CGS Recent Work
Illinois has the largest number of local governments of any state plus a large number of unfunded mandates which add to the costs of local services and may contribute to the relatively slow economic recovery. In response, Governor Bruce Rauner, building on previous attempts to evaluate the local government structure in Illinois, created a Governmental Consolidation and Unfunded Mandates Task Force, chaired by Lt. Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti. The purpose of the Task Force is to review options for helping taxpayers modernize or streamline the local government structure and make the delivery of public services more efficient.
The Center for Governmental Studies was asked to assist in collecting and analyzing data from local governments about unfunded mandates and to examine practices in other states in addressing these issues. An electronic survey generated a total of 500 responses from local public officials. The Task Force report incorporates the materials generated by CGS in this project as well as 27 recommendations for action by the General Assembly to assist in the modernizing efforts. Read the complete report here.
The Center for Governmental Studies completed an economic impact of Northern Illinois University (NIU) in December 2015. NIU was a significant contributor to the region’s economy in 2015. Almost $900 million in economic activity was related to the direct employment of faculty, staff and student workers, major construction projects, and student spending. These impacts are focused in DeKalb County, home to the main campus. In total, nearly 12,900 jobs with a total payroll of $423 million depend on NIU’s operations, construction and student spending. Read the complete report here.
DeKalb’s evolving relationship between the city, the university and other local entities has resulted in an exciting new climate for collaborative growth. As a diverse 21st century city, DeKalb is looking for dynamic opportunities to grow its economy. CGS assisted DeKalb in completing a revitalization plan for the community as part of its entry in the America’s Best Communities Competition. The plan proposes seven projects or programs, which when taken together, will not only grow the city’s economy but also its capacity to develop additional projects in the future. The seven plan components include a food hub, virtual incubator, arts district, cowork space, STEAM center, branding and marketing program, and a leadership development institute. A nonprofit led team of leaders drawn from all sectors of the community worked together to develop the plan and will continue to work together to implement each of the components. Read the plan here.
Modernizing Illinois Governments and Improving Their Efficiency, the newest Policy Profiles published by the Center for Governmental Studies at Northern Illinois University, references the antiquated state and local governing systems still being used in Illinois and summarizes the efforts being made by the state’s Government Consolidation and Unfunded Mandates Task Force to remove the obstacles preventing modernization efforts. It also describes the progress being made in Indiana, Michigan, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania to address similar problems limiting the efficiency of governments in Illinois. Read this and more profiles here.
Center for Governmental Studies
Northern Illinois University
148 North Third Street
DeKalb, Illinois 60115-2828