Latest Reports

Latest Politics & Government Reports

October 14, 2021

The capacity for data-driven research in the social sciences continues to grow, and policymakers frequently look to that research when doing their work. A new Policy Spotlight from the University of Illinois System’s Institute of Government and Public Affairs offers a roadmap for increasing transparency around data and ensuring such studies can be replicated.

September 2, 2020

IGPA is developing several Pandemic Stress Indicators, designed to evaluate the social and economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on Illinois residents. The Pandemic Stress Indicators grew out of the work on IGPA’s Task Force on the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic.

February 21, 2019

Few will argue that Illinois has significant issues with the underfunding of its five public employee pension systems. In fact, many say the state faces a continuing “pension crisis.” 

However, this report argues that this “crisis” framework or mentality surrounding the issue actually impedes a sustainable solution. The report urges policymakers to rethink the conversation about pensions and Illinois’ finances. 

June 28, 2018

Although crop insurance was not designed to impact water resources, it may have unintended consequences for water use, because agriculture and water resources are tightly linked.

May 9, 2018

Despite the political media’s focus on the various legislative battles taking place in state capitols all across the country, policy and legislative work are only one part of a state legislator’s job description. State legislators are also responsible for helping their constituents navigate the often-complicated world of government. In theory, good constituent service can inform citizens of government programs and ensure that elected officials regularly correspond with constituents.

March 1, 2018

The state of Illinois finally ended its two-year budget impasse in July 2017 but continues to face a structural fiscal imbalance. We use comprehensive data supplied by the Illinois Comptroller to construct a time series showing Illinois state revenue and expenditures on a consistent basis since FY1998. We find that during this period Illinois’ expenditures have grown faster than its revenue and the state has had large budgetary gaps, with spending significantly exceeding sustainable revenue, since FY2000.

February 23, 2017

Governments in Illinois have been forced to spend tens of millions of dollars due to the loss of subsidies in a federal bond program, and could lose hundreds of millions more if the federal budget sequester remains in place, according to an analysis from the University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs.

November 30, 2016

Research suggests that a solution to Illinois’ current fiscal crisis will require a "grand plan" with multiple revenue increases, multiple spending cuts, and multiple years of adjustment. Extraordinary budgeting mechanisms may be required to achieve political consensus on and implement such a plan. This article provides an overview of some public budget enforcement mechanisms designed to facilitate long-term fiscal stability in the U.S and around the world.

November 30, 2016

The state of Illinois has operated for many years with a structurally unbalanced budget in the sense that, under the policies in place at the time, government revenue generated by the tax system was insufficient to pay for government spending under current law. This new report from IGPA's Fiscal Futures Project says the state of Illinois can recover from its current fiscal problems, but only with a disciplined and sustain approach that considers many alternatives.