The Policy Shop

A weekly podcast tackling Illinois' most important issues.

Ep. 63: How small businesses led Illinois’ COVID-19 recovery

Both before and after the COVID-19 pandemic, small businesses led Illinois’ job growth. What policies can the state adopt to further encourage small-business growth and promote economic vitality in Illinois? Bryce Hill, director of fiscal and economic research at the Illinois Policy Institute, shares his recommendations on today’s episode. This edition of The Policy Shop...

Ep. 62: Why you should run for school board in Illinois

The consolidated election will give voters a chance to elect their local school board members, who influence spending on property tax bills and make other important decisions regarding education. While the election isn’t until April 4, 2023, petitions to run for school board are due Dec. 19. Director of Labor Policy Mailee Smith explains why...

Ep. 61: Election Day 101: Understanding Illinois’ ballot

Voting polls have opened for the Nov. 8 general election and Illinois residents can cast their in-person votes at locations statewide. What’s at stake for Illinois? Bryce Hill explains what voters need to know about everything from Amendment 1 to the gubernatorial race to how many candidates are running for Statehouse office. This week’s Policy...

Ep. 60: How the ‘workers’ rights amendment’ hurts 93% of Illinois workers

With only a few days left until Election Day, Illinois’ government unions continue to tout Amendment 1, a proposed constitutional amendment at the top of the Nov. 8 ballot. Amendment 1’s chief sponsor admitted the amendment cannot protect all Illinois workers — so why are proponents still saying it can? Mailee Smith, director of labor...

Ep. 59: Ep. 59: Debunking the myths behind the ‘workers’ rights amendment’

Many misleading narratives surround Amendment 1, the proposed constitutional amendment at the top of the Nov. 8 ballot that proponents disingenuously call a “Workers Rights Amendment.” Mailee Smith, director of labor policy at Illinois Policy Institute, identifies the top Amendment 1 myths that have spread during election season in this week’s episode of The Policy...

Ep. 58: The Chicago Teachers Union’s 2019 strike three years later

This week’s Policy Shop comes from Mailee Smith, staff attorney and director of labor policy at the Illinois Policy Institute Three years ago, the Chicago Teachers Union walked out on students. The strike lasted 11 school days, and the resulting five-year contract is estimated to cost taxpayers $1.5 billion. In the 12 years since the...

Ep. 57: The $2B small business tax hike on Illinoisans’ ballots

New research from the Illinois Policy Institute projects that commercial property taxes for Illinois businesses will grow to almost $2 billion by 2026. Amendment 1 on the Nov. 8 ballot would likely increase that amount even more. Illinois Policy Institute Vice President Austin Berg explains why Amendment 1 would make Illinois’ notorious business climate even...

Ep. 56: The truth about Illinois’ economy

This week’s Policy Shop is by Director of Fiscal and Economic Research Bryce Hill. We’re about one month out from midterm elections across the country. Foremost in voters’ minds? The economy. Will Illinois’ gubernatorial candidates dodge this topic, or give it the focus it deserves? We’ll find out as Gov. J.B. Pritzker and Republican challenger Darren...