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Informed communities are safer communities

Wisconsin needs criminal justice data collection and reporting legislation
Patrick Hughes - July 7, 2020

Iowa adopts model occupational licensing reform package

Measure creates universal recognition, waives fees for low-income workers, expands opportunities for ex-offenders
Julie Grace - June 24, 2020

Wisconsin Free Market Coalition: Extend Regulatory and Licensing Relief

Adopting these reforms on a permanent basis will allow continued care and innovation in healthcare, ensuring Wisconsin is positioned to best respond to future public health emergencies.
June 23, 2020

The pandemic and the UW System

With fewer students and huge deficits likely, the state should consider closing some campuses and following online model for certain courses
Ike Brannon - June 18, 2020

A victory over regulatory expansion

Relentless bureaucratic creep undermines competition and hurts consumers
June 5, 2020

State budget realities make new prison construction unlikely

Policymakers will need to look to reforms to address overcrowding issues
Patrick Hughes - June 4, 2020

Civil Society in a Time of Pandemic

We have a chance right now to renew civil society, strengthen our social fabric, revitalize localism and show our political elites that we can indeed govern ourselves.
Michael Matheson Miller - May 26, 2020

Badger Institute President Mike Nichols talks to Greater Wausau Chamber of Commerce

Greater Wausau Chamber of Commerce President/CEO Dave Eckmann interviews Mike Nichols of the Badger Institute.
May 13, 2020

Universal licensure recognition works

Accepting out-of-state credentials should continue after the crisis ends.
Julie Grace - May 13, 2020

Teaching cursive and/or coding: Where should Wisconsin draw (or type) the line?

Authors debate whether a proposed mandate to teach cursive writing in Wisconsin elementary schools is prudent and whether high school students should be required to learn coding.
Rachel Horton, Emily Jashinsky, Mary Newby and Jeremy Thiesfeldt - May 7, 2020

Paving the way for Tesla

Outdated Wisconsin law hampers electric automaker’s direct-sales business model
Paul Gores - April 30, 2020

WMC unveils model for re-opening Wisconsin businesses

Plan would take into account regional risk factors and let consumers decide
David Fladeboe - April 24, 2020

Timing important on compassionate release

Move would stress support and health care systems throughout the state
Patrick Hughes - April 22, 2020

Outside government: compassion, innovation, flexibility

Wisconsinites rush to help neighbors in need during crisis, prove fundamental goodness of civil society
Marie Rohde - April 21, 2020

Free-market coalition applauds responsible reforms contained within coronavirus relief package

Bill includes coalition recommendations for addressing the crisis
April 15, 2020

Coalition COVID-19 letter to legislators

We believe that the road to recovery is paved with free-market reforms that remove burdensome red tape, empower families and local leaders, and provide relief to small businesses and workers.
April 14, 2020

Less driving, less tax revenue

Highway funding, which relies on the gas tax, will be hard hit as fuel sales decline
Robert W. Poole Jr. - April 14, 2020

State law inflates prescription drug costs

Wisconsin's minimum markup law is particularly egregious when Wisconsinites are suffering
Ike Brannon - April 9, 2020

Free Market Coalition: 7 Ways to Help Workers, Economy During Crisis

A free-market coalition of the Wisconsin Institute for Law & Liberty (WILL), Americans for Prosperity-Wisconsin, the Badger Institute, and MacIver Institute have pooled their resources to offer some solutions and policy recommendations to assist the state’s workers and businesses, provide more certainty during the crisis, and spur a quick and lasting recovery.
April 8, 2020

Analysis: Crisis is no excuse for abandoning fiscal restraint

Wisconsin would be worse off had responsible budgeting not produced healthy surplus, rainy day fund
David Fladeboe - April 6, 2020

Telemedicine to the rescue

In wake of COVID-19, telehealth regulations have been loosened; those changes should remain even after crisis is over
Martha Njolomole and Julie Grace - April 2, 2020

