Stories by Amanda Vinicky

Illinois in ‘Dire Straits’ and Leaders, Governor Can’t Even Agree to Meet

(Meagan Davis / Wikimedia Commons)

An updated “doomsday” picture offered by Comptroller Susana Mendoza: Without a budget in place soon, she won’t be able to write checks to pay for the most basic of services come August.

As End of Fiscal Year Nears, Little Progress in Springfield

(Jim Bowen / Flickr)

The end of the fiscal year is a week from Friday. Is Illinois any closer to getting a budget passed by that deadline?

In Springfield, Special Session Off to a Slow Start

(Meagan Davis / Wikimedia Commons)

The 10-day special session called by Gov. Bruce Rauner got off to a slow start Wednesday, with legislators spending none of their short time on the House and Senate floors debating material fiscal matters. 

Rauner Calls for Compromise Ahead of Special Session

On the eve of a special legislative session, Gov. Bruce Rauner took a rare step to draw attention to the state budget situation, with a short, but – highly publicized – speech Tuesday evening.

State Moves to Cut Off IDOT Construction

If a budget isn’t in place by July 1, the Illinois Department of Transportation says all contractors must stop any roadwork. What this may mean for your morning commute.

Rauner Calls for Special Legislative Session

Gov. Bruce Rauner is calling for a special 10-day legislative session. It will run from Wednesday to the end of the month. 

Black Lives Matter Files Lawsuit to Force Chicago Police Reforms

A class-action “use of force” lawsuit seeks a federal crackdown on the Chicago Police Department.

Big Property Tax Hike for Chicago Homeowners

Chicago residents should expect to pay about 10 percent more in property taxes. 

The Illinois Executive Mansion Gets a Makeover

A leaky roof, rotting walls and crumbling stairs – that was the condition of the Illinois executive mansion in 2015. Now a renovation of the 161-year-old mansion is underway.

Judge Rules on State Payments to Medicaid Providers

U.S. District Court Judge Joan Lefkow is directing the cash-strapped state to put more money into Medicaid.

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.