Simon Institute research shows state funding disparities benefit downstate

SIU News

August 10, 2018Simon Institute research shows state funding disparities benefit downstate
by Pete Rosenbery
 CARBONDALE, Ill. — Longstanding political dialogue in Illinois is that downstate Illinois does not receive its fair share when it comes to a return on state funding and resources. 
While there is not an equal funding distribution across the state, research by the Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Paul Simon Public Policy Institute shows that despite heavy rhetoric, the downstate region receives more than it pays into the state coffers.  The best deals are received in central Illinois and Southern Illinois. 
The decades of political divisiveness that in many instances enhances regional prejudices, can have a negative impact on important public policy issues, according to John Jackson, a visiting professor at the institute. The research takes an extensive look at the measures over the last three decades that have resulted in landing Illinois in its present financial crisis along with political stances by statewide candidates during that period. 
“The regional conflict makes it hard to get public policy done in this state,” Jackson said. “We have deeply divisive bloodlettings over whether we are going to have a budget when every other state has a budget … and we couldn’t pass a budget for two years. This is a manifestation that everybody is out for their own and has no regard for the larger picture.” 
Research looks at distribution of tax funds and polls 
Released earlier this week, the Simon Review Paper #53 “The Politics of Public Budgeting in Illinois” examines both the revenue and expenditures in Illinois’ state budgeting.  Jackson and John Foster, emeritus faculty member in the Department of Political Science, spent several years studying research from 2013 tax and budget records from the Illinois General Assembly’s Legislative Research Unit. The report also relies upon recent Simon Poll data on registered statewide voters, 
While higher education and community …

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