URBANA, Ill. - As COVID-19 continues to burden systems around the world, the economic shock and effects of business closures, unemployment, unrealized tax collections, and Medicaid expenditures are being analyzed. A webinar co-sponsored by the University of Illinois Institute of Government and Public Affairs (IGPA) and Illinois Extension will analyze recently released reports and answer participant questions.

The webinar begins at noon CDT on July 15, and registration is required.

“The size of the revenue loss will depend on the severity and the length of health and economic disruptions,” says David Merriman, senior scholar, IGPA. “Federal legislation in response to the crisis may not prevent further economic and fiscal damage to Illinois.”

The duration and severity of the continued pandemic adds to the state’s already challenged fiscal health, including the state pension systems. The webinar will help participants plan for future disruptions and recovery.

Presenters include Amanda Kass, associate director, Government Finance Research Center, University of Illinois, Chicago, IGPA; Geoffrey J.D. Hewings, director emeritus, Regional Economics Applications Laboratory, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IGPA; Kenneth Kriz, distinguished professor of Public Administration and Director, Institute for Illinois Public Finance, University of Illinois, Springfield, IGPA; and Merriman, senior scholar, IGPA and James J. Stukel Presidential Professor of Public Administration, University of Illinois, Chicago.

IGPA connects the University of Illinois System’s world-class faculty to policymakers and thought leaders and strives to pinpoint the state’s most pressing needs to help guide their scholarly work for the public good. Evidence-based information is critical to policy conversations and guides the work of IGPA.

To request reasonable accommodation to participate, please contact Nancy Ouedraogo at esarey@illinois.edu. Early requests are encouraged.

SOURCE: Nancy Ouedraogo, Community and Economic Development Specialist, Illinois Extension


Amanda Kass is associate director of the Government Finance Research Center. She designs, conducts, and manages research in the GFRC's priority areas. Kass also works with the faculty and external advisory panels to advance the GFRC’s goals and disseminate its research. Her research focuses on state and local finance, with sub-specialties in pensions, housing, and fiscal analysis. Her work has been published in Chicago Magazine and Urban Affairs Review. She has appeared in various media outlets, including Bloomberg, Bond Buyer, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune, Crain’s Chicago Business, Reuters, Tax Analysts, and Chicago Tonight.

Geoffrey J.D. Hewings is director emeritus of the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, as well as an emeritus professor in the departments of Economics, Agricultural and Consumer Economics, Urban and Regional Planning, Geography, and in the Institute of Government and Public Affairs. His undergraduate degree is from University of Birmingham, England and masters and doctorate from the University of Washington, Seattle. Prior to joining University of Illinois, he served on the faculties of the University of Kent (UK) and the University of Toronto. He has served as a visiting professor at universities in Australia, Israel, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Spain and China. He received a doctorate, honoris causa, from the University of Bourgogne, France in 2002 and one from the University of Extremadura, Spain in 2016. Professor Hewings main research areas are in the fields of urban and regional analysis, with a strong emphasis on the development and application of large-scale models. His research activities are centered in the Regional Economics Applications Laboratory (REAL), a unit he co-founded in 1989. His publications include 15 books, 82 book chapters and over 200 articles in major professional journals. He has supervised over 60 doctoral dissertations.

David Merriman is the Stukel Presidential Professor in the Dept. of Public Administration and a senior scholar at University of Illinois at Chicago and the Institute of Government and Public Affairs. He co-founded and directs the University of Illinois’ Fiscal Futures Project, which monitors the fiscal condition of the State of Illinois. He has served on the state's Council of Economic Advisors under the last three Illinois governors, and has been an advisor to Cook County and the City of Chicago. Merriman has done many academic studies on state and local public finance. Topics include Wal-mart’s impact on local retail markets, tax increment finance, business tax incentives, Cook County assessment caps, telecommunications tax rates, and state budget policies. Merriman holds a doctorate in economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Kenneth A. Kriz, distinguished professor of Public Administration at University of Illinois, Springfield, conducts research focusing on sub-national debt policy and administration, public pension fund management, government financial risk management, economic and revenue forecasting, and behavioral public finance. Kriz is a frequent presenter at public economics and public budgeting and financial management conferences and has published more than 40 journal articles and book chapters along with a textbook on quantitative research methods in public administration. He co-edited book on tax increment financing. Kriz has consulted with several public and nonprofit organizations on financial and economic matters, including the cities of New York City, Minneapolis, Omaha, and Wichita and the states of Nebraska and Kansas. Kriz served as vice-chairperson of the City of Omaha, Nebraska Civilian Employees Retirement System from 2006 to 2011 and served on the Board of Trustees of the Wichita, Kansas Police & Fire Retirement System and on the Joint Investment Committee for the city’s pension funds from 2014 to 2018. Kriz was a Fulbright Scholar in the Republic of Estonia and a Fulbright Senior Specialist in the Czech Republic.