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
2:30 pm
Thu November 20, 2014

Rauner To Quinn: Freeze Hiring. Now.

Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner holds his first press conference at the state capitol; it was right outside the Comptroller's office ... and the offices of Gov. Pat Quinn's senior staff.

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 4:33 pm

Illinois' incoming governor has asked the outgoing one to put state hiring on hold for the remainder of his term.

Even as he was being impeached, former Gov. Rod Blagojevich kept making key appointments. A new Dept. of Natural Resources chief; Barack Obama's open U.S. Senate seat.

Gov. Pat Quinn is by no means under that sort of dark cloud.

And Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner says he has no reason to believe Quinn's doing anything inappropriate.

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Veto Session
7:33 am
Thu November 20, 2014

Latest Minimum Wage Hike Plan Goes To $11

Gloria Davis says she won't give the temp agency she works for the satisfaction of publicly stating its name. She says her $8.25 wage isn't enough for her to afford housing in Chicago. She's calling for legislators to raise Illinois' minimum wage.
Credit Amanda Vinicky

The sponsor of a minimum wage hike says she'll push to get it passed during the legislature's veto session, which began Wednesday.

Sen. Kim Lightford, a Democrat from Maywood, pointed to the results of a non-binding referendum. Sixty-seven percent of Illinois voters said “yes," Illinois should raise its minimum wage to $10 an hour by Jan. 1, 2015. The current rate is $8.25.

Results showed support for an increase in much of the state, including traditionally Republican areas, like the Chicago suburbs and downstate.

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Veto Session
6:54 am
Tue November 18, 2014

Rules For Ride-Shares: Safety First Or Jobs First?

Credit uber.com

This week, lawmakers could decide whether Illinois will regulate ridesharing services, like Lyft and Uber.

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Education
8:02 am
Wed November 12, 2014

Legislation Could Help Veteran, Minority Business In Illinois Colleges

Credit Illinois Board of Higher Education

New legislation could help give veterans a leg up in securing a contract with an Illinois university or college. 

The measure does not put restrictions on the vendors universities can choose. But it does require they report how much they spend on veteran owned businesses, as well as those run by minorities and women.

Dan Johnson, who represents the Federation of Women Contractors, says many institutions already have diversity goals for their procurement programs.

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Politics
6:57 am
Wed November 12, 2014

Quinn Makes Veteran's Day Appearance Post-Concession

Credit Wikipedia

Gov. Pat Quinn made his first post-concession appearance Tuesday. He attended a Veteran's Day ceremony in Chicago.

Quinn has long affiliated himself with veterans' causes and says Illinois should be the most-veteran friendly state. He says the state endeavored to do that with a variety of programs, like the Warrior Assistance Program, which is focused on caring for veterans with PTSD.

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NPR Story
5:37 pm
Mon November 10, 2014

Most Illinois Residents Oppose Tax Hike

Originally published on Mon November 10, 2014 5:04 pm

A hike in Illinois’ income tax rate will begin rolling back at the end of this year, and a majority of Illinois voters are alright with that.

A new poll shows 56-percent of voters oppose making the increase permanent.

Respondents to the survey, which was done before the election by the Paul Simon Institute at Southern Illinois University, were asked that question fairly directly.

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NPR Story
6:02 am
Tue November 4, 2014

Tally's In: Early Voting Up Thirty Percent

Originally published on Mon November 3, 2014 5:50 pm

Candidates get-out-the-vote efforts appear to have worked. Elections officials are reporting an increase in early voting numbers.

Even before Election Day, more than a half million people will have cast their ballots.

That's according to a final tally of early votes gathered by the state elections board. It's a jump of 118,000 from the last midterm election and governor's race, four years ago.

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Election 2014
2:55 pm
Mon November 3, 2014

Jesse White Runs For Re-election For The Last Time (Really, This Time)

Sec. of State Jesse White

Originally published on Sun November 2, 2014 3:53 am

Four years ago, Jesse White promised it was going to be his last run for Secretary of State.

But he's back on the ballot, seeking re-election.

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Politics
6:49 am
Mon November 3, 2014

Answers About The Questions At The Top Of The Ballot

Illinois' statewide ballot asks voters to answer five questions: a pair of constitutional amendments, and then a trio of non-binding referendums.

Originally published on Mon November 3, 2014 12:20 pm

Illinois voters on Tuesday won't just have the chance to decide on who'll be their next governor or state representative. They'll be asked if Illinois should change its constitution. And to weigh in on a trio of non-binding questions legislators could use to guide decisions down the line.

It's one thing to pass a law. Politicians do that all the time; Illinois passed 500 last year alone.

But constitutional amendments are different. They're relatively rare, and harder to get through (and once changes are made, they're difficult to undo).

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NPR Story
6:49 am
Mon November 3, 2014

Dodging DUIs: Secretary of State Candidates Faceoff

Polls put Republican Sec. of State candidate Mike Webster, making a speech at GOP Day at the Illinois State Fair this summer, way behind incumbent Jesse White.

Originally published on Fri October 31, 2014 5:37 pm

How to keep drunk drivers off the roads has become an issue in the race for Secretary of State.

Illinois has strict DUI laws ... if you're convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol.

Therein lies the problem, says Republican's nominee for Secretary of State Mike Webster: once someone has been arrested, the legal system takes over.

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