October 30, 2012

Luncheon will focus on Illinois’ budget problems

by Pete Rosenbery

Ralph Martire

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- A look at Illinois' budget problems is set for next week at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Ralph Martire, executive director of the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability, will examine the state's budget crisis and discuss some alternatives to address the issue on Monday, Nov. 5, in Student Center Ballroom B.

Martire will discuss "Illinois' Money Woes: Where are We Headed?" The Paul Simon Public Policy Institute is sponsoring the event. The luncheon is from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Endowment funds from the John White Lecture Series are covering the luncheon.

Media Advisory

Reporters, photographers and camera crews are welcome to cover Ralph Martire's appearance. For more information, contact Matt Baughman, Institute associate director at 618/453-4009 or 618/201-0082.

The luncheon and lecture are free and open to the public, but seating is limited and advance registration is required for meal considerations. To register, contact Carol Greenlee, Institute project coordinator, at 618/453-4078 or by email at cgreenlee@siu.edu by Thursday, Nov. 1. Open seating will be available for those who wish to only listen to the speech and not be included in the meal.

The presentation will also be available via live stream for free on the Institute's website, paulsimoninstitute.org/.

Martire's visit is part of the Institute's continuing emphasis on examining state and national budget troubles, Institute director David Yepsen said.

"He is a respected advocate for a more progressive tax system in Illinois. While there is a lot of talk about cuts, layoffs and downsizing governments today, the fact is, fixing the state's budget problems will require tighter belts and additional revenues, and Ralph's talk will illustrate different ways to do those things."

Martire is a leading expert on government accountability and tax, fiscal and budget policies. He is co-author of a study that produced a series of recommendations for revenue enhancements in Illinois, five of which became law. A regular columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times and the Springfield State Journal-Register, Martire also teaches a graduate-level class on education finance and fiscal policy for the University of Illinois and Roosevelt University. In February 2011, he earned appointment to serve on the U.S. Department of Education Equity and Excellence Commission.

Martire earned a bachelor's degree in history from Indiana University and a law degree from the University of Michigan.

Martire's discussion will help in understanding the debt and deficit issues that impact everyone and also the options that face policymakers. The presentation is also timely, coming one day before the Nov. 6 general and presidential election.

"A few days after his talk, policymakers in both Springfield and Washington will be going to work to make some hard decisions that will make few happy," Yepsen said.

White, who passed away in July 2011, was a member of the Institute's board of counselors, a major benefactor to the Institute and a close friend to Institute founder, the late U.S. Sen. Paul Simon.

For more information on the program, contact the Institute at 618/453-4009 or visit paulsimoninstitute.org/