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Tony Arnold

Tony Arnold

State Politics Reporter

As WBEZ’s Illinois politics reporter, Tony Arnold spends his days covering the government officials who have to commute the three and a half hours on I-55 from Chicago to Springfield. Tony started at WBEZ in 2006 as an intern and over the course of his career has won awards for his coverage of a range of topics, from Illinois’ ban of horse slaughter for human consumption to abandoned corporate campuses in Chicago’s suburbs to the problems facing Illinois’ underfunded pension systems.

Tony’s first job was as a high school sports stringer for his hometown newspaper, The Lima News, in Lima, Ohio. Since then, he’s filed stories for WNIJ in DeKalb, IL, WMUB in Oxford, OH, and several newspapers around Northwest Ohio. Tony has a B.A. in American Studies from Miami University. He and his wife live in Chicago’s Bucktown neighborhood.

Recent Stories


A Closer Look At The Group That Could Inform Rauner’s Agenda

Some of the governor's new hires come from a think tank that has advocated for smaller government and lower taxes.


Rauner Amps Up Threat To Cut Chicago School Funding

Gov. Rauner wants to redistribute money earmarked for Chicago schools to districts across the state before school starts this fall.


Rauner Assistant Fired On First Day

The assistant was fired after he tweeted homophobic slurs and questioned if body slamming reporters was the way to win in Illinois.

WBEZ Updates

Rauner Speaks Out After Budget Override

On Friday, Gov. Bruce Rauner addressed reporters for the first time since state lawmakers approved a budget over his veto. Rauner was north of Chicago in Gurnee, IlL. - where there’s been severe flooding, forcing some residents from their homes.WBEZ state politics reporter Tony Arnold tells us more about the appearance.

Morning Edition

Illinois Democrats Divided Over Billionaire Candidate

Democrats in Illinois are debating whether they should back a billionaire candidate to take on Gov. Bruce Rauner next year.


Cook County Dems Hear From Gubernatorial Candidates

An endorsement from the county's Democratic Party would mean resources, staff and volunteers.


A Look At Illinois' Budget Mess As Lawmakers Head To Capitol

State lawmakers will be back in Springfield on Wednesday and face higher stakes to get a budget for the fiscal year that begins July 1.


Governor's Race Heating Up ... And The Election Isn't Until 2018

The election is more than a year away, but the campaigns are already getting heated. WBEZ's Tony Arnold recaps an eventful week.

WBEZ Updates

The Fight Over The Two-year-long Budget Impasse

Illinois lawmakers fought over the two-year-long budget impasse in front of rape victims, sexual assault survivors, and people recovering from addiction.


Judge: Illinois Must Make Medicaid Payments Faster

The federal judge did not rule on how much faster payments should be made and told lawyers to keep negotiating.


Federal Judge To Decide If Illinois Should Speed Up Payments To Medicaid

Attorneys for the state say speeding up the payments could jeopardize payments to schools and state employees.

Morning Shift

Rauner On Minimum Wage, Elected School Board, Budget Crisis

The governor blamed Democrats for the failure to pass a budget this week. Meanwhile, the Senate's top Democrat said Rauner could be "toast."


Illinois Lawmakers Again Fail To Pass A Budget

The stalemate is the longest any state has gone without a budget deal since at least the Great Depression.


State Lawmakers Hope To Approve Chicago Elected School Board Bill

Some lawmakers are pushing a vote on the bill before Wednesday's deadline, a move opposed by Mayor Rahm Emanuel.


Illinois House OKs Stricter Gun Crime Sentences

Some lawmakers said stricter sentencing would disproportionately incarcerate minorities without addressing deeply rooted issues.


State Committee Approves Tougher Sentences For Repeat Gun Offenders

The bill, which goes to the full state House for a vote, is opposed by some black lawmakers who say it will send more minorities to prison.


Judge Delays Decision On How Quickly State Should Pay Medicaid

A federal judge appeared conflicted Wednesday over whether the state should prioritize Medicaid payments during the budget impasse.


Who Supports Stricter Punishment For Illinois’ Repeat Gun Offenders

Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel has found an unusual ally in his push for stricter gun laws — Republican House Minority Leader Jim Durkin.


Illinois’ Medicaid Problems Could Jeopardize Money For Schools, State Workers

State attorneys say Illinois can’t pay Medicaid service providers quickly enough unless the money comes from somewhere else.

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