The Policy Shop

A weekly podcast tackling Illinois' most important issues.

Ep. 54: Is the ‘teacher shortage’ a myth in Illinois?

Nationwide, there is a broad, far-reaching narrative that there are not enough teachers and that the teacher shortage is a huge problem to be solved. What is the truth about Illinois? While some districts are struggling, the data from Illinois State Board of Elections show over the last decade, Illinois has 45,000 more teachers but...

Ep. 53: Illinois vs. Tennessee

Voters in both Tennessee and Illinois face an Amendment 1 on their respective Election Days. But they’re very different amendments with very different outcomes that will drive the two states in very different directions. Mailee Smith tells the Policy Shop how Tennessee’s amendment will help bolster its business environment while Illinois’ amendment will have the...

Ep. 52: The hidden tax hike on your November ballot

At the very top of the ballot Nov. 8 is a proposed amendment to be added to the Illinois Constitution. Touted by proponents as a way of helping workers, the truth is the amendment would hike taxes on all Illinoisans and cement Illinois’ reputation as an un-friendly place to do business. Mailee Smith breaks down...

Ep. 51: What’s holding back Illinois’ jobs recovery?

Most of the nation has recovered from the pandemic economic downturn, but Illinois hasn’t: the state is still missing nearly 89,000 jobs compared to February 2020. Bryce Hill joins the Policy Shop to talk about what’s affecting Illinois’ job market and hindering its labor force. This week’s Policy Shop is by Director of Fiscal and...

Ep. 50: Why so many parents are leaving Chicago Public Schools

Chicago Public Schools students and families returned for the 2022-23 school year. But with record low enrollment, one-third of those schools will be half-empty. Mailee Smith joins the Policy Shop to share why militant tactics from the Chicago Teachers Union have led to higher CPS costs, lower enrollment and lower test scores. This week’s Policy...

Ep. 49: More union money floods Illinois politics

Illinois unions members give hundreds of dollars a year to union dues. But most of that money is spent on politics – not representing workers’ interests or protecting them. Mailee Smith follows the money. She joins the Policy Shop to show where government union money goes and why Amendment 1 would harm all Illinoisans. This...

Ep. 48: The housing market goes bust

After a few years of homes flying off the market, signs are indicating the market is starting to cool. Is a housing bubble going to burst? Bryce Hill joins the Policy Shop to discuss what’s going on in Illinois’ housing world, how prices fair today and what to expect next. This week’s Policy Shop is...

Ep. 47: Are we in a recession?

Recession is the buzzword of the week as the economy begins to cool. So, are we in a recession or not? And what does that mean for Illinois? Bryce Hill joins the Policy Shop to talk about the state and national economic picture. Learn more by subscribing to the Policy Shop newsletter at illin.is/newsletter. This...