* From an e-mail…
Hi Mr. Miller,
The University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs is pleased to provide a new tool for anyone who is interested in examining ways to solve the state’s budget crisis. The Illinois Budget Policy Toobox, available now at http://igpa.uillinois.edu/budget-toolbox, can help you navigate the myriad proposals, ideas, and suggested solutions that have been or will be offered as possible ways to shrink the budget deficit and get Illinois out of its fiscal mess.
The Toolbox represents the work of IGPA faculty and other scholars who have examined several approaches to solving the problem. Our experts in public finance, economics and governance provide a nonpartisan overview of the state’s fiscal situation and evaluate the pros and cons of a variety of revenue and spending options, ranging from the reduction of the state income tax to business tax reform to reducing social services spending, among others. Our goal is to provide the background, context and evidence necessary to weigh each of these approaches fairly. We also expect the Toolbox to continue to develop. As new ideas and proposals arise, IGPA experts will examine them and provide new information to the Toolbox in a timely manner.
We at IGPA trust that you will find the information in the Toolbox useful in your efforts to tell your audiences about the fiscal policy debate in coming weeks and months. We invite you to use this information in concert with the many other sources of information at your disposal, knowing that the information that comes from IGPA is grounded in the best scholarship and is based on evidence rather than ideology or politics. The Toolbox essays will be followed by commentaries by the authors on each particular issue.
All of the experts who have contributed to the Toolbox are available for interviews, whether they be formal for use in a story or simply to gain more background and insight that will help you to work on a particular topic. And we stand ready to assist in whatever ways we can to enhance the value of this resource. We encourage you to check the Toolbox often for new information and, of course, we invite your feedback and ideas to help us make this resource even more useful for you.
Coordinator of Communication and Media
University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs
Go check it out and report back.