Guidelines for addressing an emergency

These principles should guide Wisconsin lawmakers as they confront the current public health and economic crisis
David Fladeboe - April 1, 2020

Analysis: Governor, courts shift virus risks, responsibilities onto county jails

Home detention one option for helping prevent virus’ spread while maintaining public safety
Patrick Hughes - April 1, 2020

Analysis: Wisconsin's military licensing reciprocity law a model for broader reform

Arizona, Pennsylvania paved way for full licensure recognition
Julie Grace - March 25, 2020

State licensing barriers hindering healthcare workers during crisis

Lawmakers should streamline regulations so more people can work
Julie Grace - March 23, 2020

Stuck on the sidelines

Occupational licensing regulations can undermine public health in the name of protecting it
Julie Grace - March 17, 2020

Bill to apply a tax on propane sales sets a bad precedent

The Legislature should not delegate taxing responsibility and authority to an industry association
David Fladeboe - March 5

Claim that violent crime is up 24% statewide is wrong

Badger Institute analysis shows the rate is much lower, and complicated crime reporting makes comparisons difficult
Julie Grace - February 26, 2020

Unintended Consequences

Revoking supervision for ex-offenders accused of new crimes would cost taxpayers without improving public safety
Patrick Hughes - February 20, 2020

Legislation puts more kids in the loop

Young caddies wouldn’t be deemed golf course employees in Wisconsin under legislation that backers say will put state law in sync with common practice and could create more jobs for youths who are willing to haul golf clubs around the links.
Paul Gores - February 19, 2020

New bills would make it easier for Wisconsinites to work

Senate committee passes two licensing reform bills
Julie Grace - February 12, 2020

Tougher on Taxpayers

Wisconsin's prison system will require hundreds of millions of dollars for new construction, operating costs just to keep up with population growth.
Patrick Hughes - February 11, 2020

Protectionist and restrictive

Decisions from licensing boards are oftentimes arbitrary and unfair
Betsy Thatcher - January 29, 2020

A voice for consumers

Public members discuss how they view their role on boards
Janet Weyandt - January 29, 2020

Legislature right to consider options to licensure

Bill allows for optional registration for in-state insurance adjusters
Julie Grace - January 21, 2020

'Sunrise review' would inform legislators about impact of proposed occupational licenses

Wisconsin should join states that have enacted sunrise laws as an alternative to new licenses that fence out workers and don't protect the public
Julie Grace - January 16, 2020

Problems with prosecutor funding in Wisconsin

The current system is vulnerable to politics and perverse incentives
Julie Grace and Patrick Hughes - January 10, 2020

A missed chance for bipartisanship on licensure reform

Gov. Evers vetoes bill that would've helped aspiring certified nursing aides and eased shortage in Wisconsin
Conor Norris and Edward Timmons - December 11, 2019

A Thanksgiving prayer for America

We're thankful that the nationally regarded welfare expert Eloise Anderson has joined the Badger Institute as a visiting fellow.
Eloise Anderson - November 25, 2019

Adjusting the occupational licensure mindset

New legislation would spend state resources to create a new occupational license for a profession made up of just eight to 10 people in Wisconsin — and make it harder for others to get into the field.
Julie Grace - October 23, 2019

Taking a bite out of the dental care access problem

Dental therapists extend care by providing basic dental procedures that previously only a dentist could do. For example, Elizabeth Branca is trained to fill cavities and conduct exams, opening time in a dentist’s schedule for more complex treatments. Dental therapists are paid at a lower rate than a dentist, making time in their chair more affordable.
Kevyn Burger - October 15, 2019

Patients reap the benefits of dental therapy

In her role as a dental therapist at two clinics in St. Paul, Minnesota, Katy Leiviska provides basic exams and preventative treatments to patients with state-based insurance.
Kevyn Burger - October 15, 2019

Wisconsin should consider using some of its surplus revenue for expensing reform

Wisconsin can improve its overall tax structure and create a tax code that is more competitive for decades to come.
Katherine Loughead - September 30, 2019

Where dental therapy is longer in the tooth

Minnesota dentists now see, and get, value from dental therapists, who've been practicing there for a decade.
Kevyn Burger - September 30, 2019

Why are Wisconsin's highways in the bottom third nationwide?

