Simon Review Paper #12


In Fall 2008, The Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University Carbondale conducted its first statewide public opinion survey since 2004. Topics included the general direction of the country, the state, and respondents’ respective areas of the state; benchmark quality of life measures for education, public safety, the environment, and the economy; opinions on important public issues, such as a proposal to amend the Illinois Constitution to allow recall of statewide elected officials and the proposed Constitutional Convention; and opinions on judicial selection issues in the state. By far the most newsworthy section of the survey, released October 23 at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, dealt with public perception of the state government’s performance crafting the budget. Most alarming was respondents’ overwhelming belief that the Illinois government takes in enough money to meet its needs, and that relatively simple budget cuts could give the state sufficient funds to provide necessary services.