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. 

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State News
6:25 am
Wed July 29, 2015

The Players: How Public Should The Governor's Schedule Be?

Mick Dumke of the Chicago Reader

Originally published on Mon July 27, 2015 6:28 am

Governor Bruce Rauner campaigned on a message of transparency. But now his lawyers are fighting attempts to disclose who he's meeting with -- sections of his schedule have been blocked.

Chicago Reader senior journalist Mick Dumke  would know -- he's tried to access that information.

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Government
6:36 am
Tue July 28, 2015

Pension Case May Not Be Done: Signals It Could Go To U.S. Supreme Court

Originally published on Tue July 28, 2015 1:03 am

Illinois may not be done with the 2013 law reducing state employees’ pensions after all. The Attorney General appears to be readying to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.


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State News
7:19 am
Fri July 24, 2015

Rauner Isn't Happy About Illinois' Falling Unemployment

Originally published on Fri July 24, 2015 7:04 am

Illinois' unemployment rate continues to drop. That would seem to be good news, but the governor sees a dark cloud in that silver lining.

For the past 16 months, Illinois' unemployment rate has continually declined. The latest figures show numbers falling in every metro area. Statewide, the rate's 5.9-percent.

Good news for the economy, right? Not necessarily, says Gov. Bruce Rauner.

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Government
6:42 pm
Thu July 23, 2015

Rauner: Unemployment numbers prove need for reform

Jobless numbers throughout Illinois continue to decline. The latest figures from the Illinois Department of Employment Security show the unemployment rate of five point nine percent is about half of what it was at its peak, in 2009.

That could be a sign of a recovery.

But Republican Governor Bruce Rauner says it's the opposite. He says the rate is down because there are fewer jobs, and fewer residents trying to get them.

"We are losing our people, we're losing our jobs. That's gotta change, we need to grow."

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NPR Story
7:01 am
Thu July 23, 2015

Political Pay, Hiked Or Hijacked

Originally published on Thu July 23, 2015 8:51 am

As Illinois' $36-billion budget remains in limbo, the state's top political leaders have been focusing on a much smaller number: roughly $250,000 in spending. That's roughly how much Illinois is set to spend this year paying legislators a raise. Republicans and Democrats both say the focus over pay is a distraction, while at the same time denouncing each other for enabling what they claim to be excessive salaries.

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State News
5:49 pm
Wed July 22, 2015

Auditor general spot open for applicants

Former Auditor General Bill Holland

The search for a new state auditor general has begun in earnest.  

The auditor general serves as Illinois governments' top internal investigator. It's a job that Bill Holland has held for more than two decades. But last month, he announced he's stepping down.

A bipartisan legislative commission says it's accepting applications for his replacement. 

At his retirement announcement, Holland gave his view of the desired skills set:

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Government
3:15 pm
Wed July 22, 2015

Lawmakers consider “Jim Thome Highway” designation

A stretch of central Illinois road may be re-named after one of baseball's greats. The Illinois House has adopted a resolution that would designate a section of Route 24 around Peoria as the "Jim Thome Highway." Thome hails from Peoria, and went on to a successful Major League career. The area's State Representative Jehan Gordon-Booth, a Democrat, says Thome was a prolific hitter.  He was on the Chicago White Sox when he reached the sluggers' gold standard of hitting 500 home runs.

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Government
9:10 am
Wed July 22, 2015

Illinois lawmaker's pay a focus in the lingering budget impasse

 As Illinois' 36 billion dollar budget remains in limbo, the State's top political leaders have been focusing on a much smaller number, roughly $250,000 in spending.  That's roughly how much Illinois is set to spend this year paying legislators a raise. 

As Amanda Vinicky reports, Republicans and Democrats both say the focus over pay is a distraction ...while at the same time denouncing each other for enabling excessive salaries.

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Government
9:14 pm
Tue July 21, 2015

Moment of silence held for Decatur mayor

The Illinois House Tuesday held a moment of silence in honor of Decatur Mayor Mike McElroy.

He recently died in a car crash, while driving himself to the hospital for a medical emergency. McElroy was 63.Democratic Representative Sue Scherer, who is from Decatur, led the reflection.

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Politics
7:05 pm
Tue July 21, 2015

Madigan weighs in on Blagojevich

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan is feuding over the state budget with Governor Bruce Rauner now. But eight years ago, the summer stalemate was with the now-imprisoned, then Governor, Rod Blagojevich.

The Speaker reacted to Tuesday’s news that an appeals court has tossed some of Blagojevich's convictions.

Madigan says he hasn't read the whole opinion; just the final paragraph.

"It seems to say that Mr. Blagojevich will remain as a guest of the United States government, rather than coming back to Illinois," Madigan said.

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