NEW REPORT// THE STATE OF THE UNIONS 2020: A PROFILE OF UNIONIZATION IN CHICAGO, IN ILLINOIS, AND IN THE UNITED STATES 

THE STATE OF THE UNIONS 2020: A PROFILE OF UNIONIZATION IN CHICAGO, IN ILLINOIS, AND IN THE UNITED STATES 

The COVID-19 pandemic has been a stark reminder that working people keep Illinois’ economy functioning. The workers propping up the economy were largely hourly employees who are protected most by union representation. As Illinois recovers from unprecedented job losses, the labor movement will be essential in protecting and rebuilding the state’s middle class. As Illinois and the nation recover from unprecedented job losses, the labor movement will continue to play a key role in rebuilding the middle class. However, recent membership declines suggest that it will have fewer resources available to do this important work.

NEW REPORT// FROM BIRTH THROUGH YOUNG ADULTHOOD: REFORMING ILLINOIS TAX POLICY FOR ECONOMIC SECURITY AND RACIAL EQUALITY

FROM BIRTH THROUGH YOUNG ADULTHOOD: REFORMING ILLINOIS TAX POLICY FOR ECONOMIC SECURITY AND RACIAL EQUALITY

The tax code is a powerful tool used to address a myriad of policy goals. Unfortunately, instead of narrowing income and wealth gaps, various tax provisions continue to reinforce historical gender and racial biases in the tax code. Some advocates argue that the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and the refundable portion of the Child Tax Credit (CTC) are exceptions to the generally inequitable tax system, as these credits provide substantial support to low- and moderate-income families. Illinois has a role to play in addressing the gender and racial inequities in the tax and revenue system. This policy report outlines reforms to the Illinois tax code that would provide tax relief to Illinois parents with young children, and young adults who are at the beginning of their career. It directs addition to how changes could impact racial tax equity in Illinois

NEW REPORT// TEACHER SHORTAGE AND RACIAL DISPARITY IN ILLINOIS TEACHING PROFESSION: THE EFFECT OF EDTPA

TEACHER SHORTAGE AND RACIAL DISPARITY IN ILLINOIS TEACHING PROFESSION: THE EFFECT OF EDTPA

The Illinois State Broad of Education (ISBE) mandated Teacher Performance Assessment (edTPA), a performance-based assessment to evaluate teaching readiness, as a part of the licensure requirements since July 2015. The new examination imposed significant monetary ($300-$1,200 per applicant) and time investments, which had a disproportionate effect on minority prospective teacher candidates. The impact of the test exacerbated the problem of teacher shortages and the lack of diversity employment in the Illinois teacher market. This report provides the first empirical evidence about the effect of edTPA on teacher employment and sheds light on racial disparity in the teaching profession in Illinois.

NEW REPORT// THE IMPACT OF RELAXING NURSE PRACTITIONER LICENSING TO REDUCE COVID MORTALITY

THE IMPACT OF RELAXING NURSE PRACTITIONER LICENSING TO REDUCE COVID MORTALITY

Nurse practitioners (NP) are well-trained health care personnel for primary, acute, and specialty care in the US. However, 32 states have restrictions on their scope of practice and Illinois is one of them. In response to the shortage of health care workers during the coronavirus pandemic, twenty-one states granted NP full practice authority to cope with the increasing demand for health care services. In the Midwest, Kansas, Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, and Wisconsin adopted a more expansive scope of service for NP. This report evaluates the effect of this policy change on the rate of COVID-related deaths in the Midwest states, which expanded NP authority and sheds light on healthcare policy in Illinois.

NEW REPORT// ILLINOIS UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANT WORKERS IN THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

ILLINOIS UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANT WORKERS IN THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC

The COVID-19 pandemic has hit the U.S. economy in an unprecedented way. About 20.5 million people have lost their jobs. In April the unemployment rate had already skyrocketed to 14.7%. In this report, we chronicle the employment conditions, health insurance coverage, and wages of Illinois’ vulnerable undocumented immigrant workers. We then propose adopting a form of universal health insurance coverage and temporary financial supports to ameliorate the economic hardships of undocumented immigrants and their families. The recommendations are also meant to keep all Illinois residents safe from the pandemic.