Stories by Amanda Vinicky

Pritzker Agenda Coming Down to the Wire

(Meagan Davis / Wikimedia Commons)

Illinois’ legislative session in Springfield is scheduled to adjourn at the end of this month – and a lot remains unresolved. 

Lightfoot Signs Executive Order Curbing Aldermanic Prerogative

Within hours of being sworn in, Mayor Lori Lightfoot signed an executive order that aims to significantly curb aldermanic prerogative. She made signing it her first order of business as a demonstration she’ll bring change to the city. 

Mayor Pete Buttigieg Campaigns in Chicago

Democratic presidential hopeful Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, takes questions from reporters following his speech at the City Club of Chicago on May 16, 2019.

The election is a long way off, but current polls give the South Bend mayor a decent shot at the White House.

The Escalating Trade War, and What it May Mean for US Consumers

In this March 5, 2019, file photo, cargo containers are staged near cranes at the Port of Tacoma, in Tacoma, Washington. (AP Photo / Ted S. Warren, File)

Global markets slowed Monday, including the main U.S. indexes, as a trade war between the United States and China intensifies.

WTTW News Takes Homes Chicago Journalism Awards

“Chicago Tonight” 2018 Lisagor Award winners Brandis Friedman, Paris Schutz, Amanda Vinicky, Nick Blumberg and Nicole Cardos attend the awards ceremony on Friday, May 10, 2019.

“Chicago Tonight” has won three prestigious Lisagor awards for the best in Chicago journalism, for the best in arts, education and government news.

Pump the Brakes: Uber, Lyft Drivers Strike

Barbara Lloyd of Chicago Rideshare Advocates speaks to the media during a rally Wednesday, May 8, 2019. (WTTW News)

Chicago commuters seeking a ride Wednesday may have better luck hailing a cab than using their smartphones to call for a car, due to a multistate strike by some Uber and Lyft drivers.

High Time or Half-Baked? Illinois Looks to Legalize Weed

(Chuck Grimmett / Flickr)

Illinois residents could buy and use weed legally as soon as January should a measure backed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker be passed into law – but there’s no guarantee that will happen.

Emanuel to Chicago: We Got Our Game Back

Outgoing Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel speaks at the City Club on Thursday, May 2, 2019.

Later this month, Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot will move into the executive suite at City Hall. She’ll inherit a city her predecessor says is better off now than when he took office some eight years ago.

Illinois Riddled with Political – and Literal – Potholes

(Meagan Davis / Wikimedia Commons)

Finding billions of dollars to repair roads, bridges and other infrastructure needs is high on legislators’ list of priorities with five weeks left in their spring session, but so too are other hefty “asks” of first-time Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

Pritzker: ‘No Concerns’ About Investigation of Property Tax Appeal

A novel approach to receiving a property tax break didn’t flush Gov. J.B. Pritzker’s chances at winning the 2018 election down the toilet. But he now faces a federal investigation into his property taxes.

100 Days In, Gov. Pritkzer’s Biggest Challenges Are Just Ahead

Illinois' new governor cites a list of early accomplishments. But the fate of his biggest plans, including overhauling how the state taxes its residents, is still up in the air.

Illinois Voter Data Hack Part of Mueller Report

“There’s solid evidence of obstruction, there are clear examples of collusion and conspiracy,” said U.S. Rep. Mike Quigley of the redacted Mueller report released Thursday.

After two years of waiting, the Mueller report is now out. And Illinois gets a mention.

Spotlight Politics: More Changes Coming to City Hall

On Thursday, officials are due to certify the results of too-close-to-call runoff races in three Chicago wards. Will a longtime political dynasty lose its council clout? Our politics team digests the top stories of the week.

Lawmakers Uneasy About Pritzker’s Pension Plans

Illinois’ long-term pension debt tops $130 billion. What Gov. J.B. Pritzker plans to do – and what he won’t do – about that crushing burden.

Chicago Mayor-Elect Lightfoot Meets with Madigan, Pritzker

Chicago Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot speaks to the media in Springfield on Wednesday, April 10, 2019.

Chicago’s next mayor won’t be sworn in until May 20, but she’s hitting the ground running. On Wednesday, Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot left the city to meet with top political leaders in Springfield.

Stage is Set for Major Fight Over Illinois Constitution, Tax Policy

“This amendment will … let us adopt a system that is more fair to the middle class,” Gov. J.B. Pritzker said at a press conference in Springfield on Tuesday, April 9, 2019.

The latest on a possible – and major – amendment to the state constitution that would lift a requirement that all income be taxed at a flat rate.

Illinois is Really Close to Legalizing Marijuana … Or Is It?

(herbalhemp / Pixabay)

Gov. J.B. Pritkzer is counting on Illinois to legalize recreational marijuana as part of his proposed spending plan. The latest in the ongoing debate over legalization.

Pritzker Signs Bill Paving Way for Sale of Thompson Center

(Ken Lund / Flickr)

The James R. Thompson Center has been controversial since it landed in the Loop in 1985. Now, a new layer of controversy has been added to the building’s history: its potential sale.

What Keeps Chicago Mayor-Elect Lightfoot Awake at Night?

Chicago Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot speaks with WTTW News on Friday, April 5, 2019.

“I worry about our children growing up with so much trauma and fear. I worry about that a lot,” Mayor-elect Lori Lightfoot said during a one-on-one interview Friday with WTTW News.

CPS Elected School Board Advances in Springfield

(Brandis Friedman / WTTW News)

To the delight of some advocacy groups and the Chicago Teachers Union, state representatives voted Thursday to move Chicago to an elected school board structure.

Spotlight Politics: Deciphering Lori Lightfoot’s Historic Win

In Tuesday’s runoff, Lori Lightfoot bested Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle in each of the city’s 50 wards. Lightfoot calls it a “mandate for change.” Our politics team weighs in.

What Would Sports Betting Look Like in Illinois?

In this Thursday, Dec. 13, 2018, file photo, gamblers place bets in the temporary sports betting area at the SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia. (AP Photo / Matt Rourke, File)

A U.S. Supreme Court decision last year opened the door to state-authorized sports betting, and Illinois is hurrying to take advantage of it. 

New Poll Suggests Lightfoot Poised to Clinch Mayor’s Race

Half of Chicagoans believe the city is “on the wrong track,” according to a new WTTW/Crain’s Temkin/Harris poll, which also indicates that Lori Lightfoot will win the April 2 runoff election to become Chicago’s next mayor.

As Marijuana Industry Grows, So Does Its Banking Problems

Illinois State Treasurer Michael Frerichs appears on “Chicago Tonight” on April 30, 2018.

Illinois’ marijuana industry is growing like a weed, but could banking regulations lead to its collapse? State Treasurer Michael Frerichs says the cash-based business is “now ripe for theft, fraud and tax evasion.”

Mayoral Candidates Preckwinkle, Lightfoot Square off on Aldermanic Prerogative

Mayoral candidates Toni Preckwinkle, left, and Lori Lightfoot speak to the media following their meeting with the Chicago Tribune editorial board Tuesday, March 12, 2019. The two will face off in a runoff election on April 2.

With corruption scandals roiling Chicago politics, both of the candidates for mayor say cleaning up City Hall is near the top of their agendas. But it’s also where they differ, particularly when it comes to aldermanic prerogative.