The Policy Shop

A weekly podcast tackling Illinois' most important issues.

Ep. 67: These 3 things could fix Illinois in 2023

This week’s Policy Shop is by Bryce Hill, director of fiscal and economic research at the Illinois Policy Institute. Today the 103rd Illinois General Assembly will be inaugurated. With new lawmakers in place, what are the laws they should enact to make life better for Illinoisans? Spoiler alert: Lower taxes wouldn’t hurt. 1) Commit to no new taxes and no tax hikes. Lawmakers...

Ep. 66: The Chicago Teachers Union’s war on school choice

The Chicago Teachers Union and other teachers’ unions oppose Invest in Kids, a tax-credit scholarship program that allows underprivileged children to attend private schools of their choice. Why would teachers advocate against a program that helps low-income students? Mailee Smith, staff attorney and director of labor policy at Illinois Policy Institute, refutes opponents’ false claims...

Ep. 65: The new Illinois laws taking effect in 2023

The new year will bring new state laws, many of which passed before lawmakers and the public had time to review them. How will these complex laws change life in Illinois? Joe Tabor, director of policy research at Illinois Policy Institute, gives an overview of Illinois’ new laws for 2023 from the controversial SAFE-T Act...

Ep. 64: Why it’s time for Illinois to embrace school choice

The COVID-19 pandemic introduced many Illinois parents to the concept and practice of school choice. What is school choice and why has it become such a politicized issue? Nathan Hoffman, director of state policy and legislative strategy for the American Federation for Children, joins us to discuss the benefits of school choice and why Illinois...

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...