April 15, 2008

Symposium to explore state's budget situation

by Pete Rosenbery

Dan Hynes

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Southern Illinois University Carbondale next week will host a symposium that looks at Illinois' fiscal condition and how the current state budget affects its citizens.

The symposium, "The State Budget: Priorities and Pressures," is from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Wednesday, April 23, in Student Center Ballroom D. Illinois Comptroller Daniel W. Hynes will present the keynote address.

The panel discussion will look at Illinois' budget woes and analyze the state's response in addressing the issue. Participants will examine the gap between the state's spending and revenue and consider the impact today's decisions will have on the long-term fiscal health of the state.

Institute Director Mike Lawrence said, "It has been four decades since Illinois state government faced a budget crisis of this magnitude. One of the keys to resolving the crisis is forthright, intelligent and clear communication about our major revenue and spending challenges — the kind of communication we believe the speakers we have assembled will provide."

The Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, and the Donors Forum are sponsoring the symposium.

Admission is free, but registration is required for space and meal considerations. To register, contact institute project coordinator Christina Rich at 618/453-4078 or by email at clrich@siu.edu

A bonus session, "Effective Lobbying by Nonprofit Organizations," begins at 12:30 p.m. The session is for staff, board members and volunteers of non-profit organizations that seek and rely on grant funding.

Hynes, 39, is serving his third term as state comptroller, first elected in November 1998. He graduated with honors with a law degree from Loyola University School of Law. He earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Notre Dame.

The conference schedule, along with panel discussion participants is:

9 a.m. — Opening remarks by Ralph Martire, executive director, Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, and Mike Lawrence, director, Paul Simon Public Policy Institute.

9:10 a.m. — Keynote address by Illinois Comptroller Dan Hynes.

10 a.m. — Panel discussion: "Priorities and Pressures Facing the Illinois State Budget." Moderator: Beverly Bunch, associate professor, Center for State Policy and Leadership, University of Illinois at Springfield.


  • Linda Renee Baker, Paul Simon Public Policy Institute/University professor and former secretary of the Illinois Department of Human Services.
  • Fred Giertz, professor of economics, Institute of Government and Public Affairs, University of Illinois at Urbana/Champaign.
  • Tom Johnson, president, Taxpayers Federation of Illinois and former director, Illinois Department of Revenue.
  • Mary Jo Waits, project director, Pew Center on the States, and an expert on state budgets across the nation.

11:30 a.m. — Presentation by the Office of the Illinois Governor (invited).

Noon — Lunch

12:30 p.m. — Bonus session: "Effective Lobbying by Nonprofit Organizations." Presented by Linda Renee Baker, Paul Simon Public Policy Institute/University professor and former secretary of the Illinois Department of Human Services.

Contact institute assistant director Matt Baughman at 618/453-4001 for more information on the program or visit http://www.paulsimoninstitute.siuc.edu/