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. 

Phil Masterton / WNIJ

A new super PAC known as LIFT (Leading Illinois For Tomorrow) is spending a million dollars on ads tying Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner to Donald Trump.

The group is led by Democratic  State Sen. Daniel Biss, who says the campaign is meant to inform voters what their ballot choices mean for the state's future. 

"And so, people across the state who are very concerned about what Gov. Rauner has done to politics in Illinois were generous enough to support this effort," Biss said.


Illinois' senior US Senator Dick Durbin is trying to lead by example.

He cast an early vote Monday in Springfield, and is encouraging others to do the same. 

"More and more people in Illinois are voting early. And once you do vote by mail, or come in early, that becomes your way to do things. A pattern of life,” Durbin said.

Early voting has been on the rise in Illinois since it was first offered in 2006. 

Before then, anyone unable to vote on Election Day in person had to give authorities a reason for requesting an “absentee ballot.”

An independent congressional candidate struggling to get his name on the ballot dropped out of the race. 

David Gill of Bloomington challenged the state  requirement that independent candidates collect 10,754 signatures.

"It's one thing to collect 740 signatures as the Democrat and the Republican are required to do, it's a whole other thing to do 15 times that," said Gill.  "It was an extremely arduous, demanding process."

As officials warn coastal residents to get out of Hurricane Matthew's path Illinois elections officials are putting out a notice of their own.

Hurricane Matthew could be devastating.

The Illinois National Guard hasn't been activated to help, nor has the Illinois Emergency Management Agency received a request. 

IEMA's spokeswoman says the state is part of a pact in which Illinois could be called on to help. She says that'd likely happen after any potential damage. 

Illinois sent about 2500 employees out following Hurricane Katrina.


A cannabis dispensary is using a new tactic nearly a year into Illinois' slow-rollout of a medical marijuana program.

The advertising campaign is designed to encourage doctors and patients to view cannabis as an alternative to opioids.

HCI Alternatives CEO Chris Stone says it's not just about promoting the product he sells. He says it's about moving away from pain killers with adverse side effects.