00 am
Tue June 17, 2014

Quinn Signs Bill Restoring Medicaid Cuts

Governor Pat Quinn has signed legislation to restore Medicaid cuts made two years ago to save money.

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NPR Story
6:07 am
Fri May 16, 2014

House Democrats Pass Spending Plan (Barely)

Illinois is beginning to work on its budget for Fiscal Year 2015.

Originally published on Fri May 16, 2014 5:57 am

How much you'll pay in state taxes next year remains an open question, even as the Illinois House Thursday approved dozens of spending bills, that rely on a permanently higher tax rate. It sets the stage for a budget battle, just weeks before legislators are set to adjourn for the summer.

The Illinois House convened at 8 o’clock Thursday morning, and spent most of a very long day on the budget. Lawmakers began with a debate on funding Illinois' public education system, giving schools a slight increase over this year.

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University Pensions
9:42 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Deal Reached To Stem Retirement Rush

Gov. Pat Quinn signs the pension overhaul, also known as Senate Bill 1, into law in December 2013.
Credit Harvey Tillis / Illinois Information Service

Even as the broad “We Are One” coalition of unions seeks to prevent any of the pension law from taking effect next month … a new agreement would prevent parts of it from being implemented.

It mostly affects university and community college employees nearing the end of their careers.

The deal, between the State University Annuitants' Association and the attorney general, could put a stop to a surge of retirements at Illinois' public universities.

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NPR Story
4:07 am
Tue May 13, 2014

Bob Rita Makes Another Push For Gambling Expansion

Rep. Bob Rita (D-Blue Island), worries the Casino Queen in East St. Louis is too close to horse racing track, Fairmont Park, in Collinsville, and thus would exclude Fairmont from slot machines.

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 5:42 pm

  While Illinois lawmakers continue to debate whether to extend the income tax increase. But that's not the only source of money being considered. Backers of expanding gambling also project the state would get a windfall.

State Rep. Bob Rita (D-Blue Island) is once again taking a stab at gambling expansion.

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