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
6:08 am
Fri October 31, 2014

The Choice Of Choice: Gov. Candidates On Abortion

Originally published on Fri October 31, 2014 2:14 pm

Gov. Pat Quinn used the issue of abortion to win votes from suburban women in his election four years ago. This time, his Republican opponent says he's pro-choice. But it's not that cut-and-dry.

Republican nominee Bruce Rauner, like Quinn, classifies himself as pro-choice. He's also said he doesn't have a “social agenda."

That hasn't satisfied Terry Cosgrove, of Personal PAC, which has endorsed Quinn.

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Election 2014
6:29 am
Wed October 29, 2014

Contributors Try To Drive Out Uncontested Illinois Supreme Court Justice

Lloyd A. Karmeier
Credit state.il.us

There's only one Illinois Supreme Court Justice on the ballot this November. Some high-dollar contributors are hoping they can remove him from office--which has never happened before.

Justice Lloyd Karmeier fought hard to get on the state's high court a decade ago. Business interests that want to make it harder to win big money in lawsuits helped get him there.

This time, Karmeier has no opponent. He needs 60-percent of voters in Illinois' southernmost counties to vote "yes" to retain his spot.

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NPR Story
6:57 am
Tue October 28, 2014

Ebola Strikes Race For Governor

Originally published on Mon October 27, 2014 5:44 pm

Illinois'  O'Hare Airport is one of five in the nation where travelers from West Africa must undergo extra screening for Ebola. But now the state has additional guidelines to prevent the virus' potential spread. What to do is the latest disagreement in an already adversarial race for governor.

Even as New Jersey releases a nurse forced into quarantine upon her return from Sierra Leone, Gov. Pat Quinn is standing by a similar policy for Illinois.

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Election 2014
6:08 am
Mon October 27, 2014

Polls Agree Illinois Governor Race Will Be Tight

Credit facebook.com/GovernorQuinn & facebook.com/BruceRauner

Polls are coming in at a rapid pace, from polling companies like Rasmussen Reports, newspapers like the Chicago Tribune, and interest groups like the state Chamber of Commerce. They vary in the number of likely voters contacted, the wording of the questions these people were asked, and, of course, their responses.

But they all agree: the race for Illinois governor is going to be close. Really close.

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NPR Story
5:49 am
Mon October 27, 2014

Immigrant Rights Groups: Demand Oustrips Slots For Driver's Licenses

Illinois offers a "TVDL," or temporary visitor driver's license, to undocumented immigrants and non-visa seeking residents who have lived in the state at least one year, but advocates say the wait for an appointment is often too long.

Originally published on Fri October 31, 2014 8:45 am

Immigrant rights groups say Illinois needs to improve its program for issuing drivers licenses to undocumented immigrants. The program started last December.

When Illinois created a special drivers license for people without permission to be in the country, supporters said it would make the roads safer. In order to get one, an applicant has to have auto insurance and pass a driving test.

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Election 2014
3:06 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Oberweis Would Back Federal Same Sex Marriage Law

Republican candidate for U.S. Senate, State Sen. Jim Oberweis of Sugar Grove

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 11:50 am

The Republican nominee for U.S. Senate has switched his stance on same-sex marriage.

Only a few Republican members of the General Assembly voted for Illinois' law that has, since June, allowed two men or two women to marry one another.

State Sen. Jim Oberweis wasn't one of them. He voted no.

But the Sugar Grove Republican, now a candidate for the U.S. Senate, says he would go along with a federal law permitting same sex marriage.

Here's how he answered a question about it Wednesday's debate.

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NPR Story
6:01 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Small Campaign Contributions Amount To Chump Change

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 7:54 pm

  The race for Illinois governor is one of the most expensive match-ups in the nation. A new report shows that most of that comes from relatively few donors.

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Election 2014
5:50 am
Mon October 20, 2014

Earlier Than Ever

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 3:25 am

Pres. Barack Obama visited Chicago Sunday, to encourage Illinois residents to vote, and to do it early. Early voting begins today, and runs until just before election day. That could change campaigns' strategies, or expand the electorate.

It used to be that campaigns geared up for one day: Election Day. Starting in 2006, Illinois residents were given the option of casting an early, in-person ballot. That used to last for a two-week span. Not this election. Voters have from today until Nov. 2 to vote early.

Look for people to take advantage of it.

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Election 2014
6:42 am
Wed October 15, 2014

Illinois Online Voter Application Process Successful

Thirty-one thousand Illinois voters turned in online applications.

That's according to the State Board of Elections, which says more than a third of those arrived in the final two days before last week's deadline.

It was the first time Illinois allowed applicants to register online.

Voting rights groups pushed for the change. Critics question the process's ability to properly screen identities.

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Election 2014
6:26 am
Wed October 15, 2014

Illinois Attorney General Candidate Criticizes Lisa Madigan On Corruption Prevention

Credit Office of the Illinois Attorney General

The Republican challenging Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan says she's not doing enough to fight corruption.

Paul Schimpf is running on this campaign slogan: "Trust a Retired Marine, Not the Madigan Machine!" A reference not only to Attorney General Lisa Madigan, but also to her father -- House Speaker and head of the state Democratic Party, Michael Madigan.

Schimpf says both are part of a political class that has proven it can't police itself.

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