FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                Date: February 18, 2002

   Contact: Donna McCracken, 206-6716

UIS Politics and Policy Series continues with a look at the budget

SPRINGFIELD -- “Illinois State Budget 2003: Choices and Challenges,” a critical discussion and analysis of the choices and challenges facing policymakers in Illinois as they craft the FY2003 state budget, will be presented from 7 to 8 p.m. Monday, February 25, in Brookens Auditorium on the campus of the University of Illinois at Springfield. Free and open to the public, the program will be broadcast live on WUIS (91.9)/WIPA(89.3) and taped for later broadcast on Illinois Public Radio and Illinois Public Television.

This is the second program in the UIS Politics and Policy Series, 2001-2002, a series of public forums on important issues currently facing Illinois policymakers and citizens.  The series brings together public officials, journalists, and academics to analyze events and share insights and perspectives with more depth and reflection than is sometimes possible in everyday life. Each program includes brief presentations by panel members, followed by questions from the audience and discussion.

 Panelists for this program and their topics will be Charles Wheeler, director of the Public Affairs Reporting program at UIS, “What the State Budget Is -- Institutional and Political Context”; Sen. Steven Rauschenberger, chair of the Illinois Senate Committee on Appropriations, “Decisions and Trade-offs from the Legislative Perspective”; Arthur Berman, former senator and former chair of the Illinois Senate Elementary and Secondary Education Committee, “The Impact of the Governor=s Budget on Education”; and Leonard Lieberman, associate vice president for government affairs, Jewish Federation, “The Impact of the Governor=s Budget on Health and Human Services.” The moderator will be Christopher Z. Mooney, director of the Illinois Legislative Studies Center at UIS.

Sponsors of the Politics and Policy series are UIS’ Illinois Legislative Studie Center, Illinois Issues magazine, Institute for Public Affairs, Speakers Series Committee, and Political Studies program.

For more information, contact Mooney at (217) 206-6574 or by e-mail at, or visit