The Policy Shop

A weekly podcast tackling Illinois' most important issues.

The Policy Shop: The (bleak) future of voter choice in Illinois

This edition of The Policy Shop is by writer Patrick Andriesen  The Illinois Supreme Court is being asked to quickly decide whether to allow a mid-election attempt by state leaders to prevent challengers from getting on the Nov. 5 ballot. The issue will decide whether state lawmakers and Gov. J.B. Pritzker can win by changing...

The Policy Shop: Illinois’ 3rd graders are struggling

This episode of The Policy Shop is by policy analyst Hannah Schmid.  If you are spending part of your day reading this, it’s more than a little likely you had solid teachers in first through third grades. They taught you to read, which was essential to learning all that was to come during the rest...

The Policy Shop: Springfield’s bad budgeting

This episode of The Policy Shop is by Bryce Hill, director of fiscal and economic research. It’s all just numbers, right? $53.1 billion? Why, with 12.5 million Illinoisans, that will only cost a family of four about $17,000. A mere pittance for all the good done by the state politicians who generously spend other people’s...

The Policy Shop: In Chicago, violent crime goes up as arrests go down

This episode of The Policy Shop is by staff writer Patrick Andriesen and data scientist Jon Josko. Two recent measures of Chicago crime yielded a disturbing theme: Crimes are getting more violent; police are making fewer arrests. One of those crimes, a carjacking, left a Chicago Police officer dead. Officer Luis Huesca was shot 10...

The Policy Shop: The Illinoisans that Springfield is leaving behind

This episode of The Policy Shop is by Bryce Hill, director of fiscal and economic research Illinois’ unemployment rate for Black workers last year was No. 2 in the U.S. Black Illinoisans faced average unemployment rates of 9.6% in 2023, compared to 5.5% for Black workers nationwide. That means Black Illinoisans were 75% more likely...

The Policy Shop: Chicagoland’s red-light camera con

This episode of The Policy Shop is by staff writer Patrick Andriesen Ninety Illinois communities have decided they could use some extra revenue, so they let red-light camera companies install devices that from 2008 through last year issued $1.56 billion in tickets. At least 527 red-light cameras were in operation by 2022 after the state...

The Policy Shop: Springfield vs. democracy

Faster than the 150th Kentucky Derby, faster than the upcoming Indianapolis 500, it’s the Springfield 78. This fast one was passed and signed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker in record time, and voters in 78 Illinois General Assembly districts likely found themselves without any races, and thus choices, for the November election. State lawmakers just made...

The Policy Shop: Chicago’s $879 Million Camera Cash-In

This episode of The Policy Shop is by writer Patrick Andriesen Two Chicago mayors have decried their city’s near-predatory use of traffic tickets. Yet those two Chicago mayors have effectively worked to increase ticket revenue. Beware the next politician promising “relief,” because it likely means even more cash taken from drivers who can ill-afford Chicago’s...