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. 

The President of the Illinois Senate says he's pretty sure the budget showdown can be resolved before state services are affected. 

Illinois's current spending plan expires at the end of this month, but there's no deal on a new one. Governor Bruce Rauner is still pushing his agenda, which includes pro-business laws and forcing legislators to limit their terms in office.

The Republican's ideas were not well-received in the Democratic-led General Assembly. Despite their differences, Senate President John Cullerton says progress is being made. 

YouTube

There’s still no budget after the Illinois General Assembly’s summer session meeting Tuesday. But Governor Bruce Rauner is trying to reach Illinois voters through their TVs to earn their support for his Turnaround Agenda.

One of Rauner’s ads makes this accusation:

"Mike Madigan and the politicians he controls refuse to change. They're saying 'no' to spending discipline."

House Speaker Mike Madigan had a measured response rather than a heated one to that accusation.

Illinois' next statewide election isn't until March and even then it'll be another two years before Governor Bruce Rauner has to run again. But already, he's airing commercials.

senatorlahood.com

An Illinois Republican Party elder statesman is endorsing State Senator Darin LaHood's bid for U.S. Congress.

Former Illinois Governor Jim Edgar says he's known LaHood for 20 years.

"And I can't think of anyone that would be better qualified to serve this Congressional district; and by this Congressional district, he'll be my Congressman. And I look forward to having Darin representing me in Washington. He is a very thoughtful, no-nonsense young man."

state of Illinois

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner is officially moving forward with plans to close a Department of Corrections work camp in Hardin and the Illinois State Museum in Springfield.

Anytime such a closure would affect the jobs of 25 or more state workers, it triggers a process that gives legislators and the public time to weigh in. That begins with the administration having to file paperwork of its closure plans with a non-partisan state government commission.

Illinois lawmakers have a couple of weeks left to reach a resolution on the state budget. If they don't get it done by the end of June, the comptroller has warned that she'll no longer have authority to pay the state's bills.

illinois.gov

The Illinois House rejected two versions of a local property tax freeze yesterday. That's one of a handful of items Governor Bruce Rauner says must get done before he'll consider new revenue to balance the state budget without widespread cuts.

The Senate spent all day in a rare session focused on property taxes. Rauner dismissed that as a waste of time.

WUIS

Illinois leaders have another month to settle on a new budget plan. But, given their failure to reach a deal by Sunday's initial deadline, Gov. Bruce Rauner says he must take immediate steps to manage state spending.

Illinois will begin closing down a prison work camp in downstate Hardin County and lay off its 60 employees. A pair of youth prisons also mayclose. The Illiana Expressway won't go forward.

Flickr user Daniel Borman / "Money, Money, Money" (CC BY 2.0)

Illinois law gives political candidates five days to report campaign contributions of $1,000 or more. But it's been weeks since Gov. Bruce Rauner gave Republican lawmakers four times that, and some still haven't told the state.

But they aren't breaking the law.

Rauner's campaign spread $400,000 among Republican senators and representatives on May 11, but you wouldn't know that from looking at state election records. Many legislators still haven't disclosed the money.

Your favorite TV show might be interrupted with a pointed message purchased by Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, though  the governor is refusing to say whether he's going to buy TV time to promote his agenda as he battles with the legislature's Democratic leaders.

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