Stories by amanda vinicky

New Indictments Breed New Madigan Defections

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan (WTTW News)

As of Thursday evening, 16 Democrats elected to be part of the Illinois House next year have publicly said they will not support Michael Madigan for what would be a historic 19th term in the powerful position.

Indictments Hit Speaker Madigan’s Inner Circle, Former ComEd CEO

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan (WTTW News)

A close confidant of Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan and Commonwealth Edison’s first female CEO are among those indicted Wednesday in connection with a bribery scheme.

Voting Begins for CPS Local School Councils

(WTTW News)

Chicago Public School Local School Council members are up for election this week. What are LSCs and what power do they have?

For Some Restaurants, It’s Cheaper to Close Than to Remain Open

Andersonville bar and restaurant Hopleaf (WTTW News)

It’s been a solid eight months since government leaders in Chicago and Illinois began asking residents to limit their activities due to the coronavirus. A new round of that took effect in the city on Monday.

Containing COVID-19: Jails, Prisons Ripe for Spread

Cook County Jail was once the hot spot for the coronavirus, but now the positivity rate is lower there than in Chicago and Cook County. As COVID-19 surges in the community, officials and advocates worry it will reach detainees.

Legislative Lurch: Illinois Lawmakers Won’t Meet Again in 2020

(Meagan Davis / Wikimedia Commons)

The Illinois legislature is not coming back this year. What does that mean for the Black Lives Matter movement and the state budget?

State Supreme Court Justice Kilbride Booted From the Bench

Illinois Supreme Court Justice Thomas Kilbride appears on “Chicago Tonight” via Zoom on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020. (WTTW News)

The makeup of the Illinois Supreme Court is changing, and it comes at a pivotal time. What the evolving bench means for residents.

What Does the Future Hold for House Speaker Madigan?

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan (WTTW News)

It hasn’t even been a week since the election, but Illinois politicians are looking ahead to another race: the election of the next speaker of the Illinois House.

14th District Congressional Race Still Too Close to Call

Oberweis Claims Victory; Underwood Confident She’ll Win

Jim Oberweis (WTTW News)

Republican Jim Oberweis believes there aren’t enough ballots outstanding that would allow incumbent Democrat Lauren Underwood to overtake his slim lead in Illinois' 14th Congressional district.

Illinois Voters Reject ‘Fair Tax’ Amendment

A billboard in Chicago promotes voting in favor of the so-called fair tax in the November election. (WTTW News)

In a blow to Gov. J.B. Pritzker and to his hopes of injecting billions of dollars more revenue into the state budget, Illinois voters on Tuesday rejected a constitutional amendment to overhaul how the state taxes income.

Voting at Cook County Jail Sees 40% Turnout for General Election

(Courtesy of Cook County Sheriff’s Office)

There is little that’s normal about the 2020 election, including the fact that this is the first election cycle in which detainees can cast ballots at Cook County Jail. 

What is the Future of Abortion Rights in Illinois?

Women march past the Thompson Center in Chicago as part of an abortion rights demonstration in May 2019. (WTTW News)

Newly confirmed Justice Amy Coney Barrett recently dodged questions about how she’d weigh cases dealing with abortion. Advocates on both sides view her leanings as a primary reason she was picked for the nation’s high court.

Illinois Towns Ask Pritzker: Where’s Our Money?

(Ken Teegardin / Flickr)

Towns and cities can’t access COVID-19 relief funding allocated to them by the federal government because the state is holding onto it instead, the Illinois Municipal League said Wednesday as it called on Pritzker’s administration to release the money.

COVID-19 Has Dealt a Blow to Government Budgets. What That Means for Illinois

(Meagan Davis / Wikimedia Commons)

How to educate students during a pandemic is far from the only issue elected officials — and Illinois residents — have to grapple with. And it seems unlikely the federal government will agree to another stimulus package before the election.

Illinois Supreme Court Battle Intensifies Ahead of Nov. 3 Election

Illinois Supreme Court Justice Thomas Kilbride appears on “Chicago Tonight” via Zoom on Monday, Oct. 19, 2020. (WTTW News)

Critics of Thomas Kilbride are making the most of their once-in-a-decade chance to toss a sitting Illinois Supreme Court justice.

Illinois Made It Easier to Vote, But Obstacles Remain

The election is just weeks away and early voting is in full swing. How ready are voters and election authorities?

Expanded Early Voting Kicks Off in Chicago

What you need to know about mail-in voting and voting in person as Nov. 3 — Election Day — approaches.

Good Government Groups Scold Legislators for Putting Ethics on the Back Burner

(Meagan Davis / Wikimedia Commons)

It’s been more than six months since a state commission was supposed to issue a report on proposed ethics reforms and nearly a year since the bipartisan commission was first formed.

Local Community Leaders on Vice Presidential Policy Promises

U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris and Vice President Mike Pence participate in a debate Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020. (WTTW News via CNN)

Health care, the environment and the economy were among the issues that got top billing Wednesday when the running mates of President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden faced off at their sole debate.

Meet the Democrat Making a Run Against Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan

State Rep. Stephanie Kifowit appears on “Chicago Tonight” via Zoom on Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020. (WTTW News)

Michael Madigan has had a virtual lock on his position as the leader of the Illinois House, serving as speaker for all but two years since 1983. Could his job now be in jeopardy?

Retirees at Center of Lawsuit, Questions Over Graduated Tax

Bishop Shirley Coleman of the Spiritual Wholistic Ministries of Love & Faith gathers with other religious leaders on Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020 to promote the “fair tax” amendment. (WTTW News)

In November, Illinois voters will be making a choice about how the state taxes income. But a last-minute lawsuit claims the ballot itself is flawed and is raising questions about how it may impact retirees.

The 2020 Census: What’s At Stake

(WTTW News)

Organizers in Illinois are making a major, last-minute push for census participation. What you need to know before the count wraps up.

Power Struggle: Madigan at Center of Illinois House Hearing

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan (WTTW News)

Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan declined to testify Tuesday at a special hearing convened for the sole purpose of vetting whether he engaged in conduct unbefitting of his elected position, and it remains unclear whether he’ll face a subpoena.

New Revelations About Trump’s Taxes. What It All Means

President Donald Trump speaks about coronavirus testing on Monday, Sept. 28, 2020. (WTTW News via CNN)

While President Donald Trump continues to battle in court to keep his financial records from becoming public, the New York Times got troves of Trump tax returns from unnamed sources. Tax experts share their insights.

Pot Entrepreneurs Get Another Shot From the State

(Photo by Jeff W on Unsplash)

Illinois’ already-delayed marijuana expansion is on pause, but many of the entrepreneurs trying to be part of the industry are hoping that good things will come to those who wait.

Celebrating Mexican Independence Day Amid the Pandemic

(Courtesy @theMariague via Twitter)

Mexican Americans didn't let the pandemic stop their celebrations. Was there a better way?