Stories by Amanda Vinicky

Remembering Gwendolyn Brooks on Her 100th Birthday

Wednesday marks what would have been the 100th birthday for poet Gwendolyn Brooks.

Judge to Decide Which Bills Get Paid First

(Ken Teegardin / Flickr)

Illinois government is sitting on $14.68 billion of bills it can’t afford to pay, and providers of Medicaid are suing to get to the front of the line.

A Growing Line to Buy the Chicago Sun-Times

The Chicago Sun-Times is for sale, and Tronc—the parent company of the Chicago Tribune—has already signaled an intent to buy the paper. But the Department of Justice is giving others an opportunity to get in on the action.

Rauner: ‘We May Have to Resort to a Special Session’

Gov. Bruce Rauner sits down with Amanda Vinicky to talk about the next steps in Springfield.

No Budget Vote on Deadline Day; Gridlock Extends into June

| Evan Garcia
(Jim Bowen / Flickr)

It’s the 700th day of Illinois’ historic budget stalemate and the final day of the General Assembly’s scheduled spring session—and still no budget in sight. The Illinois House will now push budget negotiations into June, when rules change for passing legislation.

Protesters Demand Budget as Legislators Edge Closer to Adjourning

Protesters demanding a budget block Gov. Bruce Rauner’s office on Tuesday. (Amanda Vinicky / Chicago Tonight)

Illinois legislators are edging closer to their adjournment Wednesday at midnight, but as of Tuesday evening no agreed plan had surfaced.

Mayor Applauds Gun Bill, But it’s Stuck

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson on Monday commended the Illinois House for passing a long sought-after measure cracking down on people caught multiple times for illegal gun possession, but perhaps they were too quick with their praise.

Illinois Still Has No Budget (But a Bunch of Other Bills In the Works)

Illinois legislators are under the gun to pass Illinois’ first complete budget since July 2015. The spring session ends Wednesday, though with time running short it seems more likely that the deadline will be put off until the end of June.

Without a Budget, ‘That’s It’: Weekend State Budget Update

(Meagan Davis / Wikimedia Commons)

Lawmakers heard tales of woe Sunday as the Illinois House resumed what’s supposed to be the swan song of the annual spring session. There is, increasingly, a prevailing sentiment that the Democratic-led General Assembly will fail to pass a budget by May 31.

Lawmakers Adjourn as Budget Agreement Remains Elusive

(Éovart Caçeir at English Wikipedia)

A new round of finger-pointing played out as Illinois lawmakers left the capitol Friday for a mini Memorial Day weekend break.

Budget Clock Ticks, Lawmakers Linger

(Jimmy Emerson, DVM / Flickr)

Illinois lawmakers are set to spend the bulk of the Memorial Day weekend at the capitol, as Illinois edges closer toward entering a third straight year without a budget.

Illinois Budget Now in Madigan’s Court

Illinois representatives Wednesday are beginning to vet the $37.3 billion spending plan – as well as the tax hike that would support it – passed a day prior by their Senate peers.

Illinois Senate Passes Budget, Tax Increase

(Meagan Davis / Wikimedia Commons)

Democrats in the Illinois Senate on Tuesday passed what could be the state’s first complete budget in two years and a revenue package that includes a 32-percent increase in the personal income tax rate. 

Who’s Who of Illinois CEOs Call for $8 Billion Revenue Hike

A just-released report from Chicago’s premier group of business executives says Illinois needs $8 billion in new and increased taxes to get back on track. 

Mother Sues Website Following Daughter’s Murder

Yvonne Robinson-Ambrose speaks to the press about her daughter Desiree Robinson. “She excelled at everything. Track and field, basketball. You name it.”

A Chicago woman says the classified ads website Backpage.com should be held responsible for her teenage daughter’s murder late last year.

Illinois Senate Passes Bill to Expand Taxpayer-Funded Abortions

(Meagan Davis / Wikimedia Commons)

In passing House Bill 40, Illinois senators tossed a political hot potato into Gov. Bruce Rauner’s lap ahead of the 2018 gubernatorial campaign.

Report: Budget Impasse a ‘Stunning Failure of Leadership’

(Éovart Caçeir at English Wikipedia)

The political inertia that’s left Illinois without a budget can’t continue, according to a report released Tuesday by the non-partisan Civic Federation. 

Budget Deal is ‘Top Priority,’ Says Madigan, But is Bargain in Sight?

| Alexandra Silets
(Jimmy Emerson, DVM / Flickr)

Lawmakers are in the final weeks before the legislative session ends – is there a “grand bargain” in sight?  

A Year Later, Illinois Service Providers Back in Court Seeking Money

A year to the date that Illinois human service providers first went to court, the Pay Now coalition again asked the judicial branch to force the state to make good on its contracts. 

J.B. Pritzker Nabs Trade Union Endorsements

A candidate for Illinois governor gets an early boost from one of Democrats’ traditional allies.

Rauner, Madigan Meet for the First Time in 2017

The ringleaders of Illinois’ partisan impasse – Gov. Bruce Rauner and House Speaker Michael Madigan – met Thursday morning for the first time since before Christmas.

Rauner Gives Illinois a Grade A

| Nicole Cardos
(Éovart Caçeir at English Wikipedia)

Gov. Bruce Rauner sits down with Chicago Tonight correspondent Amanda Vinicky to discuss his agenda for public schools, the state budget crisis and why he drops the “g” when he speaks.

House Passes ‘Abortion Bill,’ Puts Governor in Political Pickle

After two hours of debate this afternoon, the Illinois House passed a measure that paves the way for more taxpayer-funded abortions. The legislation allows for Medicaid recipients to use that government health insurance to cover an abortion. Likewise, for state employees.

Rauner Says About-Face on Abortion Due to ‘Focus’

Gov. Bruce Rauner is casting his promise to veto legislation that’s become known as the “abortion bill” as a matter of timing rather than philosophy.

Is It Time for Illinois to Hang Up on Landlines?

With Chicago residents increasingly forgoing landlines for cellphones and other technology, state legislators are considering freeing AT&T from a longstanding mandate that it offer copper-wire "plain old telephone service."