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Stories by Amanda Vinicky

Radio Flyer: Riding and Rolling in Chicago for 100 Years

In 1917, Woodrow Wilson was president. Telegrams were a popular way to communicate across long distances. World War I began. And a Chicago company got its rolling start.

House Overrides Rauner’s Vetoes to Pass a Budget

At long last, Illinois has a budget – its first in more than two years. And residents will be sending more of their paychecks to state government to help pay for it.

Tax, Budget Vote May Be Too Late for Illinois to Escape ‘Junk’ Status

(Ken Teegardin / Flickr)

Thursday will be do or die for an income tax increase and Illinois’ first budget since July 2015, following a warning from Moody’s that the state is under review for a credit rating downgrade.

Senate Overrides Rauner Vetoes, but Illinois Still Without Budget

(Éovart Caçeir at English Wikipedia)

Illinois is a single step away from having its first budget in years, after a whirlwind of Fourth of July action that saw the state Senate swiftly overriding Gov. Bruce Rauner’s vetoes of a $5 billion tax hike and $36.1 billion budget that the senators had passed just hours earlier.

Senate to Call Fourth of July Budget, Tax Vote

Illinois senators will spend Independence Day voting on a budget and income tax hike. Even if both plans pass, it doesn’t necessarily mean Illinois will get its first budget in two years. 

GOP Joins Democrats to Approve Tax Hike in Madigan’s House

(Meagan Davis / Wikimedia Commons)

In a stunning turnabout from the partisan divisions that has kept Illinois without a budget for the past two years, Republicans joined with Democrats to pass $5 billion in new taxes, along with a $36 billion budget.

Mixed Signals, Finger-Pointing as Illinois Begins 3rd Year Without Budget

(Jim Bowen / Flickr)

Illinois escaped an immediate slump to “junk” bond status as it began its third consecutive year without a budget—a politically depraved condition that’s a first for modern state governments. Get the latest from Springfield.

Illinois: On the Brink of a Deal, or a Disaster

(Éovart Caçeir at English Wikipedia)

The state will begin a third fiscal year without a budget in place, despite a potential breakthrough Friday morning, when a $36.5 billion spending plan cleared a major hurdle in the Illinois House.

Radogno Resigns, Democrats Introduce Tax Plan

| Evan Garcia

Two days before a Springfield special legislative session is scheduled to end, Illinois Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno announced she will resign Saturday.

Illinois House Democrats Propose Own Budget Plan

Budget negotiations are ongoing in Springfield, with Friday's deadline edging ever closer. 

What if a State Budget Doesn’t Pass?

(Ken Teegardin / Flickr)
Illinois lawmakers were in special session Monday—and all weekend—attempting to hash out a budget deal. But what if they don’t get it done before Friday?

Madigan Introduces New Set of Demands as Preconditions for Budget Deal

Leaders Meet for the First Time in 2017, but Without Rauner

(Éovart Caçeir at English Wikipedia)

As Illinois faces an end-of-month deadline to pass a budget, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan has introduced a new set of preconditions to a compromise.

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.