Illinois Policy Institute

Illinois Policy Institute (IPI)


The Illinois Policy Institute (IPI) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that “generates marketable policy solutions” with the aim of “promoting personal freedom and prosperity in Illinois.”[1]

The Illinois Policy Institute is a member of the State Policy Network (SPN), a group that has supported some of the most vocal organizations denying man-made climate change including the Heartland InstituteCato Institute, and Heritage Foundation. According to Huffington Post, in 2011 SPN members’ combined fundraising totaled more than $83 million and included significant contributions from Koch, Donors Trust, and Donors Capital Fund.[2] [3]

Stance on Climate Change

Energy Subsidies:

“The market is better able to determine what energy solutions will be economically feasible than the government. Leveling the playing field by removing energy subsidies will allow the true cost of energy to be known, and consumers and investors will be able to more efficiently put their dollars toward the best energy solutions for the future.”[4]


The following funding values are based on data the Conservative Transparency Project collected from publicly-available tax forms. Note that not all individual values have been verified by DeSmogBlog for accuracy.[5]

View the attached spreadsheet for additional values on the Illinois Policy Institute’s funding by year (.xlsx). 

IPI as Recipient

Ed Uihlein Family Foundation$4,550,000
Donors Capital Fund$2,011,100
Mercer Family Foundation$1,100,000
State Policy Network$644,800
The Rauner Family Foundation$625,000
Jaquelin Hume Foundation$280,000
Dunn’s Foundation for the Advancement of Right Thinking$240,000
The Roe Foundation$220,000
Barney Family Foundation$215,000
The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation$170,000
Charles Koch Institute$135,837
JM Foundation$130,000
The McWethy Foundation$93,000
Stuart Family Foundation$85,000
The Randolph Foundation$50,000
Cato Institute$50,000
Walton Family Foundation$50,000
Schwab Charitable Fund$46,300
Adolph Coors Foundation$35,000
Atlas Economic Research Foundation$34,000
Castle Rock Foundation$15,000
Center for Independent Thought$10,000
Logos Charitable Fund$3,500
National Philanthropic Trust$2,000
National Christian Charitable Foundation$1,500
Huizenga Foundation$1,000
Grand Total$11,689,743

IPI as Donor

Think Freely Media$685,332
Project Six$623,789
Liberty Justice Center$591,000
Grand Total$2,145,414

Koch Funding

According to data collected by Greenpeace USA, the Illinois Institute received $135,837 in donations from the Charles Koch Institute between 2014 and 2016:[14]

YearCharles Koch Institute
Grand Total$135,837

990 Forms

Annual Reports

Key People

View key people by year below, or view the attached spreadsheet for a full list of the Illinois Policy Institute’s key People (.xlsx) including sources.


May 8, 2013

The Illinois Policy Institute hosted “The Great Ethanol Debate” featuring Jim Murphy of “Carbon Green BioEnergy,” Jerry Taylor of the Cato Institute, and John Tillman of the Illinois Policy Institute.[7]

Video below:

[The Great Ethanol Debate from Growth Energy on Vimeo.]

May 16–18, 2010

The Illinois Policy Institute was an official co-sponsor of the Heartland Institute’s 4th International Conference on Climate Change (ICCC4).[8]

DeSmogBlog researched sponsors behind the event and found that they had collectively received a total of over $40 million from ExxonMobil, Koch Industries, or Scaife Foundations.[9]

January 20, 2010

Prominent climate change denier Christopher Horner spoke at an Illinois Policy Institute event about his book, “’Red Hot Lies: How Global Warming Alarmists Use Threats, Fraud, and Deception to Keep You Misinformed.’”

According to a description at the Illinois Policy Institute, “Horner pointed out some of the glaring errors – perhaps deliberate misrepresentations – in the global warming “’science.’”[10]

Illinois Policy Institute Contact & Location

The Illinois Policy Institute listed the following contact information on its website as of May, 2016:[13]

Illinois Policy
190 South LaSalle Street
Suite 1500
Chicago, IL 60603
T: 312.346.5700 
F: 312.346.5755

Illinois Policy
802 South 2nd Street
Springfield, IL 62704
T: 217.528.8800
F: 217.528.8808

ALEC Connection

According to the Center for Media and Democracy’s Sourcewatch, the IPI was a member of the American Legislative Exchange Council as of 2011. Sourcewatch writes:[12]

ALEC’s Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force
Brian Costin (IPI’s Director of Outreach)  and Ted Dabrowski (IPI’s Vice President of Policy) represented the Illinois Policy Institute on ALEC’s Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force.

Brian Costin presented the “Local Government Transparency Act” model legislation, and Dabrowski introduced the “Pension Funding and Fairness Act” model legislation for adoption at the ALEC 2011 Annual Meeting. 

Executive Vice President Kristina Rasmussen represented IPI on the Tax and Fiscal Policy Task Force as of April 2010, when she penned an article entitled “Pension Funding Reform: A Solution for Budget Deficits” for ALEC’s newsletter, Inside ALEC.

ALEC’s Health and Human Services Task Force and Education Task Force
 Senior Budget and Tax Policy Analyst, Amanda Griffin-Johnson, presented model legislation (the “State Employee Health Savings Account Act”) to the HHS task force at ALEC’s 2011 annual meeting.

Collin Hitt, Director of Education Policy, is a private sector member of the Education Task Force representing IPI. He sponsored the “Local Government Transparency Act” at the ALEC 2011 States and Nation Policy Summit.


  1. Our Story,” Illinois Policy Institute. Archived February 25, 2016. URL:
  2. Directory,” State Policy Network. Archived February 26, 2016. URL:
  3. Paul Blumenthal. “Meet The Little-Known Network Pushing Ideas For Kochs,ALEC,” Huffington Post, November 14, 2013. Archived February 25, 2016. URL:
  4. Chris Andriesen. “SPOTLIGHT ON SPENDING #4: ILLINOIS STATE ENERGY SUBSIDIES,” Illinois Policy Institute. Archived February 26, 2016. URL:
  5. Illinois Policy Institute,” Conservative Transparency transactions search. Data retrieved June 6, 2016. URL:
  6. (GREENPEACE BRIEFING). “Donors Trust: The shadow operation that has laundered $146 million in climate-denial funding” (PDF), Greenpeace. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog.
  7. The Great Ethanol Debate,” Illinois Policy Institute, March 31, 2013. Archived February 26, 2016. URL:
  8. 4th International Conference on Climate Change: Sponsored by the Heartland Institute” (Conference Program – PDF), The Heartland Institute, May, 2010. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmogBlog.
  9. Brendan DeMelle. “Denial-a-palooza Round 4: ‘International Conference on Climate Change’ Groups Funded by Exxon, Koch Industries,” DeSmog, May 13, 2010.
  10. Jerry Agar. “Red Hot Lies About Climate Change,” Illinois Policy Institute, January 21, 2010. Archived February 26, 2016. URL:
  11. Illinois open government,” Illinois Policy Institute, October 27, 2011. Archived May 13, 2013. Archived .pdf on file at DeSmog.
  12. Illinois Policy Institute,” SourceWatch. Accessed February 25, 2016. URL:
  13. Contact Information,” Illinois Policy Institute. Archived May 29, 2016. URL:
  14. Koch Industries: Secretly Funding the Climate Denial Machine,” Greenpeace USA. Archived March 13, 2017. URL:

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