Amanda Vinicky

Illinois Statehouse Bureau Chief


NPR Story
10:05 am
Tue December 2, 2014

FOIA Firestorm Sparked

Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie, D-Chicago, declined to call a bill that makes controversial changes to the Freedom of Information Act during a House Executive committee meeting Monday.

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 12:13 am

Advocates for government transparency still have a fight ahead over the state's Freedom of Information Act. That's despite a temporary reprieve yesterday.

Rep. Barbara Flynn Currie, of Chicago, caught transparency advocates off guard last week, with just a handful of days remaining in the legislative session. She introduced a plan that would make it harder for members of the public to obtain government information. It would also make it harder for citizens to recover legal fees when governments illegally withhold documents.

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1:30 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Last Minute Rush To Change Freedom Of Information Act

Originally published on Mon December 1, 2014 12:06 pm

Illinois residents could have a harder time accessing government information under new legislation before the General Assembly. 

The plan, SB2799, makes it harder for people to get repaid legal costs when a government wrongfully denies access to public documents. 

At the same time, it makes it easier for governments to keep certain information off-limits.

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State will Appeal Ruling
2:53 pm
Fri November 21, 2014

Judge Finds Reductions in Illinois Pension Benefits Unconstitutional

Credit Wiki Commons

An Illinois judge has ruled that a law intended to fix the nation's worst-funded state employee pensions violates the state Constitution.

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11:39 am
Sun November 9, 2014

Rauner Wants Lame Ducks To Lay Off

Governor-elect Bruce Rauner stands before his newly-announced transition team; days after the election he said lawmakers should hold off making major decisions until he takes over.
Credit Amanda Vinicky/Illinois Public Radio

Even though the race for Illinois governor is over, Gov. Pat Quinn and Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner continue to be at odds, this time over the minimum wage.

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Election 2014
1:06 pm
Mon November 3, 2014

Answers about the Questions at the Top of Illinois Ballots

Illinois' statewide ballot asks voters to answer five questions. They include a pair of constitutional amendments followed by a trio of non-binding referendums.
Credit Amanda Vinicky/Illinois Public Radio

Illinois voters on Tuesday will be asked to change the state constitution and to weigh in on a trio of non-binding questions legislators could use to guide decisions down the line.

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Election 2014
1:54 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

Madigan Vs. The Marine

Attorney General Lisa Madigan is escorted by American Legion members at a 2014 convention in Springfield; she's seeking a fourth term.
Credit Amanda Vinicky/Illinois Public Radio

The contest for Illinois attorney general pits a long-time incumbent against a prosecutor with international experience.

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Election 2014
9:58 am
Wed October 15, 2014

Politicians On Parade

Bruce Rauner gives a thumbs up to a child at Pilsen's Mexican Independence Day parade.

Originally published on Tue October 14, 2014 12:52 am

Children across Illinois had the day off from school Monday in honor of Columbus Day. Despite soggy weather, both Governor Pat Quinn and his Republican rival Bruce Rauner celebrated by walking down State St., for Chicago's Columbus Day parade. In an age when campaigns are increasingly high-tech, Amanda Vinicky took to the streets to find out why so many politicians spend so much time pounding the pavement.

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Election 2014
9:41 am
Tue October 14, 2014

Quinn, Rauner Agree: No To Education Funding Plan

Originally published on Mon October 13, 2014 8:22 am

Both of the major party candidates for governor say Illinois should put more money into education. But neither are ready to embrace a controversial plan that would change how state money is distributed to schools.

There's been an uproar in some Chicago suburbs lately, over a proposal that's already passed the Illinois Senate. Under it, many districts there would see cuts in state funding, because they're in wealthier areas.

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Historically Underfunded
6:04 pm
Thu October 2, 2014

Pensions: Vexing Illinois Politicians Since 1917

The tally in the Illinois House on the pension overhaul law.
Credit Amanda Vinicky/Illinois Public Radio

The underfunding of the state's pensions have grabbed headlines the past several years, and finally reached the political tipping point late last year when legislators passed an overhaul of the systems.

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Decisions by Year’s End
12:37 pm
Thu October 2, 2014

Stiff Competition for Medical Marijuana Licenses

Cannabis plants
Credit Wiki Commons

There is plenty of competition for licenses to grow and sell medical marijuana in Illinois as part of the state’s Cannabis Pilot Program.

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