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UIS to co-sponsor "Budget on the Brink" conference

April 11, 2007

Contact: Mike Lawrence, 618/453-4003, mlawrence@siu.edu

SPRINGFIELD – "Budget on the Brink," a conference examining ways that state government can ensure the availability of adequate revenues to address critical needs in education, health care, human services, and pension funding, will be presented from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, April 16, at the Hilton Hotel, 700 E. Adams, in downtown Springfield. The conference is free and open to the public; however advance registration is required.

Conference co-sponsors are the Center for State Policy and Leadership at the University of Illinois at Springfield, the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, the Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois, the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, and Illinois Issues magazine.

Illinois' liabilities and unfunded commitments presently exceed assets by over $100 billion. Following an in-depth study of spending pressures and revenue structures, the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club, an organization representing major employers in Illinois, concluded that the state is headed toward financial implosion. This conference will feature speakers with diverse perspectives on spending and revenue.

The morning will feature keynote addresses by Civic Committee President R. Eden Martin; Illinois COO John Filan; and Director of the State Office of Management and Budget Ginger Ostro.

Afternoon sessions will focus on panel discussions of the state’s spending pressures and revenue structures.

The spending discussion will be moderated by Charles N. Wheeler III, director of UIS' Public Affairs Reporting Program and a columnist for Illinois Issues.  Participants will include Ostro; Linda Reneè Baker, professor at the Simon institute; Mary Ellen Guest, campaign manager for A+ Illinois; Jeff Mays, president of the Illinois Business Roundtable; and Hank Scheff, director of research and employee benefits for AFSCME Council 31.

The revenue discussion will be moderated by Beverly Bunch, associate professor of Public Administration and the Institute for Legal, Legislative, and Policy Studies at UIS.  Participants will include Filan; Gregory Baise, president and CEO of the Illinois Manufacturers' Association; Tom Johnson, president of the Taxpayers' Federation of Illinois; Ralph Martire, executive director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability; and Joan Parker, director of government relations for the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce.

Other conference speakers will include CSPL Executive Director Anthony Halter, Simon Institute Director Mike Lawrence, and IGPA Director Robert F. Rich.

Participants who register before April 12 will be able to attend a buffet lunch. For more information or to make reservations, contact the SIU Division of Continuing Education at 618/536-7751 or go to the Simon institute website at www.siu.edu.edu/~ppi/.

 

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The University of Illinois at Springfield, one of three U of I campuses, is a small, public liberal arts university that offers 42 degree programs: 21 bachelorís, 20 masterís, and the Doctorate of Public Administration. UIS has a special mission in public affairs and service and is known for extraordinary internships, a wireless campus, extensive online offerings, and a commitment to teaching.

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Center for State Policy and Leadership at UIS

Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at SIU-C

U of I Institute of Government and Public Affairs

Center for Tax and Budget Accountability

Illinois Issues magazine

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