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. 

Illinois DNR website

Bobcats have been considered a threatened species in Illinois since the 1970's, but not now.

Sen. John Sullivan, a Democrat from Rushville, explained it when legislators debated lifting the bobcat hunting ban.

"I used to never see a bobcat, now it's uncommon to go to the woods and not see bobcats. And not one or two, but three or four of five or six of 'em," Sullivan said.

The hunting and trapping season begins in November. For the rare hunter who gets a permit, that is.

State of Illinois

Clergy and union members rallied today in front of the Illinois Statehouse.

They're calling on political leaders to embrace what they called a moral agenda.

Reverend Krista Taves of the Quincy Unitarian Church opened with a prayer. She focused on the fusion of faith and activism.

"It is you, you, Spirit of Life, who have called us to wake up and stay woke, called us to proclaim your moral higher ground and to witness to your loving intention for all of us,” Taves said.

A complaint before the state board of elections against State Sen. Sam McCann has been dropped for technical reasons, but that's not the end of the story.

Attorney Dan Fultz, who represents the Jacksonville man who filed the complaint, says a new one is coming. He says the re-filing will contain new allegations, but wouldn't give specifics. 

"Swings" By Flickr User halfrain / (CC X 2.0)

The sponsor of legislation to expand Illinois' child care program says she's hopeful it will happen -- despite Governor Bruce Rauner's recent veto.

Democratic Senator Kim Lightford of Maywood says she'll try to override the veto after November's election.

Lightford wants to increase the amount of money a parent can make to receive a state subsidy for child care.

Her measure would raise the limit to 200 percent of the federal poverty level or less than $24,000 a year for a single parent with one child. It would rise in later years.

Jenna Dooley / WNIJ

Anxious legislators will once again see a deposit from the state of Illinois in their bank accounts. They’re getting paid tomorrow.

Illinois doesn’t have enough money in the bank to pay all of its own bills. As a result, the comptroller’s office is way behind paying businesses contracted to do work for the state.

The backlog of overdue bills is approaching $8 billion. A lot of money, to be sure.

But what does that even mean?

Maybe the best way to measure it: How often legislators themselves are getting paid.

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