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  • A MINUTE WITH ™... political science experts Brian Gaines and William Bernhard | Institute of Government and Public Affairs
    is also true for Obama Much more so than previous presidents Bush polarized the public along partisan lines Republicans and Democrats were very far apart in their evaluations by 2002 and they stayed that way thereafter Independents gradually came to resemble the Democrats more than the Republicans which is why Bush left office with such grim numbers Obama s approval ratings so far also show pretty high polarization with only about 3 in 10 Republicans but 9 in 10 Democrats and 6 in 10 independents reporting approval So it looks like polarization continues When it comes to what moves these approval levels crises are one of the main drivers When there s an international crisis of some kind like the recent incident with Somali pirates approval tends to rise as people rally to the leader By contrast the economy doesn t usually have as strong an effect as many people believe Surprisingly presidential approval just doesn t move in very tight synchronization with fluctuations in the state of the economy even after the honeymoon ends The economic crisis has dominated the first 100 days What are Obama s biggest challenges in the area going forward Bernhard The first challenge is to re establish trust in banks and the financial sector For a modern economy to function consumers and businesses make a lot of choices that are based on implicit trust This trust is vital for the financial and banking industry to function Concerns about one bank can lead to concerns about others and if they contract or collapse as a result it creates problems for other industries as we have seen because they can t get loans or fresh capital Restoring trust however is a complicated process There are not well developed models for changing the psychology of markets and these efforts are hampered by the complexity of the modern financial system Also some of the things you have to do to restore trust actually benefit the managers and the people who caused the mess in the first place And that can breed a sense of hypocrisy and mistrust among the public if you push that too far Secondly Obama faces a global crisis The world is in a meltdown and it s a very rare event when you see all these countries at the bottom of the business cycle at the same time We need to think about working together and developing global solutions So far in the immediate crisis that coordination has been pretty good but as the free fall phase of the crisis comes to an end the choices become a lot more difficult Coordinating economic policies particularly fiscal policies and maintaining openness is a big challenge Obama s recent experience in Europe is a good example He didn t get all that much of what he asked for In Latin America they view the crisis as being caused by the United States And they see our response to the crisis as hypocritical because the U S

    Original URL path: http://igpa.uillinois.edu/press/minute-gaines-bernhard (2016-02-17)
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  • 2009 Family Impact Seminar to focus on helping families in economic crisis | Institute of Government and Public Affairs
    families in economic crisis Illinois lawmakers and policymakers will have an opportunity on April 22 to discuss ways Illinois families can be helped during the current economic recession The annual Family Impact Seminar sponsored by IGPA will be held at the Hilton Springfield 700 E Adams St beginning at 6 30 p m Register for the seminar See the full agenda The seminar will feature a panel discussion with three distinguished experts Michael B Katz Walter H Annenberg Professor of History and Research Associate Population Studies Center University of Pennsylvania Sarah Fass Policy Associate Family Economic Security National Center for Children in Poverty Mailman School of Public Health Columbia University and Elizabeth Lower Basch Senior Policy Analyst Workforce Development Center for Law and Social Policy They will examine options for promoting economic security for families dealing with the effects of recession and how government might be able to assist The Family Impact Seminar is an annual event sponsored by the Institute of Government and Public Affairs during the spring session of the Illinois General Assembly The seminar gives legislators and others a chance to hear from experts about pressing family policy issues that are currently on the legislative agenda With

