Prevailing Wage Repeal Would Hurt Kentucky’s Economy

Repealing Kentucky’s prevailing wage law would weaken the state’s economy, according to a new study.

Eliminating prevailing wage would cause a pay cut for middle-class workers, qualify more workers for public assistance, slash apprenticeship training, and result in more of Kentucky’s tax dollars going to out-of-state or foreign contractors. Veterans, who populate construction trades at a higher rate than non-veterans, would be particularly impacted if Kentucky were to repeal its prevailing wage standards.

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More Economists and Policy Experts in Illinois Support the Safe Roads Amendment than Oppose It

The first item that Illinois voters will see on the ballot on Tuesday is the Safe Roads Amendment. The Amendment would protect– or “lockbox”– all revenue contributed by drivers through motor fuel taxes, tollways, licenses, and vehicle registration fees and require that the money is used solely for transportation purposes.

I surveyed 110 of 578 economics and public policy academics at accredited universities and colleges in Illinois with publicly-available email addresses in August 2016. Among the many topics addressed, I presented the professors and instructors with the following question on the Safe Roads Amendment:  Continue reading “More Economists and Policy Experts in Illinois Support the Safe Roads Amendment than Oppose It”

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”

Illinois’ Changing Energy Sector

A change is undoubtedly upon Illinois’ energy sector.  As illustrated in a new Economic Commentary by the Illinois Economic Policy Institute, the recent proliferation of natural gas, the development of renewable energy policies at both the federal and state level, and increased regulations on coal should inspire the state to pursue alternative energy sources to address the state’s energy production deficit and support the environment.  Continue reading “Illinois’ Changing Energy Sector”

Is International Trade Good or Bad for Illinois?

What impact does international free trade have on the Illinois economy? Is it mostly good, mostly bad, or somewhere in between? How can Illinois capitalize on the benefits of trade while mitigating the losses? A new report by the Illinois Economic Policy Institute and the Project for Middle Class Renewal at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign investigates. Continue reading “Is International Trade Good or Bad for Illinois?”

8 of the 10 Most-Equal, Highest-Paying Occupations in Illinois Are in Construction

The majority of high-wage, low-inequality jobs in Illinois are in construction occupations, law enforcement careers, and firefighting positions. Politically-driven efforts to repeal the state’s prevailing wage law or to weaken public sector unions would decimate a majority of the middle-class occupations that remain for blue-collar workers in the state.

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