Amanda Vinicky

217-206-6019

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
5:57 am
Mon March 2, 2015

Ex-Gov. Quinn Begins Collecting $137,000 Pension

The base of former Gov. Pat Quinn's salary is protected under the pension overhaul he signed into law, but like other state employees, future hikes will be reduced should the court uphold its constitutionality. Quinn began collecting his annual, $137,000 pension a day after he left office in January.

Originally published on Mon March 2, 2015 4:46 am

Some of the main architects of the Illinois law that seeks to save the state money by reducing workers' pensions have begun collecting pensions of their own.

On March 11, the Illinois Supreme Court will hear arguments for and against the pension overhaul signed into law late in 2013 by then-Gov. Pat Quinn. If it succeeds, Quinn, like other retired state employees, will see his the size of his future retirement benefits shrink, as the law does away with compounded cost-of-living increases.

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State News
3:19 pm
Wed February 25, 2015

Illinois out of money for essential programs

Credit Rachel Otwell

A lack of agreement among Illinois' top political leaders means the state cannot pay for subsidized day care, prison guards' salaries and other needs.  Illinois is out of money for them, with months left in the fiscal year. 

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State News
3:45 pm
Mon February 23, 2015

House Bill could affect your electricity bill

Illinois' new governor has his first opportunity to determine the fate of legislation. Bruce Rauner's decision could affect how much you're paying for electricity. 

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State News
5:31 am
Mon February 23, 2015

Days After Rauner Proposes Mental Health Cuts, Madigan's Violence Prevention Task Force Begins

House Speaker Michael Madigan chose Rep. Greg Harris, D-Chicago, (pictured) to chair the new violence prevention task force.

Originally published on Mon February 23, 2015 4:46 am

During his inauguration speech, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan announced a new mission -- figuring out what Illinois can do to prevent violence, like mass shootings at schools. A bipartisan task force formed to study the issue will meet for the first time today in Chicago.

Look back at the shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Columbine, Northern Illinois University, and Rep. Greg Harris says you'll see commonalities. Like missed opportunities to help the killers with mental health issues that had been detected, but weren't properly treated.

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State News
6:11 am
Fri February 20, 2015

Rauner and legislative leaders work to close this year's budget shortfalls

Illinois' new governor and legislative leaders are figuring out how to deal with shortfalls in this year's budget. 

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State News
6:09 am
Thu February 19, 2015

Rauner's Budget: Honest, Or Slash And Burn?

Gov. Bruce Rauner spent his birthday Wednesday presenting his first budget to the General Assembly; it includes deep cuts which he says are needed after years of reckless spending.

Originally published on Thu February 19, 2015 12:57 am

Thirty-eight days into his term as Illinois' governor, Bruce Rauner yesterday delivered his much-anticipated budget address. Amanda Vinicky recaps the financial reckoning.

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State News
2:05 pm
Tue February 17, 2015

What To Expect From Governor Rauner’s Budget Address

Credit Associated Press

When Governor Bruce Rauner delivers his budget address on Wednesday, it should end months of speculation about his specific plans to address the state budget deficit.

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State News
7:18 am
Mon February 16, 2015

Lookin' Into Gov. Rauner's Missing G's

Gov. Bruce Rauner's hobbies include huntin' and fishin', but his critics say the former private equity investor's folksy image - and sound - is forced.

Originally published on Mon February 16, 2015 11:18 am

Gov. Bruce Rauner's prescription for Illinois’ finances will finally be made known on Wednesday, when he gives his budget address. Legislators, state employees and social service agencies will no doubt pay close attention to what Rauner has to say. But after another big speech earlier this month made many go "gee," observers will also be listening for how he says it.

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State News
5:24 am
Fri February 13, 2015

Civic Federation Advocates Taxing Retirement Income, Raising Income Tax

Originally published on Thu February 12, 2015 3:27 pm

Next week, Gov. Bruce Rauner will unveil his spending proposal. The non-partisan Civic Federation has some suggestions.

The Civic Federation’s Director, Laurence Msall, says Illinois’ budget isn’t just in bad shape; its condition is terrible ... and climbing out of it won’t be easy.

“These are not politically attractive answers. There are financial, reality-based suggestions on how the state can stabilize its finances,” he says.

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State News
5:38 pm
Mon February 9, 2015

Rauner Ratchets Up Union Battle, Order Says Workers Don't Have To Pay Dues

Gov. Bruce Rauner on Monday afternoon issued an executive order that he says will allow 6,500 state employees who don't want to pay union dues to be free not to.

Originally published on Tue February 10, 2015 11:20 am

Gov. Bruce Rauner is ratcheting up his battle with organized labor. In a surprise move, today he issued an executive order that allows government workers to stop paying union dues.

Since taking office, Rauner talked a lot about his belief that unions’ contributions to political campaigns are a “corrupt bargain.”

The Republican governor says forcing state employees to pay union dues is a “critical cog” in that bargain, and it’s crushing taxpayers.

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