Poor pavement condition and high spending mean the state isn't getting top value from its highway dollars.
Robert W. Poole Jr. - September 4, 2019

Proposed rule change would increase SNAP integrity

The 2018 Farm Bill failed to address a key loophole in the country's main food assistance program, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) - a loophole that states have increasingly used over the past decade to expand SNAP income eligibility beyond the intent of the law.
Angela Rachidi - July 24, 2019

Jason Hicks dental therapy testimony

The creation of the dental therapy profession in Wisconsin through Senate Bill 89 would be an important step in improving access to and usage of dental care for disadvantaged and underserved populations in Wisconsin and potentially reducing negative economic and societal costs associated with poor oral health.
Jason Hicks - August 21, 2019

Julie Grace dental therapy testimony

To us at the Badger Institute, this dental therapy bill represents a common-sense, free-market and bipartisan solution to a serious and persistent problem.
Julie Grace - August 21, 2019

Dental therapy would provide access to the many Wisconsinites who lack dental care

Wisconsin is one of the worst-performing states in the country at providing dental care for disadvantaged kids.
Julie Grace and Ken Taylor - August 20, 2019

Occupational licensing reform in Wisconsin should be bipartisan issue

Nationally and across the states, policy-makers from both parties are supporting less burdensome licensure rules
Ed Timmons - August 14, 2019

Assembly Bill 195 is a good start for teachers and schools

Wisconsin should rethink its entire teacher certification process.
Mark Schug and Scott Niederjohn - August 8, 2019

Economic impact of UW campuses is overstated

Outside of UW-Madison, the argument that the colleges have huge multiplier effect on communities and the state is nonsensical.
Ike Brannon - August 2, 2019

The demise of Illinois' flat tax

Switching to a progressive income tax structure would drive Illinois even further behind Wisconsin.
Jay Miller - July 31, 2019

Labor shortage stems from minority education gap

Lack of minority high school and college grads and wide prosperity gaps will only exacerbate the region’s growing employee shortage, Milwaukee business leaders fear
Ken Wysocky - July 29, 2019

Misconceptions on tolling's potential

Wisconsin needs to face the reality of declining fuel-tax revenue and transition to per-mile charges
Robert W. Poole Jr. - July 11, 2019

Licensure reforms fuel entrepreneurs across Wisconsin

Fewer barriers mean barbers and stylists are now free to own and grow their businesses beyond shops and salons.
Marilyn Krause - July 10, 2019

Transportation system of the future

The Wisconsin Department of Transportation now has the opportunity to study tolling as a path forward to fix our crumbling infrastructure.
David Fladeboe - June 27, 2019

Overall tax reform in Wisconsin depends on the sales tax

Department of Revenue's guidelines on taxing ice cream cakes illustrate the absurd complexity of state's sales tax system.
Jay Miller - April 25, 2019

Expungement reform would put people back to work

Wisconsin’s law, which requires a judge to decide on expungement at the time of sentencing, is unlike any in the nation.
Julie Grace - April 11, 2019

Allowing dental therapists would increase access to oral health care

Wisconsin should join neighbors Minnesota and Michigan, and several other states, in authorizing the creation of these licensed mid-level professionals.
Jason Hicks and Morris Kleiner - March 6, 2019

The Foxconn lesson: State should level the playing field, not offer firm-specific incentives

Wisconsin's deal should be scrapped for reasons far beyond the possible switch from factory jobs to research jobs.
Ike Brannon - March 4, 2019

The absurdity of PSC's 'avian mortality study'

