Fiscal Policy Center
The Fiscal Policy Center (formerly the Budget & Tax Policy Initiative) at Voices for Illinois Children provides timely, credible, and accessible information and analysis on fiscal issues that affect children, families, and communities. Our work focuses on state budget and tax policy, as well as fiscal aspects of Voices’ policy priorities, including education, health care, human services, and family economic security. FPC publishes policy reports, issue briefs, policy bulletins, and fact sheets to help inform policymakers, advocacy groups, the media, and the broader public on state budget and policy issues. FPC also monitors federal policies that impact children, families, and the state budget in Illinois.
The Fiscal Policy Center is a member of the State Fiscal Analysis Initiative (SFAI), a network of more than 40 state-level nonprofit organizations that are engaged in critical policy research, strategic communications work, and broad-based coalitions and other partnerships. SFAI groups have diverse backgrounds and missions, but they share a commitment to rigorous policy analysis, responsible budget and tax policies, and addressing the needs of low- and moderate-income families. SFAI is coordinated by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, a Washington, D.C.-based research organization and strategic policy institute that works on a range of federal and state issues.
Read the latest FPC publication: “Pension Funding Crisis Worsens: Rising Costs Continue to Crowd Out Other Priorities.”
For a full listing of special reports, issue briefs, and policy bulletins, go to the FPC publications page.
State budget priorities: The Fiscal Policy Center is committed to a balanced approach to the state budget — an approach that reflects both fiscal and social responsibility. A responsible solution to the fiscal crisis must include maximizing existing revenue, shared sacrifice in allocating limited resources, and strategic spending decisions that carefully consider the consequences of alternative policy choices. Policymakers must also recognize that investing in opportunities for children, resources for vulnerable families, and supportive services for communities can yield long-term benefits for the entire state. For the latest analysis on the state budget, see Governor Signs State Budget for FY 2013.
Improving the state budget process: “Budgeting for Results” is designed to improve the state budget process in Illinois by establishing priorities, meeting performance-based goals, and ensuring that available resources are used effectively. FPC Director Larry Joseph is a member of the Budgeting for Results Commission. For highlights of the Commission’s first report, read our issue brief. For the full report and related documents, visit the Budgeting for Results web page.
Tax fairness: The federal Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) supplements the wages of low-income working families through the tax code. In December 2011, the Illinois General Assembly enacted legislation that will gradually increase the state EITC from 5 percent to 10 percent of the federal credit. Our recent issue brief explains the importance of this legislation.
Human services: The state fiscal crisis of the past several years has had an especially severe impact on human services. The Illinois Human Services Commission (HSC) makes recommendations to the Governor and General Assembly about providing high-quality human services in the state. FPC Director Larry Joseph serves on the HSC technical support team. The third HSC report focused on the FY 2012 budget and the Budgeting for Results process.
Family economic security: In 2010, one in five Illinois children lived in poverty, and the poverty rate for single-mother families was 38 percent; a special report, funded by the Chicago Foundation for Women, examines the impact of the recession on single-mother households in Illinois and the importance of economic security programs such as the federal Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) and the Illinois Child Care Assistance Program. In a second report, this special bulletin discusses the importance of maintaining unemployment benefits, proven protection for vulnerable families and a sluggish economy.
Education funding: Public school finance in Illinois has long been characterized by low levels of state funding, heavy reliance on local property taxes, and large fiscal disparities among school districts. The biannual report of the Illinois Education Funding Advisory Board (EFAB) presents recommendations regarding the foundation level for General State Aid, as well as Supplemental General State Aid for school districts with high concentrations of children from low-income families. For an analysis of Supplemental General State Aid, read our special report.
For more information
- Center on Budget and Policy Priorities
- State Fiscal Analysis Initiative (SFAI)
- Economic Policy Institute
- Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN)
- Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy
- Governor’s Office of Management and Budget
- Budgeting for Results Commission
- Illinois Human Services Commission
- Illinois Education Funding Advisory Board
Contact the Fiscal Policy Center team
Larry Joseph, Director, Fiscal Policy Center (312) 516-5556
David Lloyd, Senior Policy Analyst, Fiscal Policy Center (312) 516-5557
Paula Corrigan-Halpern, Policy Advocacy Director (312) 516-5566
Melissa Meighen, Communications Director (312) 516-5551
Gaylord Gieseke, President (312) 516-5565