Amanda Vinicky

217-206-6019

Read Amanda's "Leadership" 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. 

Even if Illinois lawmakers and the governor can't reach a budget deal by Wednesday, state employees have another two weeks before they really need to worry about being paid. That's when their first paychecks of the new fiscal year are set to be issued.  But there's confusion over whether they'll get money after that point, or not.

An email sent by Gov. Rauner takes a reassuring tone.

"State employees will be paid for their work --- and I will do everything within my power to ensure you don’t miss a single payroll," he writes.

But will the money come through?

Brian Mackey / Illinois Public Radio

Illinois legislators return to Springfield Tuesday, leaving them one last day to get a budget deal in order. This year's spending plan expires at midnight on June 30. 

Not only is there no long-term agreement, but there's no sign of a provisional one, either.

Democrats say they did their part: they passed a spending plan before the end of May, when the legislative session was originally scheduled to end. But last week Gov. Bruce Rauner rejected nearly all of it, citing that it was nearly $4 billion out of balance. 

It's the deadline day in Illinois. If a meeting yesterday between Governor Bruce Rauner and legislative leaders is any indication, they're most likely not going to make it.

It's been weeks since Rauner, a Republican, meet with all four of the legislative leaders. Since the last time it was believed they were all together, the governor began airing ads that attack Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan. 

The state also got a lot closer to a partial shutdown since then.

Brian Mackey/Illinois Public Radio

Even as Illinois heads toward a partial government shutdown, Governor Bruce Rauner has largely stayed out of the public eye.

If you watch TV at all, it probably doesn't seem like it's been a long time since you heard from Gov. Rauner.

He's got a campaign-style ad running statewide.

"With your help, I'm going to keep fightin' to grow our economy and fix our broken state government," Rauner said in his ad.

In Rauner’s opinion piece within the Chicago Tribune, he updated what he wants legislators to do before he'll negotiate on revenue for the state budget.

AFSCME

Tuesday is "deadline day" for state government.  But one deadline is being given a month-long extension.

Tuesday is the final day of the fiscal year; after that, the current budget expires. It's also the final day of the state's contract with its largest public employees union, AFSCME.

Gov. Bruce Rauner and the union have met at the bargaining table, but AFSCME leadership has described the two sides are far apart.

illinois.gov

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner has vetoed the bulk of a proposed new state budget. Only funding for schools is safe.

Rauner says he had to do it because the plan approved by Democrats is out of balance and, thus, unconstitutional.

But that means Illinois in will have almost no spending authority when the new fiscal year begins next Wednesday, July 1.

Flickr user Jim Bowen / "Illinois State Capitol" (CC BY 2.0)

Legislators' return to Springfield today failed to result in real movement toward a state budget agreement. That’s with six days remaining before the state loses its spending authority.

House Speaker Michael Madigan says Democrats are trying.

Gov. Bruce Rauner gave five conditions that must be met before he'll consider a tax hike that could balance the budget. 

Rauner, a Republican, says Illinois needs big changes, and he won't support asking taxpayers for more money without them.

state of Illinois

The bulk of the measures that could make up a new Illinois budget are now in Governor Bruce Rauner's hands.

Rauner was disparaging of the spending plan approved late last month by Democrats because it spends billions more than the state has.

"Our people deserve so much better,” Rauner said. “Not another phony budget."

Illinois Public Radio

Illinois leaders aren't in agreement on a new state budget, even as the current one nears its July expiration date. Democrats passed their own version, but Gov. Bruce Rauner can't act on most of it yet, even if he wants to.

Just a few of the 20 budget bills which Democrats passed have made it to Rauner's desk, where he has the ability to sign them into law, reject them entirely, or cut down the levels of spending.

The rest are still on hold.

illinois.gov

Illinois leaders aren't in agreement on a new state budget, even as the current one nears its July expiration date. Democrats passed their own version, but Governor Bruce Rauner can't act on most of it yet, even if he wants to.

Just a few of the budget bills Democrats passed have made it to Gov. Rauner's desk. He has the ability to sign them into law, reject them entirely, or cut down the levels of spending.

The rest are still on hold.

Senate President John Cullerton says Democrats did that for a reason.

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