    Original URL path: http://igpa.uillinois.edu/press/2009FIS (2016-02-17)
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  • IGPA to sponsor Lincoln's Illinois Today | Institute of Government and Public Affairs
    to sponsor Lincoln s Illinois Today THIS EVENT WAS CANCELED ON MAY 26 2009 WE EXPECT TO RESCHEDULE AT A LATER DATE IGPA in coordination with the Union League Club of Chicago and the University of Illinois campuses in Chicago and Urbana Champaign will hold a half day conference titled LIncoln s Illinois Today on Wednesday May 27 at the Union League Club 65 W Jackson Blvd in Chicago The conference will look at the state of education in Illinois today and how that situation compares to Abraham Lincoln s vision for education Lincoln signed the Morrill Act which created the land grant college and university system Moderators for the two panel discussions are Tim Shanahan Professor of Urban Education Director Center for Literacy University of Illinois at Chicago and Robin Steans Executive Director of Advance Illinois The first panel from 9 10 20 a m will focus on the Morrill Act and the state of K 12 and higher education today Panelists include Tom Schwartz Illinois State Historian Jill Hawk Superintendent for Community High School District 155 Crystal Lake and Judy Erwin Executive Director of the Illinois Board of Higher Education The panel moderator will be Tim Shanahan Professor of Urban Education Director Center for Literacy University of Illinois at Chicago The second panel will convene at 10 30 a m and will concentrate on the role education plays in today s society Panelists include R Eden Martin President of the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago Greg Baise President and CEO of the Illinois Manufacturers Association and Jim Edgar Former Illinois Governor and IGPA Distinguished Fellow This panel will be moderated by Robin Steans the Executive Director of Advance Illinois an initiative to develop a long term student focused vision of educational reform in the state

    Original URL path: http://igpa.uillinois.edu/press/lincolns-illinois (2016-02-17)
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  • U of I Flash Index falls another full point in March | Institute of Government and Public Affairs
    of Public Leadership Regional Economics Applications Laboratory U of I Flash Index falls another full point in March The Illinois economy continues to contract in the face of the global recession with a leading indicator falling to its lowest point in more than six years The University of Illinois Flash Index the first barometer of the state s economy each month dropped to 95 3 in March The drop of one full point since February continues a steady decline since the financial crisis in August last year The March reading is the lowest since November 2002 when the state was emerging from the recession of 2001 There is strong reason to believe that the decline will continue said economist J Fred Giertz who compiles the Flash Index for the Institute of Government and Public Affairs The current 95 3 reading is still above the low points of the 1990 and 2001 recessions which were likely much less severe than the current downturn If as many people believe the current recession is among the most severe since World War II the index is likely to continue its slide probably well below 90 Giertz said The low point of the index was 85 9 in April 1983 a result of the twin recession of the early 1980s In real terms individual income tax receipts corporate tax receipts and sales tax receipts the three components of the Flash Index were below their levels of the same month last year The Flash Index is a weighted average of Illinois growth rates in corporate earnings consumer spending and personal income Tax receipts from corporate income personal income and retail sales are adjusted for inflation before growth rates are calculated The growth rate for each component is then calculated for the 12 month period using data

    Original URL path: http://igpa.uillinois.edu/press/flash-index-mar09 (2016-02-17)
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  • IGPA compiles ideas on government reform for commission, legislature | Institute of Government and Public Affairs
    committee in the General Assembly to examine these issues To assist in these discussions researchers from the University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs have developed a white paper that examines five components of reform campaign financing redistricting term limits direct democracy referendum initiative and recall and political culture These articles examine the success of reform efforts in other states and potential options for Illinois policy makers to consider The paper titled Challenges and Opportunities on the Road to Reform in Illinois was presented to the Illinois Reform Commission at its hearing in Peoria on Monday and is being delivered to the General Assembly today said Robert F Rich director of IGPA Download the paper here PDF The issues examined in this report are central to any discussion about reforming government Rich said The role of money in politics the role of politics in decisions about political boundaries and the input of the public must be thoroughly considered before decisions are made We hope that this white paper can help inform the current discussions he said IGPA Senior Fellow James Nowlan examines the redistricting process in Illinois and compares it to other states former state Senator Richard J Winkel Jr now director of IGPA s Office of Public Leadership looks at the political culture in the state and how Illinois has dealt with its scandals political scientist Kent Redfield examines campaign financing in Illinois and looks at how the state might fare with more regulation and political scientist Christopher Mooney explores whether term limits for constitutional officers or the legislature might work in Illinois as well as whether citizen sponsored referenda initiatives and recall have achieved any traction or in the case of recall whether it might be effective in the state Former Gov Jim Edgar a distinguished

