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. 

Amanda Vinicky

A new private foundation has been created to raise money for Illinois State Fair infrastructure. Questions have been raised already about how the private Illinois Fairgrounds Foundation will intermingle with government.

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan says Auditor General Frank Mautino will be “vindicated.”

Mautino has been auditor general since January.

He's under scrutiny for campaign expenses from his time as a state representative.

He has acknowledged there's a federal investigation, and the state board of elections is holding hearings. 

Madigan says Mautino will come out on top when they're finished.

  Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner is defending his veto of a plan that would have allowed automatic voter registration.  

Rauner says he’s a big supporter of the concept, citing legislation he signed to modernize state voting systems.

But he says the measure inadvertently leaves the door open to voter fraud.

  Illinois State Fair officials are trying a new method of counting attendance after a dramatic drop last year.   Half as many people went to the fair in 2015 compared with the year before.  The fair’s manager at the time said figures from previous years were inflated.

Kevin Gordon is in charge now.  

“I don’t want to talk about last year’s attendance, but I’ll tell you what. That’s a question that’s been asked I dunno how many times. I mean, I’ve had a fair manager, they actually had a wheel and they’d spin the wheel, and ‘hmmmmm …125,000,'" he said.  

Associated Press

A would-be state holiday passed last week without notice in Illinois. But supporters are hoping it will be recognized in the future.

Beyonce, George Lucas, and Magic Johnson were among the stars on the guest list for President Barack Obama's White House 55th birthday party (Obama's former chief of staff, Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, scored an invite too).

But back in his adopted home state, the day came and went with little recognition, to the disappointment of State Rep. André Thapedi, a Chicago Democrat. He's proposed making Aug. 4 a state holiday.