Commission staff adds expensive requirement to solar farm project without considering the cost or whether bird-death problem even exists.
Michael Flaherty - February 28, 2019

Overcoming a mountain of occupational regulation in Wisconsin requires more than baby steps

New report doesn’t include comparisons with other states and policy recommendations.
Ed Timmons - January 24, 2019

A green light for fixing Wisconsin's Interstates

Bipartisan legislative support for a tolling study likely exists and is validated by two major reports.
Robert W. Poole Jr. - January 23, 2019

Illinois’ loss could be Wisconsin’s gain

The fiscal calamity looming for our neighbor to the south could help lure businesses and workers to the Badger State.
Jay Miller - January 21, 2019

Wisconsin should reform process for commercial property assessments

As with manufacturing property, valuations should be done by the state, with owners being able to appeal to a panel of tax experts rather than a local review board.
Jay Miller - October 31, 2018

Drawing sidelined Wisconsin workers back to the labor force

Wisconsin employers are struggling to find qualified workers. At the same time, the state’s labor force participation rate is well below the peak reached during the last two economic expansions. What can employers and policy-makers do to get workers off the sidelines?
Ike Brannon and Andrew Hanson - September 6, 2018

Another reason new federal law should prompt Wisconsin tax reform

A whole lot more Wisconsinites are about to feel the sting of high state and local taxes (SALT) in ways they never have before — a fact that will lead either to a whole lot more dissatisfaction with elected officials or to substantive tax reform in Madison.
Jay Miller - July 26, 2018

Give the state treasurer a job

An empowered treasurer could be an independent voice for fiscal sanity. If state lawmakers heed the voters’ unmistakable message, the Legislature can take meaningful steps toward fiscal responsibility.
Todd A. Berry - July 11, 2018

Arbitrary tax breaks neither good policy nor good economics

Broad-based Wisconsin tax reform should be the goal, not short-term targeted breaks that benefit only a narrow class of taxpayers.
Jay Miller - May 7, 2018

Sunshine Week: Records request illustrates lack of transparency of federal school funding

It would seem a simple question to ask of any public agency: How much money do you spend and on what? But when the Badger Institute wanted to know about federal funding of school districts around the state, getting answers was more difficult than we imagined.
Dan Benson - March 16, 2018

New tax law offers chance to infuse private capital into distressed areas

Governors can nominate up to 25 percent of low-income areas in their respective states to be OZs, subject to Treasury approval.
Jay Miller - March 14, 2018

Private school principals say federal funding process is flawed

Special needs students are left behind because of inequitable allocation of federal resources, administrators say in Badger Institute survey.
Julie Grace - March 13, 2018

New federal tax law should prod Wisconsin to enact tax reform

Residents in high-tax states like ours are stung harder by cap on state/local tax deduction. There has never been a more opportune moment for tax reform in Wisconsin.
Jay Miller - February 20, 2018

Licensing reform could fulfill aspiring chiropractor’s lifelong dream

Wisconsin's arbitrary licensing rules prevent a graduating chiropractor who passed the national board exam with flying colors from practicing in the state where four generations of her family have served as chiropractors for nearly a century.
Betsy Thatcher - February 19, 2018

Tolling is the only realistic solution to transportation funding dilemma

Wisconsin ranks 38th in the latest state highway systems report. Revenue from gas taxes will slowly disappear in the years to come. More debt is not the answer, either.
Robert W. Poole Jr. and Mike Nichols - February 13, 2018

Teachers want to help kids, not do paperwork

Federal requirements in special ed are especially burdensome, educators tell Badger Institute in survey.
Dan Benson and Julie Grace - January 25, 2018

Educators decry feds' heavy-handed approach toward local schools

"I have to do a lot of paperwork and spend time testing my kids instead of teaching my kids."
Dan Benson and Julie Grace - January 25, 2018

Wisconsin’s chiropractic requirements need adjustment

Badger State requires higher score on national exam than most other states.
Michael Jahr - January 23, 2018

Resolutions for Wisconsin policy-makers

Priorities should include tax reform, corrections, professional licensure and tolling.
Mike Nichols and Michael Jahr - January 9, 2018

Wisconsin school officials want federal role in local education reduced

Funding regulations hamper districts and don’t improve education, local officials say in Badger Institute survey.
Dan Benson and Julie Grace - December 12, 2017

Barber Albert Walker looks on as Gov. Walker signs licensure reform bills on Nov. 27, 2017.

