Illinois to be 2nd state to start Social Impact Bond program - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

Illinois to be 2nd state to start Social Impact Bond program

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CHICAGO (WREX) -

Illinois will soon follow Massachusetts as the second state in the nation to adopt a Social Impact Bond program.

SIB programs address social problems through partnerships with private investors. In the program, a private investor will make an initial investment through the State of Illinois to help the state achieve a specific goal. The investor will then receive a return on their investment, but only if the specified goal is reached and the state can use the rest of the savings to reinvest in needed programs.

Illinois will work with the Harvard Kennedy School's Social Impact Bond Technical Assistance Lab to establish the program. The Rockefeller Foundation and $275,000 from the Dunham Fund will help support the SIB Lab in the initiative. The Lab will then help the state issue a Request for Information to explore SIB options in targeted policy areas.

The program will help the state develop or expand proven programs to help solve social issues like increasing school graduation rates, improving outcomes for at-risk youth, or reducing recidivism of ex-offenders.

The Governor's Task Force on Social Innovation recommended the State explore SIB programs in August 2012. The State of Massachusetts and New York City currently have the programs, the first of which was founded in the United Kingdom in 2010.

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