Amanda Vinicky

Illinois Statehouse Bureau Chief

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Term Limits Question Will Not Be On Ballot
6:54 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Term Limits: The Walking, Talking Dead Constitutional Amendment

Bruce Rauner, the Republican nominee for governor, tried to put public pressure on the Illinois Supreme Court to hear the term limits case; it didn't work. The Court issued a brief memo on Friday saying simply that it would not hear Rauner's appeal of a lower court ruling that found the question unconstitutional.

Originally published on Sun August 24, 2014 3:17 pm

You may know by now that a question regarding term limits has been knocked off the ballot by the courts, but do you know why? Regardless of the court rulings, don't expect the issue to go away.

Republican nominee for governor Bruce Rauner and his attorneys say they tried to write a proposal that could pass constitutional muster.

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NPR Story
10:25 am
Mon August 18, 2014

(Cow) Tipping The Governor's Race

The Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, Evelyn Sanguinetti, gives a rousing speech at the Illinois State Fair GOP Day. For the first time, gubernatorial candidates chose their running mates.

Originally published on Fri August 15, 2014 12:25 am

Politicians are supposed to apologize when they mess up, but typically that doesn't involve saying "I'm sorry" to cows. That's what Governor Pat Quinn says his opponent's running mate needs to do.

Before Republican Bruce Rauner asked her to be his running mate, attorney Evelyn Sanguinetti had made inquiries about getting a job with the state.

Lee Enterprises newspaper reporter Kurt Erickson uncovered that inquiry; which was made via email, to state employee whom Sanguinetti supposedly went to law school with.

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Election 2014
10:23 am
Mon August 18, 2014

Why The Rush? Term Limits Decision Time Deadline, Explained

Originally published on Sun August 17, 2014 11:38 pm

Even though Illinois' general election is months away, a controversial ballot question could be answered by the end of this week. Friday is the deadline for a term limits initiative to make it on the ballot.

Republican's nominee for governor, Bruce Rauner, has made instituting term limits for legislators a central plank of his campaign.

That would require a constitutional amendment. Rauner funded an effort to collected a half million signatures, so that the question could go before voters this fall.

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Republican Day at Illinois State Fair
8:24 am
Fri August 15, 2014

Riding A Harley ... To A Republican Victory?

Bruce Rauner rallies Republicans at the Illinois State Fair.

Originally published on Fri August 15, 2014 12:03 am

  With summer coming to an end, and the November election getting ever closer, Gov. Pat Quinn and other Illinois Democrats gathered Wednesday in Springfield, for an annual party meeting and rally. But Thursday, Republicans had their day. The GOP hopes it'll be their year.

There's no "normal" way to get to the area on the Illinois State Fairgrounds where Republicans had their gathering.

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Democrats Day at the Illinois State Fair
6:37 am
Thu August 14, 2014

Mascots, Class Warfare, Rallies: Democrats Fight To Hold Onto Power

Originally published on Wed August 13, 2014 9:31 pm

Even as states like Ohio, Iowa and Wisconsin are known as political battlegrounds and bellwethers, Illinois has the reputation for being a solid "blue" state. Illinois sends double as many Democrats to Washington as it does Congressional Republicans. The state legislature tips heavily in favor of Democrats, who hold veto-proof majorities. And it has been more than a decade since a Republican last sat in Illinois' governor's seat.

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Reduced Hours of Operation
6:18 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

Budget Cuts Impact Illinois Historic Sites

The Lincoln New Salem site
Credit Enjoy Illinois

More than a dozen historic sites in Illinois will be closed to the public for an extra day each week.

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Rail Transportation
11:50 am
Thu August 7, 2014

Full Steam Ahead For Amtrak

An Amtrak train stops to drop off and pick up passengers at the Springfield station.

Originally published on Wed August 6, 2014 8:46 pm

  Amtrak ridership in Illinois has risen in recent years; it's up almost 85 percent from 2006 through last year. That trend developed after the rail service added routes. The train service could grow more in the future.

In 2006, lines branching out from Chicago that went to Carbondale, Quincy and St. Louis added trips.

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Illinois Budget
9:58 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Illinois' Credit Prognosis: Negative

Originally published on Wed July 23, 2014 6:29 pm

Wall Street's view of Illinois' financial health has taken a hit, thanks largely to the state budget that took effect at the start of this month. Pensions also continue to be a drag. 

When Illinois Democrats passed the state's latest budget, many seemed to hold their nose. Credit ratings agencies are more direct: Standard & Poors has revised Illinois' credit outlook to "negative." 

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Letting It Play Out in Court
10:26 am
Sun July 27, 2014

AFSCME Now Less Likely to Negotiate on Pensions

The Illinois Capitol building

Illinois lawmakers hope to have a second shot at reaching a compromise with public employees over pensions, but the unions are pinning their hopes on the court system.

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School Closings for Election Day
11:58 am
Mon July 21, 2014

No School For Kids On Election Day

Originally published on Fri July 18, 2014 5:26 pm

Illinois students could get a day off of school come election day. Schools are often at the heart of a community, metaphorically, if not literally. That's part of the reason they've long been voting sites.

But with shootings at schools across the country, some lawmakers are concerned the practice is dangerous.

Most of the time visitors need to sign in before entering a school; they say allowing anyone in on election day is asking for trouble.

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