Occupational licensing reforms signed into law

Several regulations removed from the books, freeing professionals from onerous and unneeded requirements.
November 27, 2017

Invasion of the federal bean counters

Hordes of Wisconsin government workers are employed to "check boxes" for the feds.
Dave Daley - November 13, 2017

Schools hire pricey specialists to deal with federal grant rules

Paperwork takes staff away from daily responsibilities and educating kids, officials say.
Julie Grace - November 13, 2017

It's time to look at Wisconsin tax reform

Many taxpayers in the Badger State could take a hit under changes proposed in House Republican tax bill.
Jay Miller - November 8, 2017

Cutting federal grants can be political suicide for elected officials

Effort to scrap popular Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is a case study in how difficult it is to reduce spending.
Dave Daley - November 1, 2017

Voter ID? How About Candidate ID?

Mike Nichols - January 2011

Wisconsin should act now on Interstate tolling

Wisconsin needs to solve its highway funding shortfall, and toll-financed Interstate modernization is a powerful tool for doing so.
Robert W. Poole Jr. - April 12, 2017

Look down the road in transportation funding debate

Right now, three major sources of revenue — the state gas tax, the federal government and bonding — are problematic and unsustainable.
Mike Nichols - July 19, 2017

Long ordeal to get licensed in Wisconsin frustrates aspiring hair stylist

Beauty school graduate just wants to work but has been thwarted for over a year.
Jan Uebelherr - March 16, 2017

Sunshine Week: Federal grant funding obscures how government is funded, diffuses accountability

“Federal agencies have over time adopted a culture of contempt for the public’s right to know,” says Bill Lueders, president of the Wisconsin Freedom of Information Council.
Dave Daley - March 14, 2017

Salon owner says Wisconsin licensing hurdles make it tough for small businesses

"We’re not playing with people’s lives. We’re playing with people’s hair," Krissy Hudack says.
Jan Uebelherr - March 20, 2017

Green Bay barber stymied by state licensing rules

Albert Walker, whose clients include many Packers players, has years of experience but can’t run his own shop.
Betsy Thatcher - May 17, 2017

Samuel Haack and James Rohde

State licensure rules stand in way of on-demand barbering startup

UW students Samuel Haack and James Rohde can’t launch their Uber-like haircut business in Wisconsin without action from the Legislature.
Betsy Thatcher - June 7, 2017

Lowering age minimum to 15 could help ease Wisconsin's lifeguard shortage

Wisconsin law requires lifeguards to be at least 16, which may be compounding a shortage that forced a Wisconsin Dells resort to delay the opening of part of its outdoor waterpark this year.
Janet Weyandt - July 20, 2017

The EPA’s proposed ozone standard and what it could mean for Wisconsin

The proposal calls into question whether we’ve granted too much discretion to our regulatory agencies.
John Paulus - January 21, 2015

Federal rules distort local education policy

School officials make decisions they wouldn’t make otherwise to comply with funding requirements.
Julie Grace and Dan Benson - September 12, 2017

Betsy DeVos vows to free local educators from paperwork

U.S. education secretary also plans to give them more say over federal school dollars.
Dan Benson - October 4, 2017

WI legislators missing opportunity to take control of education

ESSA could offer opportunities for state to involve districts in decision-making.
Julie Grace and Dan Benson - September 12, 2017

Are high taxes driving away workers from Wisconsin?

