On Topic

In partnership with the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University, WSIU presents On Topic.

This weekly segment features experts from the Simon Institute, analyzing and commenting on current issues facing the region, state, and nation.

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WSIU's Jak Tichenor talks with SIUC Political Science Department Chair Tobin Grant about increasingly heated campaigns for Governor in Illinois. 

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Illinois Lawmakers Host Jak Tichenor about the 2018 State of the State Address.


WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Paul Simon Public Policy Institute Director John T. Shaw, who took over leadership in January.

More members of the U.S. Congress are deciding they will retire or not seek re-election. In this episode of On Topic, John Jackson with the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at SIUC takes a look at what the exodus means for policy making.

After a passionate speech at this year's Golden Globe Awards, political watchers began buzzing with the possibility of Oprah Winfrey running for President in 2020. Paul Simon Public Policy Institute Analyst John Jackson offers his take on that, along with what he thinks it takes to be an effective Commander in Chief.

In this episode, Host Jennifer Fuller and Paul Simon Public Policy Institute Interim Director Jak Tichenor discuss what to expect in Illinois politics in 2018.

Host Jennifer Fuller and Simon Institute Interim Director Jak Tichenor take a look back at Illinois politics in 2017, and discuss what could come in 2018.

Host Jennifer Fuller talks with John Jackson about this week's special election in Alabama, which produced the state's first Democratic U.S. Senator in 25 years.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with SIU Debate Coach Todd Graham about recent sexual harassment scandals that continue to grab headlines across the nation.

In this week's On Topic, WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Paul Simon Public Policy Institute Visiting Professor John Jackson about the just-finished Illinois Veto Session. Many of Gov. Bruce Rauner's vetoes were overridden, though he did have some success. Lawmakers also were forced to grapple with accusations of sexual harassment and legislative inaction.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller discusses the 2017 Illinois Fall Veto Session with Paul Simon Public Policy Institute Interim Director Jak Tichenor. While the two-week session is normally procedural, this year's meetings are producing bombshell accusations along with override votes that pit lawmakers against their party leaders.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with SIUC Political Science Department Chair Tobin Grant about the effect of money in today's political campaigns. The 2018 race for Illinois Governor is expected to be one of the most expensive in history, and Grant takes a look at what that means for candidates and for voters.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with SIU Debate Director Todd Graham about the change in America's tone. From cable networks to talk radio, Americans are hearing and speaking about politics differently. Graham examines how that affects both the governed and the governing.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Paul Simon Public Policy Institute Professor Linda Baker for this week's episode of On Topic. More than two dozen state lawmakers have announced they're retiring, or are not running for reelection in 2018. Baker analyzes what that means for the legislature.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Paul Simon Public Policy Institute Visiting Professor John Jackson about reaction to Governor Rauner's decision to sign HB40, a controversial abortion funding bill.

WSIU's Jennifer Fuller talks with Paul Simon Public Policy Institute Interim Director Jak Tichenor about Gov. Bruce Rauner's announcement he'll sign HB40, which provides public funding for abortions in Illinois.