Gregory Sisk, who holds the Cardinal Laghi Distinguished Chair in Law at the University of St. Thomas School of Law, and Katharine Tinucci, press secretary to Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton and a 2009 St. Thomas law graduate, will engage in a vigorous and civil discussion of state and national budgetary problems at an upcoming “Hot Topics: Cool Talk” forum.

Katharine Tinucci

The forum, “Balancing the Budget,” is free and open to the public. It will be held from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 9, in Room 235 at the School of Law, located on St. Thomas’ downtown Minneapolis campus.

The Hot Topics: Cool Talk series is sponsored by St. Thomas’ Murphy Institute for Catholic Thought, Law, and Public Policy. This is the third event in an eight-part series that provides a forum for dialogue on current political issues in a context divorced from the heat of a political campaign. Each program features two experts respectfully engaging in a civil discourse on a policy issue important to the 2012 election.

“Greg Sisk and Katharine Tinucci will offer an overview of the budget situation at federal and state levels and explore options being considered with respect to funding programs and developing revenue,” explained Elizabeth Schiltz, a St. Thomas professor who is the School of Law’s Thomas J. Abood Research Scholar and a co-director of the Murphy Institute.

Gregory Sisk

“Our participants come from different perspectives – one focusing on the national budget and the other on the state budget, and one being a Republican and the other a Democrat – but they share common ground about the importance of civil dialogue and attention to foundational Catholic principles in meeting these challenges.

“In describing the budgetary challenges and offering some thoughts about the nature of and possible answers to these challenges, Greg and Katharine will also build on central tenets of Catholic social teaching – stewardship, solidarity, subsidiarity, the preferential option for the poor, and human dignity,” Schiltz said.

A complimentary lunch will be provided to those who register online.

For more information about the series, and to register for the Dec. 9 forum, visit the Murphy Institute website. Continuing-legal-education credits will be applied for.

The remaining forums in the series will be held in 2012. They are: Health Care Reform, Jan. 27; Personal Rights and Religious Liberty, Feb. 10; Immigration Policy, March 2; Punishment Theory, April 20; and Responsible Citizenship, May 3.