With the State of Illinois finally having a new budget for the first time in two years, the Project for Middle Class Renewal at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Illinois Economic Policy Institute evaluated the economic research on policy measures currently under consideration by state lawmakers.
The full report is available here: Public Policies That Grow the Illinois Economy: An Evidence-Based Review of the Current Debate. Continue reading “Education and Infrastructure Grow the Economy. Other Proposals Being Debated in Illinois Don’t.”
If Illinois’ state budget crisis is not resolved by June 30, 2017, all existing Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) road, bridge, and transit projects will be stopped.
Yesterday, Frank Manzo IV, Illinois Economic Policy Institute (ILEPI) Policy Director, testified before the Illinois General Assembly. Please CLICK HERE to read the full testimony. The following is an edited version of the testimony.
Continue reading “ILEPI Testimony on the Potential IDOT Shutdown”
The Union-Business Case for Firm Relocation and Investment in Illinois and Peoria is available here.
In April 2016, the Project for Middle Class Renewal at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Illinois Economic Policy Institute jointly released an economic commentary outlining the top ten reasons for a business to locate to the Peoria area in Illinois. The report, which was originally limited to the Peoria area, is now available to the broader public.
Continue reading “10 Reasons Why Peoria Remains a Great Place to Do Business”
With a renewed focus on rebuilding the nation’s infrastructure, Congress must also support policies that rebuild middle-class jobs in the United States. Continue reading “New Bill Would Cut the Wages of Middle-Class Construction Workers”
The Illinois Economic Policy Institute (ILEPI) supports the Illinois Tollway Board’s decision to advance the proposed Route 53/120 Extension project through an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS). ILEPI recently released a project analysis which found that demographic and economic trends convincingly … Continue reading The Illinois Tollway Board Votes to Move the Route 53/120 Extension Forward
In Friday’s release on state employment and unemployment, there are both positives and negatives for Illinois. On the positive side, Illinois had the 4th-largest decline in the unemployment rate over the past year and now has a lower unemployment rate than states like Georgia, Texas, and California. On the negative side, Illinois had the 9th-worst job growth over the year.
Continue reading “Illinois Unemployment Fell, But Job Growth Was Slow Over Past Year”
“Shoring up the middle means making bad jobs better, keeping good jobs good, and supporting the growth of the economy as a whole.” Continue reading “University of Illinois Report Takes the Pulse of Illinois’ Shrinking Middle Class”
“Right-to-work” does NOT increase union membership.
Right-to-Work Laws Reduce Union Membership
The movement to implement “right-to-work” (RTW) legislation has accelerated over recent years. Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin, and West Virginia recently become “right-to-work” states. Missouri and Kentucky followed in 2017. Today, 28 states have “right-to-work” laws.
One of the main policy changes contributing to the decline of unionization across the United States is the ratification of “right-to-work” legislation. From 2015 to 2016, union membership in RTW states declined by over 293,000 members. Union membership declined in 20 of the 26 states (77%) with RTW laws.
Continue reading “Union Membership Declined in “Right-to-Work” States and Increased in Collective-Bargaining States Last Year”
A Responsible Bidder Ordinance (RBO) is a policy that sets minimal requirements for all contractors bidding on publicly-funded projects in a given political jurisdiction. Typically, these requirements include proof of participation in an apprenticeship training program, proof of certificates of insurance, prequalification surveys, and compliance with all local, state, and federal laws. RBOs are a qualifications-based approach to construction contracting for public entities. The policies are a kind of “insurance policy” for taxpayers. The local ordinances establish clear, objective standards that contractors must meet in order to win bids and construct projects funded using taxpayer dollars.
Continue reading “A Responsible Bidder Ordinance is a Protection Plan for Taxpayers”
The H-2B program grants visas to foreign workers to become employed at U.S. employers for temporary periods of time. The H-2B program is intended to address worker shortages in unskilled occupations. Migrant workers issued an H-2B visa can be employed for up to 9 months, but their visa may be extended for up to three years. Approximately 115,000 H-2B workers are currently in the United States.
The H-2B program often lowers wages for both foreign-born workers and U.S. citizens. Continue reading “The H-2B Guest Worker Program Unnecessarily Lowers Construction Worker Wages in Illinois”
The Illinois Economic Policy Institute (ILEPI) supports the Illinois Tollway Board’s decision to advance the Central Tri-State project, which will bring far-reaching benefits to the region, including economic development, job creation, and the increased ability to stay competitive.
Continue reading “The Illinois Tollway Board Advances the I-294 Central Tri-State Project”
A new study finds that the introduction of “right-to-work” laws has reduced the unionization rate by 2.1 percentage points and lowered worker wages by 2.6% in Indiana, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
Continue reading ““Right-to-Work” Laws in the Midwest Have Reduced Unionization and Lowered Wages”