Illinois House Testimonies on the Consequences of Repealing Prevailing Wage

On Tuesday, February 27, the Labor and Commerce Committee in the Illinois House held a hearing titled “Impacts of Repealing the Prevailing Wage.” Frank Manzo IV, MPP, Policy Director of the Illinois Economic Policy Institute (ILEPI); Robert Bruno, Ph.D., Director of the Project for Middle Class Renewal at the University of Illinois; and Kevin Duncan, Ph.D., Professor of Economics at Colorado State University-Pueblo submitted testimonies.

The following article provides condensed versions of those testimonies.

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Illinois Public Universities Were Harmed by State Budget Impasse

NEW STUDY DOCUMENTS HARMFUL IMPACT OF BUDGET STALEMATE ON ILLINOIS’ PUBLIC COLLEGES AND UNIVERSITIES Two-Year Impasse Led to Reduced Enrollment, Layoffs, and Tuition Hikes Chicago:  The two-year Illinois budget stalemate reduced enrollment in the state’s public colleges and universities by … Continue reading Illinois Public Universities Were Harmed by State Budget Impasse

Education and Infrastructure Grow the Economy. Other Proposals Being Debated in Illinois Don’t.

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.”

Illinois Unemployment Fell, But Job Growth Was Slow Over Past Year

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.

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Union Membership Declined in “Right-to-Work” States and Increased in Collective-Bargaining States Last Year

“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.

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The Illinois Tollway Board Advances the I-294 Central Tri-State Project

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.

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In Support of Route 53/120

The proposed extension of Route 53/120 will bring jobs to Lake County and improve overall transportation movements for residents by alleviating traffic congestion.  These improvements will make Lake County more attractive to prospective businesses, which will provide significant economic benefits. Construction of the Route 53/120 extension will actually provide a net benefit to the local economy and improve the quality of life for Lake County residents.

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