    Original URL path: http://igpa.uillinois.edu/press/government-reform-2009 (2016-02-17)
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  • IGPA blogs analysis and reaction to Gov. Quinn's budget address - Page 2 | Institute of Government and Public Affairs
    for the people of Illinois From a provider perspective he is committed to reducing the number of days required for reimbursement to 30 days The big news in Governor Quinn s proposal from the perspective of health care is his proposal for the Illinois Medicaid program The Illinois Medicaid program will receive an increase in federal matching rate from 50 32 per cent to 60 46 per cent for 27 months The estimated benefit to Illinois is 1 9 billion across all Medicaid spending for fiscal years 2009 and 2010 This increase will be instrumental in allowing the state to meet its Medicaid obligations James D Nowlan Senior Fellow Gov Pat Quinn s proposed budget relies not only on tax increases but also heavily upon the federal stimulus package and reduced pension payments to stanch the flow of red ink in the state s budget Quinn reflected his populist approach to government by proposing to triple the individual exemption from the income tax to 6 000 per person This will provide according to the governor tax relief for about five million of our 13 million residents even as he proposed an increase of 1½ percent in the rate of the 3 percent individual income tax The proposed increased income tax on individuals and corporations will generate about 3 billion a year far short of the 11 billion budget deficit that Illinois reportedly faces To bridge that gap in the coming year Quinn proposes that the state use 3 billion in federal stimulus funds cut 1 billion in the present state budget base and reduce otherwise required pension payments by more than 2 billion in the coming year Reform in the state employee pension benefits represents the most significant proposed change in state finance in the governor s budget He proposes that new state employees work more years before eligibility for retirement than at present and that benefits be reduced from the present program Quinn estimated this would save the pension system 162 billion over the coming three decades The 3 billion yield from proposed income tax increases represents about the amount of the state budget s structural balance That is in recent years the state has been spending and obligating about 3 billion more per year than the state has been collecting in revenue Public employee unions will strongly oppose Quinn s pension reform proposal while business and the middle class will fight the increase tax proposals Given the seriousness of the state s dire fiscal imbalance however the legislature will be hard put to find major alternatives to Quinn s combination of tax increases budget cuts and pension payment deferrals Senior Fellow Michael Cheney specialist in politics and media Governor Quinn s address could well be the opening salvo in the 2010 gubernatorial contest Organized around the three R s of Reform Responsibility and Recovery the Governor who never campaigned on his own platform to get elected put forward his vision for the state budget cuts with changes in

