Economics 101 for Illinois Lawmakers
Illinois legislators this year could be asked to vote on everything from changes to how the state taxes corporations to raising the minimum wage. But Senator Dave Syverson (R-Rockford) said before they make decisions on issues that affect the economy, they should learn more about it.
Syverson is proposing lawmakers take an economics course every two years.
He thinks many legislators who have tried to do a good job are shocked by what he called the "horrendous results" of their decisions.
“And it's because I think those decisions are made on how that legislation affects one particular group in that one particular period of time,” Syverson said.
“Where economics is, ‘How does that decision affect that group for a long-term, and how does it affect all the taxpayers statewide?’”
Syverson suggested business organizations and other groups work with community colleges to develop the eight-hour course.
Syverson acknowledged legislators have to vote on a range of subjects they might know little about. For example, politicians from Chicago have to vote on farming measures while lawmakers from downstate vote on Chicago public transit issues.
But he said an economics course would provide a base education.
Syverson's plan won't require that lawmakers be graded.
Thanks to Illinois Public Radio