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After Detroit: How will Illinois and its Communities Respond?

Wednesday, April 23, 2014 -
1:00pm to 6:30pm

Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago
230 South LaSalle Street, 3rd Floor
Chicago, Illinois

The Civic Federation was pleased to partner with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago to co-host a half-day forum, “After Detroit: How will Illinois and its Communities Respond?” on Wednesday, April 23 from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

To download materials and presentations from the conference, click here.


7:30 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. — Registration and Continental Breakfast
Badge Pickup and Security Inspection in the Lobby

8:10 a.m. —  Welcome and Opening Remarks
William Testa, Vice President, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Robert Inman, Wharton School -- University of Pennsylvania
"Lessons from Past Fiscal Crises: New York and Philadelphia"

8:45 a.m. Session I — Chicago: City at the Turning Point
Speakers will discuss recent budget, revenue and pension trends for the City of Chicago with a focus on the City’s financial future. In addition to presenting the perspective of Chicago’s Chief Financial Officer and the rating agencies, the panel will discuss the fate of pension reform initiatives around the country and how they might inform any legislation to change City pension benefits.

Moderator: Sarah Wetmore, Vice President & Research Director, The Civic Federation


  • Lois Scott, City of Chicago
    “Chicago’s Financial Future”
  • Richard Ciccarone, Merritt Research
    “Do Ratings Agencies Create Fiscal Discipline?”
  • Stuart Buck, Ph.D., J.D., Laura and John Arnold Foundation
    “Pension Reform Litigation: An Update”

10:15 a.m. — Break

10:30 a.m. Session II — To Intervene or Not to Intervene: How States are Helping and Hindering Local Governments
Speakers will discuss the different structures and policies states have used to assist local governments in crisis or avoid fiscal decline in the first place. Both the national perspective and a specific proposal for an Illinois authority to assist local governments will be presented along with trends in the structure and amount of local government revenue.

Moderator: Rick Mattoon, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago


  • Stephen Fehr, Pew Center
    “Best Practices for State Fiscal Intervention”
  • Jim Spiotto, Chapman Strategic Advisors LLC
    “IMPA: An Illinois-Specific Proposal to Help Distressed Municipalities”
  • Mike Pagano, University of Illinois at Chicago
    “National Trends in State Aid and State-Imposed Limitations on Local Government Revenues”

12:00 p.m. — Break

12:15 p.m. — Luncheon, Keyonote Speaker: John Hill, Chief Financial Officer, Detroit, Michigan
“Charting Detroit’s Future and Lessons Learned from the City of Washington’s Fiscal Crisis”

1:30 p.m. — Adjournment
Laurence Msall, President, The Civic Federation