Policy Choices Initiative

Services: Policy studies, Facilitated decision making, Survey analysis, Focus groups, Data analysis, Geographic information systems, Economic impact analysis, Benchmarking/indicators, Policy analysis, Strategic planning, Analytical studies

Research Areas: Intergovernmental Relations, Tax & Finance, Economic Development, Public Safety, Land Use & Environment, Housing & Community Development

See info about our newest Policy Choices project at http://policychoices.iu.edu/

Indiana, along with other states, faces major changes in the economic landscape. People naturally seek to address the immediate problems, but there is also a need to look into the future, to be more proactive in shaping Indiana’s future. The Institute has undertaken a process to develop policy recommendations for Indiana’s future based on conditions in Indiana. The primary audience includes major decision makers in Indiana in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors.

The goal of Policy Choices is to encourage discussions among government, nonprofit, and private sector leaders about issues that are or will be critical to Indiana’s future—to provide policy options for action. Recognizing that these are long-range issues and that priorities change over time, IU Public Policy Institute continues to analyze these questions and engage leaders, policy makers, and other partners in continuing the discussions.

Policy Choices for Indiana's Future (Policy Choices I), a nonpartisan initiative to analyze the issues that faced the state's next legislature and governor, was launched in January 2010. 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.

Discussions about Thriving Communities, Thriving State (Policy Choices II) began in summer 2014, and the commissions began work in January 2015. The purpose of Thriving Communities, Thriving State is to frame the changing demographics and economic realities of Indiana within a place-based context to provide a clearer view forward for policymakers, while preserving those places and aspects that make us uniquely Indiana. Three study commissions evaluate issues affecting (1) urban, (2) suburban and mid-sized, or (3) rural and small communities. As the commissions gather information, the Institute will host public policy conversations around innovative policies on project-relevant topics, and will host a 2016 gubernatorial forum.

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