Public Policy Institute
In fall 2009, staff and faculty of the IU Public Policy Institute (Institute) and the School of Public and Environmental Affairs began discussions regarding the critical questions that Indiana must address to secure our success now and in the future. Through the Institute Board of Advisors, work started in January 2010, on the first Policy Choices Initiative (Policy Choices I) project, a nonpartisan effort to analyze the issues that faced the state's next legislature and governor. The project focused on current and future economic conditions in Indiana within the broader context of the Midwest, and included three commissions, each given the task of addressing a key area for the future of Indiana: State and Local Tax Policy, Education and Workforce Development, and Energy and the Environment. The reports of the commissions, an overview of the results, and policy briefs in each area (An Educated Workforce, An Environmentally Sound Energy Policy, A Balanced Tax Policy) were released in February 2012.
Each commission included members of the Institute’s Board of Advisors and additional members from around the state selected based on their subject-matter expertise. Randall Shepard, (then) Chief Justice of the Indiana Supreme Court, and Mark Miles, (then) president and CEO of the Central Indiana Corporate Partnership, led the overall project.
The commissions gathered information and listened to presentations from topic area experts. Each commission developed a set of policy options to address the challenges facing our state. These options with supporting information are presented in each commission's technical report.
As the project developed, focus began to center on the overarching idea of improving the economic health of the state, its citizens, and its businesses. Analysts began to gather data regarding the current and future economic conditions in Indiana, within the broader context of the Midwest (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin).
Three key areas were identified: Education & Workforce Development, Energy & Environment, and State & Local Tax Policy
Developing the highly skilled workforce necessary for economic growth in a knowledge economy
Leveraging Indiana’s energy assets in an environmentally responsible, productive manner