How Illinois is Doing Since Health Care Reform

The Affordable Care Act (ACA), or “Obamacare,” has greatly improved health insurance access and coverage in Illinois, according to a new Economic Commentary [PDF] by the Illinois Economic Policy Institute. Health care coverage increased in all of the 20 most populous counties in Illinois from 2013 to 2015.

The uninsured – who are disproportionately poor, young, and non-citizens – often go long periods of time with illness or injuries before seeking medical treatment due to the high out-of-pocket costs. The Affordable Care Act was enacted with the goal of increasing the quality of, affordability of, and number of residents with health insurance. The law expanded health care coverage opportunities for most Illinoisans by creating a “marketplace” of easily-accessible insurance plans.

Continue reading “How Illinois is Doing Since Health Care Reform”

More Infrastructure Investment Would Kickstart Illinois

Frank Manzo IV is the Policy Director of the Illinois Economic Policy Institute (ILEPI). Visit ILEPI at www.illinoisepi.org or follow ILEPI on Twitter @illinoisEPI. This post is part of the “Frankonomics” series. Physical infrastructure investment is one of the main government expenditures that conclusively enhances … Continue reading More Infrastructure Investment Would Kickstart Illinois

New Study: Michigan Prevailing Wage Repeal Will Kill Jobs and Hamper Economy

Frank Manzo IV is the Policy Director of the Illinois Economic Policy Institute (ILEPI). Visit ILEPI at www.illinoisepi.org or follow ILEPI on Twitter @illinoisEPI. Lansing – Just completed research by the Midwest Economic Policy Institute, Colorado State University Economist Kevin Duncan … Continue reading New Study: Michigan Prevailing Wage Repeal Will Kill Jobs and Hamper Economy

McHenry County Should Adopt Its Prevailing Wage Ordinance

Frank Manzo IV is the Policy Director of the Illinois Economic Policy Institute (ILEPI). Visit ILEPI at www.illinoisepi.org or follow ILEPI on Twitter @illinoisEPI. The call by McHenry County Board Members to partner with other county governments to challenge Illinois’ prevailing wage determinations would be a waste of government resources, according to a new study by the Illinois Economic Policy Institute. The report, Building a Strong McHenry: How Prevailing Wage Works [PDF], finds that prevailing wage is necessary to prevent government bodies– such as the McHenry County Board– from using their massive purchasing power to undercut the established labor market. The policy is also … Continue reading McHenry County Should Adopt Its Prevailing Wage Ordinance

Prevailing Wage Encourages Self-Sufficient Workers

Frank Manzo IV is the Policy Director of the Illinois Economic Policy Institute (ILEPI). Visit ILEPI at www.illinoisepi.org or follow ILEPI on Twitter @illinoisEPI. Taxpayers are subsidizing the low-wage, low-skill, low-quality system in states without a prevailing wage law, according to a report released jointly today by the Midwest Economic Policy Institute and Building Strong Communities. The Policy Brief, Self-Sufficient Construction Workers: Why Prevailing Wage Laws are the Best Deal for Taxpayers [PDF], finds that prevailing wage laws (PWLs) build local middle-class jobs and drive economic development through increased consumer demand. By paying a living wage and supporting apprenticeship training programs, PWLs encourage … Continue reading Prevailing Wage Encourages Self-Sufficient Workers

The CCW is Common Sense Construction

Today, the Midwest Economic Policy Institute released Common Sense Construction: The Economic Impacts of  Indiana’s Common Construction Wage with the University of Illinois School of Labor and Employment Relations and Smart Cities Prevail. The report finds that Indiana’s Common Construction Wage (CCW) promotes positive labor market outcomes for both construction workers and contractors. Full report [pdf] One-page summary [pdf] Ten facts about the Indiana CCW: 1. The Common Construction Wage keeps Hoosier jobs local. (For more, see pages 5 and 11-13) 2. The Common Construction Wage does not increase total construction costs for public projects. (Pg. 4) 3. The Common Construction Wage promotes an upwardly-mobile, high-road economy for working families. (Pg. … Continue reading The CCW is Common Sense Construction

Collaborative Development: The Benefits of Public-Private Partnerships

Frank Manzo IV is the Policy Director of the Illinois Economic Policy Institute (ILEPI). Visit ILEPI at www.illinoisepi.org or follow ILEPI on Twitter @illinoisEPI.


A new ILEPI Policy Brief, released this morning, investigates the pros and cons of public-private partnerships in the construction industry. [Update: The Monitor article].

The report, Collaborative Development: The Pros and Cons of P3s on Construction Projects (PDF), finds that public-private partnerships (P3s)– such as the proposed Illiana Expressway– offer the potential for significant cost savings for the public sector. P3s allow governments to increase internal investment, capitalize on the efficiencies and innovations of private companies, and build infrastructure slightly less expensively and slightly more quickly. For the private sector, P3s provide stable assets (infrastructure facilities) with predictable long-term returns from user fees for portfolio diversification. P3s also allow private entities, backed by the government, to borrow cheaply.

The Policy Brief utilizes case studies to demonstrate how P3s may be mutually beneficial and discusses the expected positive benefits of three potential P3 projects in the Midwest: Continue reading “Collaborative Development: The Benefits of Public-Private Partnerships”

Briefly: The Benefits of Raising the Minimum Wage

Frank Manzo IV is the Policy Director of the Illinois Economic Policy Institute (ILEPI). Visit ILEPI at www.illinoisepi.org or follow ILEPI on Twitter @illinoisEPI.   For a PDF one-page (double-sided) version of this post, click: http://www.scribd.com/doc/216145979/Minimum-Wage-Maximum-Benefit-March-17-2014.   REPORT SUMMARY With the support of more than two-thirds of the American public and six-hundred labor economists, raising the minimum wage should be an economic priority in 2014. Raises in the minimum wage have been found to have virtually no impact on employment. Although classical economics predicts that minimum wages lead to unemployment, economic research predominately finds that a 10 percent increase in the minimum wage … Continue reading Briefly: The Benefits of Raising the Minimum Wage