Stories by Amanda Vinicky

Legislators Propose Alternatives to ‘Grand Bargain’

Nearly three months after Senate leaders unveiled a so-called “grand bargain,” the gridlock in Springfield has only intensified. Now, Democrats and Republicans are coming forward with their own alternative platforms. 

Cook County Democrats Consider Who They Want for Governor

The primary for governor is a year away. But already, it's quite a contest. Limits on campaign contributions have been lifted. And this morning, six potential candidates made their pitches to Cook County Democratic committeemen. 

Judge Orders Comptroller Mendoza to Pay Illinois Lawmakers

Comptroller Susana Mendoza is processing $8.6 million worth of delayed paychecks, following an order Thursday by Judge Rodolfo Garcia.

State Sen. Daniel Biss Enters Race for Illinois Governor

Casting himself as a progressive alternative to affluent candidates, state Sen. Daniel Biss has entered the race for Illinois governor.

What Does Trump’s Budget Proposal Mean for Illinois?

President Trump is out with what he's calling a "budget blueprint to make America great again." What would it mean for Illinois?

Rauner Wants Power to Chop State Budget, But Won’t Say What He’d Cut

(Meagan Davis / Wikimedia Commons)

Democratic legislators have refused Gov. Bruce Rauner’s request for “extraordinary” budget authority, with one – Sen. Don Harmon of Oak Park – saying it would be akin to “giving a razor blade to a toddler.”

Poll: Voters Not Happy With Rauner, Madigan or Other State Leaders

Gov. Bruce Rauner and the Republican Party have spent months and millions trying to frame Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan as a master puppeteer, but Rauner appears to be dragging himself down at the same time.

Governor Piles on with Pension Plan as CPS Fix

Under pressure to send Chicago Public Schools cash following a social media lashing from Chance the Rapper, Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration is intensifying pressure on Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Democrats to act.

Chicago’s Top Cop Pushes for Tougher Sentences for Repeat Gun Offenders

Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson testifies in Springfield in favor of tougher sentences for repeat gun offenders. But will his proposed changes actually make the city safer?

Democrats Call Rauner’s Conspiracy Theory ‘Delusional Babble’

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner accuses Democrats of being behind a coordinated effort to shut down state government.

Rauner: ‘No Reason to Wait’ on CPS Funding

Following calls Monday by Chance the Rapper to “do your job,” Gov. Bruce Rauner on Tuesday said there are two viable plans to quickly get $215 million to Chicago Public Schools.

Rauner Gets a Rap After Taking a Chance

Fresh off of his Grammy glory, Chicago’s 23-year-old Chance the Rapper used his celeb status to score a private meeting Friday with Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner to discuss Chicago Public Schools.

‘Grand Bargain’ on Budget Hits Grand Thud

(Meagan Davis / Wikimedia Commons)

The state Senate was scheduled to take final votes Wednesday on a plan to end Illinois’ budget impasse. Instead, it adjourned without any action. 

Rauner Unveils New Health Care Plan

Governor Says He’ll Meet Trump ‘Any Time’

Gov. Bruce Rauner is back in Illinois after a quick trip to Washington D.C. He did not meet with President Donald Trump, but the two chatted by phone.

Rauner Crushes Prospect of Further Union Negotiations

Gov. Bruce Rauner sits down for an interview with Chicago Tonight political correspondent Paris Schutz on Jan. 4, 2017.

The heightened potential of a state employee strike did nothing to sway Gov. Bruce Rauner, who on Friday swiftly dismissed the notion of returning to the bargaining table with AFSCME.

Lakefront Fishing a Break from ‘Hustle and Bustle’ of City

In the depths of a Chicago winter – and especially when there's a winter heat wave – sometimes you just have to get outside. But what if you’re not one for skiing or skating? We decided to go fish.

Judge Denies AG Madigan’s Request to Stop State Workers’ Pay

(Amanda Vinicky /Chicago Tonight)

A shutdown of Illinois government has been averted thanks to a decision Thursday by St. Clair County Judge Robert LeChien that permits state employees to continue getting paid.

Closing of Swedish Bakery a Bitter Pill, But Sweet Memories Abound

A Chicago institution is closing up shop after 88 years. Visitors have been flocking to the Swedish Bakery in Andersonville to say – and eat – their goodbyes. 

Rauner Lays Out Budget Plan; Democrats Not Impressed

Even as Illinois staggers on, rudderless without a budget, Gov. Bruce Rauner was faced Wednesday with laying out a fiscal path forward. Read the governor’s address, annotated.

For Second Time, First Lady’s Nonprofit Sues Governor

Diana Rauner (Courtesy the Ounce of Prevention Fund)

The early childhood support program run by Diana Rauner, wife of Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner, is once again part of a coalition suing the state to recover money it’s owed.  

Illinois Budget: ‘Grand Bargain’ or Bust?

Portions of the so-called “grand bargain” passed the Illinois Senate on Wednesday afternoon, but what’s been touted as a bipartisan deal received no Republican support. Is the whole package on the skids?

Latest ‘Grand Bargain’ Proposes Lower Sales Tax

After hours discussing the grand bargain budget behind closed doors, the state Senate goes home without voting. A look at how the deal is changing.

A Big Bet on a Grand Bargain

Illinois Senate President John Cullerton speaks Monday at the City Club of Chicago.

Senate leaders’ bipartisan salve to Illinois’ budget troubles is on tap for a vote in Springfield this week.

Bruce Rauner Hires Leslie Munger as Deputy Governor

Leslie Munger (Chicago Tonight)

Former Illinois Comptroller Leslie Munger will return to state government at her former, $135,000 salary. Friday afternoon Gov. Bruce Rauner’s office announced that Munger has been brought on as a deputy governor.   

Is It Really Possible to Balance the State Budget Without a Tax Hike?

Illinois Policy Institute CEO John Tillman (Chicago Tonight)

The conservative Illinois Policy Institute unveiled a plan Tuesday that promises to fill Illinois’ $7.1 billion budget hole, without any increase in taxes.