The Association for Budgeting and Financial Management (ABFM) conference was held at Georgetown Marriott Hotel in Washington, DC, from September 30 to October 2, 2021. The UIS College of Public Affairs and Administration (CPAA) was well represented in the event. Six faculty members of CPAA’s School of Public Management and Policy contributed to the success of the ABFM conference. These faculty members include doctors Beverly Bunch, Arwi Kriz, Kenneth A. Kriz, Richard Funderburg, Sean A. McCandless, and CPAA Dean Robert W. Smith.
UIS Public Administration Professor Beverly Bunch made a research presentation titled ‘The Evolution of State and Local Government Green Bond Issuance’ (co-authored with Robert Strauss of Carnegie Mellon University). Green bonds are a type of borrowing in which the proceeds will be used to finance projects that benefit the environment. Bunch presented an overview of the characteristics of state and local government green bond issuances over a six-year period, along with a more detailed analysis of state and local government green bonds issuances during the first six months of 2021. Bunch and Strauss have an upcoming article in the Illinois Municipal Policy Journal on the issuance of green bonds by state and local governments in Illinois.
Bunch also participated in a panel sponsored by the Volcker Alliance Truth and Integrity in State Budgeting (TISB) project. Panelists discussed how the findings of the TISB study might impact how state governments use federal funds authorized by the American Rescue Plan Act. The TISB study focuses on five significant aspects of state budgeting, including forecasting, budget maneuvers, reserve funds, transparency, and legacy costs (pensions and retiree health insurance). Dr. Bunch has led a UIS research team working with the Volcker Alliance over the past four years. Moreover, Dr. Bunch serves as Chair of the Search Committee for the next UIS Chancellor.
University Distinguished Professor of Public Administration Dr. Kenneth A. Kriz participated in multiple sessions. On September 30, Dr. Kriz was the chair of a panel discussing the municipal bond market in a time of economic instability. On that date, his presentations were focused on ‘Availability Cascades and Pension Discount Rate Setting’ and ‘Who Benefitted the Most from the Municipal Liquidity Facility’ (co-presented with Craig Johnson of Indiana University, Bloomington). On October 1, Dr. Arwi Kriz, Visiting Assistant Professor of Public Administration, participated with Dr. Kenneth A. Kriz in two other conferences. These presentations were centered on: ‘Coping with State Aid Cuts: Longitudinal Study from Illinois Municipalities’ and ‘Does Government Fund Balance Have an Impact on Regional Economies?’ (co-presented with James Douglas of the University of North Carolina, Charlotte).
UIS Public Administration Associate Professor Dr. Richard Funderburg chaired a panel session on budgetary responses to financial shocks and presented a research paper titled ‘The impacts of closing coal-fired power plants in Illinois.’ Overall, Dr. Funderburg was most impressed with the high-impact research and preparation of the young scholars who attended the conference and presented papers. According to Dr. Funderburg, the pandemic created a logjam of dissertation work, looking for venues to gain public feedback. The ABFM conference provided the first opportunity for many students to present in person, and the doctoral students nailed it, said, Dr. Funderburg. Currently, Dr. Funderburg and Distinguished Professor Kenneth A. Kriz are visiting scholars at the Institute of Government and Public Affairs (IGPA) of the University of Illinois System.
UIS Doctor of Public Administration (DPA) Associate Director Dr. Sean A. McCandless co-authored a paper presented by Dr. Bruce McDonald (North Carolina State University) titled, ‘Budgeting for Social Equity: Exploring the (Nearly) Unknown.’ The literature on the linkages between budgeting and social equity is still slowly growing, yet governments (especially at the local level) are increasingly trying to incorporate social equity principles into budgeting. Given the need to better understand this topic, Drs. McDonald and McCandless explore what is currently known about budgeting for social equity, techniques of social equity budgeting, and what is required for budgeting programs to get started, operate, be evaluated, and more. The result of their work is a conceptual model linking the many factors at multiple levels (environmental, political, socio-economic, historical, organizational) that appear needed to start, run, and evaluate social equity budgeting initiatives.
UIS CPAA Dean Robert W. Smith was the chair of a panel centered on building a top-rated budget and finance capacity in the MPA and MPP. Under the leadership of Dean Smith and Associate Dean Bland, the CPAA founded this year the School of Public Management and Policy (SPMP). The school is now offering an MPP, a degree designed to provide students with the analytical skill, decision-making frameworks, and subject matter expertise to address complex policy questions.
Please visit the redesigned SPMP website for further information on opportunities to connect with us online or on-campus.