Event Detail

Unlocking the Box: Best Practices for Financing Illinois' Infrastructure

Event on April 05, 2019


The Civic Federation is pleased to partner with the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago to co-host "Unlocking the Box: Best Practices for Financing Illinois' Infrastructure" on Friday, April 5, 2019.

To include your name on the waitlist, please call 312-201-9066.


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

8:00 a.m. — Welcome
Leslie McGranahan, Vice President and Director of Regional Research, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

8:10 a.m. — If You Build It: A Guide to the Economics of Infrastructure Investment
Diane Whitmore Schanzenbach, Director, Institute for Policy Research at Northwestern University

8:30 a.m. — Q&A

8:45 a.m. — Break

9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. — Panel I: Building an Infrastructure Plan That Meets Critical Needs
llinois has not had a major capital program since 2009. While there is wide agreement that the state faces an urgent need to repair and improve transportation infrastructure, it has not followed best practices in assessing the condition of capital assets and identifying priorities for spending scarce infrastructure resources. What can Illinois learn from other states? How have Illinois’ capital planning shortcomings impacted local governments? How can Illinois leaders be convinced to fund much-needed maintenance projects instead of shiny new ones?

    Moderator: Graham Grady, Partner, Taft Stettinius & Hollister LLP

10:30 a.m. Break

10:45 a.m. to 12:10 p.m. — Panel II: Bang for Your Bridge? How Should (And Shouldn't) Illinois Fund Infrastructure?
Illinois’ infrastructure needs are outpacing its existing revenue structure. However, before it embarks upon a capital spending program, state leaders must identify sufficient, reliable long-term sources of funding. No matter what revenue sources it explores, Illinois faces the additional complication of high borrowing costs, which will reduce revenue available for programming. Speakers will discuss the experience of other states in exploring innovative revenue sources and the particular challenges facing Illinois.

    Moderator: Elizabeth CoolidgeManaging Director, Head of the Midwest Region, UBS

12:15 p.m. — Luncheon

Keynote — The Political Challenges of Selling an Infrastructure Plan to a Skeptical Public

     Moderator: Laurence Msall, President, Civic Federation

  • Jason Grotto, Reporter, ProPublica Illinois
  • Yvette Shields, Midwest Bureau Chief, The Bond Buyer
  • Mary Wisniewski, Columnist, Chicago Tribune

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


To access a full copy of the agenda, please click here.

To include your name on the waitlist, please call 312-201-9066.