    Original URL path: http://igpa.uillinois.edu/press/quinn-blog-2 (2016-02-17)
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  • IGPA blogs analysis and reaction to Gov. Quinn's budget address (2010) | Institute of Government and Public Affairs
    paired with a tripling from 2 000 to 6 000 of the personal exemption Even this increased tax rate would be well below the rates levied by many of Illinois economic competitors California Maryland Minnesota New Jersey Ohio and Wisconsin Illinois new income tax rate would be substantially higher than only two Indiana and Pennsylvania of the 41 states with a general income tax The Governor s proposed rate increase combined with the proposed increase in the personal exemption from 2 000 to 6 000 would move Illinois income tax system from among the least progressive in the nation to something fairly similar to the national average The combined effect of a higher income tax rate and increased exemption would generate a very significant amount of badly needed state revenue High income taxpayers that itemize on their federal income taxes would be shielded from some of the burden of increased tax payments by federal deductibility The Governor s proposals on the spending side also are quite bold He has proposed a dramatic restructuring of the pension system for new state workers and significant changes in the sharing of health care costs between state workers and taxpayers Both changes would have very significant implications for the state short and long term fiscal health It is not yet clear whether the policy changes proposed by the Governor are sufficient to bring fiscal balance to the state in the short and long term However the proposals that he has made are quite significant and if adopted would go a long way toward correcting the massive fiscal imbalance built up by the state in recent years Dan McMillen professor of economics With the State of Illinois facing a massive deficit of perhaps 11 5 billion in 2010 it is not surprising that Governor Quinn s proposed budget calls for large tax increases and significant reductions in spending Raising the state income tax rate from 3 percent to 4 5 percent while also raising the personal exemption from 2 000 to 6 000 is projected to produce an additional 2 8 billion in revenue Increasing the income tax on individuals also allows the state to increase the corporate income tax which is constrained by the state constitution to be no more than 8 5 of the individual rate By increasing the corporate income tax rate to 7 2 percent from its current rate of 4 8 percent and increasing the replacement tax the state hopes to raise another 350 million Spending cuts though largely unspecified at this point could reduce the deficit by as much as 1 3 billion Together this combination of tax increases and spending cuts could reduce the deficit to a still historic 7 billion The budget calls for more creative steps to account for the remaining 7 billion With the federal government promising about 5 billion in funds to Illinois for Medicaid education and stimulus spending the state can transfer money across accounts without cutting spending Nearly 1 8 billion of 2 billion of federal money meant for education will actually be used to pay down the deficit Another 500 million may be saved by restructuring the state s debt The state s fiscal health has been badly undermined by its inability to fund its pension system Past legislative sessions were unable to raise the revenue necessary to fund the pension system adequately in the hope that good economic conditions in the future would produce enough tax revenue to save the system Unfortunately the current recession has caused tax revenues to fall at precisely the time when large payments need to be paid into the pension system The Governor s call for reducing pension benefits for new employees has little direct effect on current expenditures on pension However by significantly reducing future pension outlays as much as 3 5 billion may be saved now money that otherwise would have to be spent now to keep the pension system funded in the future All of these changes account for about 10 billion of the 11 5 billion projected deficit Additional funds may come from such sources as fuel taxes vehicle registration fees and cigarette taxes If all of these projections are accurate the state may succeed in staving off the drastic cuts in services that would be necessary to come close to balancing the budget The actual size of the deficit is unknown at this point it could be higher if the recession becomes still more severe or it could be lower if conditions improve Revenues from income and sales taxes obviously depend on how much money is earned and spent in the state While there currently is an enormous amount of uncertainty regarding revenue projections even over the next year the proposed budget is a realistic attempt to deal seriously with a bleak financial outlook Kent Redfield IGPA professor of political studies As of noon today Governor Quinn owns the state budget and all the controversy and pain that goes with it Nearly everyone agrees that Illinois faces a budget deficit for this fiscal year and the next of more that 11 5 billion dollars Blaming the former governor for this mess is easy and largely justified Nearly everyone agrees that the hole created by falling tax revenues program increases and raising costs over the past six years cannot be filled by spending cuts unless you are willing to abandon state support for pubic education and state participation in federal healthcare programs The budget presented by Governor Quinn had to be a combination of cuts and tax increases The Governor had choices He made them and now the state budget is the Quinn budget In trying to craft a budget that spoke to those wanted only cuts and those who wanted only revenue increases Governor Quinn seems to have succeeded in capturing the support of neither Sometimes when everyone is unhappy it means you must be doing something right But sometimes it means you should have taken sides In spite of

    Original URL path: http://igpa.uillinois.edu/press/quinn-blog (2016-02-17)
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  • IGPA launches budget forecasting model for Illinois | Institute of Government and Public Affairs
    is working with a diverse group of organizations to develop the project These groups include the Taxpayers Federation of Illinois the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago the Illinois Farm Bureau Council 31 of the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees the Illinois Education Association Chicago Metropolis 2020 and the Metropolitan Planning Council The state is now experiencing a fiscal crisis in part because of the inattention of previous administrations to the state s budget trends and growing mass of unfunded obligations including pensions and retiree health said R Eden Martin president of the Civic Committee Obviously reliable revenue projections can play an important role in helping to discipline and constrain the future preparation and implementation of the state s future budgets The forecasting model will be used to produce data and reports that detail the implications of fiscal choices that are proposed by budget drafters and lawmakers said Merriman who also is professor of public administration at the University of Illinois at Chicago What we hope this will do in the political system is really constrain the discussion to the real trade offs that are made he said And we hope that the news media will do its job and force the legislators to explain why they are making their choices and that different parties to the negotiation will be able to use the numbers to discuss what the trade offs are and argue their case Dye and Merriman plan to first develop the mechanism for projecting income and sales tax revenue using current law and current forecasts of economic and demographic trends This part of the model also will simulate revenue under alternative scenarios about policy the economy and demographics they said Secondly they will develop projections for state spending using census data and

    Original URL path: http://igpa.uillinois.edu/press/fiscal-futures (2016-02-17)
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