Politics & Government

Nonpartisan examination of the workings of state and national institutions, including legislatures, bureaucracy, and electoral systems

The Illinois Report 2011

Authors

  • Robert F. Rich
  • Rafael Angel Vera
  • Nancy Hudspeth
  • Daniel P. McMillen
  • Cedric Herring
  • Nicole Kazee
  • Peter Ji
  • Peter Mulhall
  • Barbara Shaw
  • Roger P. Weissberg
  • Debra Bragg
  • Lorenzo Baber
  • Erin Castro
  • Harry Berman
  • Stacy Reed

The Illinois Report 2011 is an annual examination of issues critical to the state of Illinois. For each issue, we examine the current status, draw comparisons with national and regional trends, and offer some possible solutions. 


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(.PDF 2.36 MB)

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The Illinois Report 2010

Authors

  • Robert F. Rich
  • Nancy Hudspeth
  • Daniel P. McMillen
  • Rafael Angel Vera
  • Cedric Herring
  • Mrinalini C. Rao
  • Charles V. Evans
  • Sarah Miller
  • Nicholas D. Paulson
  • Richard J. Winkel
  • James D. Nowlan

The Illinois Report 2010 is an annual examination of crucial issues facing the state of Illinois. For each issue, we examine the current status, draw comparisons with national and regional trends and offer some possible solutions. 


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(.PDF 4.56 MB)

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The Illinois Report 2009

Authors

  • Robert F. Rich
  • Daniel P. McMillen
  • Nathan B. Anderson
  • Joshua J. Miller
  • Benjamin Superfine
  • Mark A. Smylie
  • Steven Tozer
  • David Mayrowetz
  • Lally Gartel
  • Patricia S. Rushing
  • Thomas Prudhomme
  • Allison Clark
  • Damian Duffy

The Illinois Report 2009 is an annual examination of critical issues facing the state of Illinois. For each topic, we examine the current status, draw comparisons with national and regional trends and offer some possible solutions. 


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(.PDF 4.65 MB)

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The Illinois Report 2008

Authors

  • Robert F. Rich
  • Lorens Helmchen
  • Andrew P. Morriss
  • Drake Warren
  • Emilie Bagby
  • Peter Mulhall
  • Stanley O. Ikenberry
  • Daniel T. Layzell
  • W. Randall Kangas
  • Cedric Herring
  • Loren Henderson
  • James D. Nowlan
  • Samuel K. Gove
  • Richard J. Winkel

The Illinois Report 2008 is an annual examination of issues critical to the state of Illinois. For each issue, we present the current status, draw comparisons with national and regional trends and offer some possible solutions. 


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(.PDF 7.3 MB)

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The Illinois Report 2007

Authors

The Illinois Report 2007 is a nonpartisan, evidence-based assessment of the crucial policy issues facing the state of Illinois as 2007 begins. In compiling these materials, we have become keenly aware that solutions to these issues rest on the shoulders of those who must have the best interests of the state at heart.


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(.PDF 727.96 KB)

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Pension reform roadmap

Authors

  • Andrew Crosby

The following analysis demonstrates that:

  • Savings to the state from SB2404 are around $0.5 billion to $1.5 billion per year, depending on how participants respond to incentives to accept reduced pension bene ts in order to keep health care coverage in retirement.
  • SB1 (assuming it survives a constitutional challenge) saves the state around $2 billion to $3 billion per year.
  • Neither are suf cient to eliminate the state’s budget de cit, which is projected to grow from $2 billion to $11 billion over the next ten years. 

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(.PDF 355.87 KB)

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Rethinking redistricting

Authors

  • Robert F. Rich
  • Hayri Onal
  • Kevin Patrick
  • Nathan Anderson
  • Hanqing Qui

Once every 10 years, states engage in what is known as redistricting or drawing the electoral map. This process has great influence on or even determines the outcome of elections over the 10 years that follow. Redistricting is a task necessary to reflect the changes in population of a state over the previous 10 years as documented by the United States Census.


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(.PDF 6.92 MB)

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Broad interests, narrow interests, and the politics of the budgetary process

Authors

Interest politics, as opposed to party politics, make fixing Illinois’ budget problems very complex and difficult. All people and businesses have multiple and overlapping interests in what the state does. Thinking about broad and narrow interests helps understand them. Broad interests are those that many people hold weakly; for example, we all have an interest in a balanced state budget. Narrow interests are those that fewer people hold, but they often do so very strongly; for example, all teachers have an interest in higher pay for educators.


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Public opinion and political viability of budget tools

Authors

What are the political prospects of various plans to boost revenue or reduce spending? One way to answer is via opinion polls. Few say they support broad tax increases or spending cuts on education or Medicaid. Targeted taxes on the wealthy and reductions in benefits to state employees, by contrast, generate positive reactions. However, caution is always in order with polls. Some opinions seem open to change. For instance, support for raising taxes on the rich falls when people are told what rates they currently pay, on average.


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(.PDF 417.42 KB)

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What odds for the sale of the Illinois state lottery?

Authors

As of winter 2007, Illinois and Indiana have in common more than just a border and fresh memories of having sent a team to the Super Bowl. Both states recently took the first steps to privatize their state lotteries, something no American state has ever done. For Illinois, the prospects of a sale or lease will depend in no small part on elite-level negotiations. However, it will not be solely an inside-Springfield story. The governor has said he will make his case directly to Illinois citizens.


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(.PDF 90.44 KB)

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