Survey Says: The Views of Top Economics & Policy Professors in Illinois

A new poll finds that Illinois’ top economics and policy professors strongly support infrastructure investment, public education, immigration, and international free trade agreements. The state’s economic and policy experts also marginally support labor unions and minimum wage laws, with most in favor of raising Illinois’ minimum wage. Finally, a significant majority do not think that politicians have a strong understanding of economic principles.  Continue reading “Survey Says: The Views of Top Economics & Policy Professors in Illinois”

Teachers’ Unions Are Associated with Higher Student Test Scores

Educators are the backbone of a strong, well-educated society. High quality and productive educators improve the economic prospects of future generations. It is critically important that students are provided the best environment for learning. Teachers’ unions are an institution that can have … Continue reading Teachers’ Unions Are Associated with Higher Student Test Scores

Grow Up.

We’re sick of the dysfunction in Illinois.

As someone who was born after 1981, I am considered a “millennial.” Last summer, my generation became the largest cohort in America.

We outnumber all other generations, but still it often seems that elected officials in Springfield have little concern for our general well-being.

Millennials tend to think that the government should be more involved in making college affordable, helping the poor, and creating jobs. We care about equality – both economic and social. And a smaller share of us sees a real difference between the Republicans and the Democrats.

So let’s just take a quick look at how Illinois is faring on those policy issues – college affordability, helping the poor, job creation, and equality. Continue reading “Grow Up.”

Illinois Spends Less on Higher Education and Transportation than Almost Every Other State

Two weeks ago, I wrote about how more infrastructure investment would kickstart the Illinois economy. Transportation infrastructure investment is one government spending item that conclusively boosts employment and reduces costs over the long run. Investment in human capital– in education and skills– is another.

Unfortunately, data from the Social Science Research Council’s Measure of America (scroll down for full data) illustrate how little the State of Illinois spends on transportation infrastructure and higher education compared to the rest of the country.

Continue reading “Illinois Spends Less on Higher Education and Transportation than Almost Every Other State”

Proposed Rauner Budget Hammers Low-Income and Middle-Class Families in 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.


Last week, ILEPI fact-checked claims made by Governor Rauner that were most important to his policy agenda. Governor Rauner has now put some of his untrue and misleading claims into action in his budget proposal.

This afternoon Governor Rauner proposed a $4.18 billion reduction in state spending, an 11.7 percent cut from last year (without adjusting for inflation). The budget proposal comes after Rauner paid $120,000 to consultant Donna Arduin for four months of service. Keep in mind that Rauner has (incorrectly) asserted that state employee salaries are out-of-control while increasing the salaries of his top officials by 36 percent higher than their predecessors were paid under former Governor Quinn.

Among the $4.18 billion in proposed cuts, the Rauner budget reportedly includes: Continue reading “Proposed Rauner Budget Hammers Low-Income and Middle-Class Families in Illinois”