Corrections and Public Safety

Wisconsin cannot afford to stay the course on its corrections strategy. The cost of locking up criminals in the Badger State tops $1 billion a year. The Badger Institute has published reports and stories suggesting alternatives that will keep Wisconsin safe but rein in expenditures and help former inmates rejoin society.


Guidelines and solutions for Wisconsin lawmakers as they confront the current public health and economic crisis.


Wisconsin should join other states that have authorized the creation of dental therapists, licensed mid-level professionals similar to nurse practitioners or physician’s assistants in the medical field. The Badger State has a dental care access problem, and allowing dental therapists, who work under the supervision of dentists, could help people, especially low-income residents, get the care they need.


Wisconsin was a pioneer in the school choice movement in the 1990s, and it has the potential to continue that legacy into the 21st century by enacting bold reforms that empower families, rollback monopolistic regulations, and actually help students.

Licensing and Regulation

Professional licenses, which were once limited to those serving in health-related jobs, are now required for barbers, manicurists, landscape architects, massage therapists, auctioneers and scores of other professions. These government permission slips to work fence out people from the labor force, especially those striving to get a foothold on the lower rungs of the economic ladder. Licensing regulations are frequently arbitrary, even nonsensical. Licensure reform is necessary.

Project for 21st Century Federalism

The Project for 21st Century Federalism is the Badger Institute's multi-year investigation of the growth in federal grants and their effect on state and local governance. The project was launched in September 2016.

Taxes and Transparency

While there have been targeted improvements over the past few years, Wisconsin desperately needs a comprehensive tax reform plan that will more effectively promote statewide economic growth.


Three major sources of revenue for funding Wisconsin's transportation needs — the state gas tax, the federal government and bonding — are problematic and unsustainable. We must look to other long-term solutions.


Work has the ability to provide dignity and economic prosperity to all who want it. Wisconsin needs to enact reforms that encourage people to make the most of their opportunities