Stories by Amanda Vinicky

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."

Should Your Credit Score Affect Your Car Insurance Rate?

(Colin J Bird / Wikimedia Commons)

It’s illegal in Illinois for insurers to charge rates based on factors like race, but a pair of state legislators say companies’ reliance on credit scores to set auto insurance premium rates contravenes the law. 

Legal Pot in Illinois a Question of When, Not If, Legislators Say

(Chuck Grimmett / Flickr)

Illinois recently sanctioned marijuana for medicinal use, and a law signed last July decriminalized possession of small amounts of the drug. Could full-scale legalization be next? 

Cook County Judge Fatally Shot Outside South Side Home

Cook County Associate Judge Raymond Myles (Courtesy of Circuit Court of Cook County)

It is a new and disturbing mark against the city of Chicago: Early Monday morning a local judge was shot and killed.

For These Chicago Kids, Time is ‘Write’ for Cursive Clubs

It’s rarely taught in schools anymore, so kids today are joining cursive clubs. But a state legislator is moving to once again make cursive lessons mandatory. 

Moody’s Predicts Doom If Illinois Doesn’t Pass Budget by Spring

Reports from credit ratings agencies aren’t typically considered thrilling reads. But the latest one from Moody’s is so ominous, it ought to give taxpayers, or at least state lawmakers elected to represent them, the shivers.

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 appears on “Chicago Tonight” on Jan. 23, 2017.

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.”