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. 

"cutest baby foot" by Flickr User Lisa Borbely / (CC BY 2.0)

Illinois lawmakers are considering whether midwives -- who aren't nurses -- should be legally permitted to oversee home births.

Democratic Representative Robyn Gabel of Evanston says it's a matter of safety. She's sponsor of a measure that would establish training and other standards.  

Gabel says close to one thousand Illinois women hire midwives to help deliver their babies now. She wants the practice regulated.

The Illinois Lottery is backtracking on a warning that it would have to stop selling tickets over the Internet.

  Some of the primary races in early March were the most expensive in state history.  $10 million went to just two races for the legislature.  Governor Bruce Rauner or his campaign fund shoveled much of the money into those record-spending primaries. That led to calls for more transparency.  Rauner won't say if that's something he supports.

"I'm sure a lot of people have different ideas about campaign finance and campaign finance reform. That's all lovely. That's a great topic for another day. That’s not something I'm going to talk about today," he says.  

Carl Nelson / WNIJ

 Governor Bruce Rauner is expressing frustration at the lack of progress in Illinois budget negotiations with Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan.  The Republican governor on Wednesday accused Madigan and fellow Democrats of  ``playing games'' by purposefully stalling on talks.

“I believe that the supermajority in the legislature is using Chicago State and many other service providers in Illinois as leverage to force a massive tax hike. I believe that’s what’s going on and that’s wrong,” he said.

Unions landed a victory Tuesday: A tie at the U-S Supreme Court on a case perceived as do-or-die for public employee unions means current rules will remain in place. But Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner says he'll continue to try to ban so-called "fair share" fees.

Wednesday night a legislative commission will hear from supporters and critics of shutting down the Illinois Youth Center in Kewanee. The Department of Juvenile Justice announced in February it planned to close the prison.

The Illinois Youth Center in Kewanee is about 150 miles southwest of Chicago. For a juvenile prison, it's big: 11 buildings on 100 acres of land, with room for 350 kids.

The Illinois Supreme Court will be asked to re-visit an opinion it just issued March 24. State employees' salaries are at stake. 


 Gov. Bruce Rauner says he supports one of Illinois' top industries: Agriculture. But critics say a recent plan goes against his own assertion that he's a “strong advocate” for it.

Long before President Barack Obama's trip this week, the U-S has had a physical foothold in Cuba, via its naval base and prison at Guantanamo Bay. Obama's seeking to close down the detention center there. Illinois' U.S. Senators are split on its future.


Illinois’ Labor Relations Board will hold a hearing to decide if Governor Bruce Rauner and the state’s largest public employees union have reached an impasse.


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