Claiming to have a workforce strategy without a real strategy to attract and retain people makes little sense.
Tom Hefty - June 28, 2017

There's no polarization on special needs vouchers

According to a WPRI poll, 62% of Wisconsinites somewhat or completely support a special needs voucher proposal, while 27% are somewhat or completely opposed.
Mike Nichols - January 22, 2015

Let's Feed the Goose that Lays the Golden Eggs

Our leaders have been pandering to the here and now to the peril of what they know are serious underlying problems.
George Lightbourn - January 2011

The Wisconsin Public Union Protest Dictionary

Here is a dictionary of many of the terms you are likely to hear as the Wisconsin union showdown continues.
Christian Schneider - February 2011

The Right Debate

The media fixates on what budgets reveal about the politicians who present them. Yet probably more important is what the two budgets, state and federal, reveal about us.
George Lightbourn - March 2011

And Now for Something Different

Steve Lightbourn weighs in on Gov. Walker.
George Lightbourn - March 2011

Oh! The Lies Liberals Tell!

Distortions have popped up in conversation and on Facebook in the weeks since Gov. Walker introduced his budget and the government unions took to the streets in protest.
Sunny Schubert - March 2011

Ernie's Take on Mark Miller

“What I don’t get is what your guy Mark Miller is for. I mean, I know he don’t much like Scott Walker, but what does he stand for?”
George Lightbourn - April 2011

Run Away! Must We Protect our Schoolkids from Bunnies?

If the governor’s budget forces some administrators to cut back on staff to the point where they don’t have time to worry about political correctness in the classroom or the lunchroom, that’s fine by me.
Sunny Schubert - April 2011

The Milwaukee Residency Requirement Should Go

For a city to tie its economic prospects to recycled public-sector dollars represents an insecurity that is not healthy.
George Lightbourn - May 2013

After Two Long Years, DOJ Finds No Discrimination

The complaint against Milwaukee's school choice program was a thinly veiled political ploy.
Mike Nichols - May 2013

Recovery Schools Can Break the Education Monopoly

In New Orleans, through the first Recovery School District in the nation, the percentage of students attending failing schools there has been reduced from 78% to 40%.
Neerav Kingland - June 2013

Big Government Can be Small

As we increasingly see a single political philosophy dominate at the state or local level, we will increasingly see evidence of overreach.
George Lightbourn - June 2013

What Joint Finance Missed on Education

The most stunning action by the committee was the complete rejection of the underlying concept behind Gov. Walker’s original education budget: Tying new money to performance.
Mike Ford - June 2013

Walker's Budget Vetoes: Caving in or Offering Leadership?

The governor was doing his job, balancing evidence, interests and the wishes of the electorate. It is a path every governor must navigate.
Mike Ford - July 2013

Giving Credit to Private Schools

The new program will create an additional expense to the state. However, it is possible that the loss in GPR may be offset by the positive fiscal impact of reducing declining enrollment trends in private schools.
Mike Ford - July 2013

Can the Proposed Voucher Accountability System Work?

Taking small steps to tone down the rhetoric on both sides and demonstrate why increased trust is warranted is a much more realistic and preferable route.
Mike Ford - August 2013

Crisis Averted, Damage Done

It was amazing, yet predictable, how easily the president was able to get congressional leadership – Democrats and Republicans – to sign on to his Syria strategy.
George Lightbourn - September 2013

Keep Public Information Public to All

Transparency is a hallmark of our administrative state. It can be inconvenient, annoying and unfair. But it beats the heck out of the alternative.
Mike Ford - September 2013

New Casino is Not the Answer for Kenosha

There is considerable evidence that the casino gambling market is generally saturated.
Daniel Alesch, Ph.D. - September 2013

Walker Shouldn't Roll Dice on Kenosha Casino

Better to say no to all new casinos and let the free market determine Wisconsin's economic future.
Mike Nichols - October 15, 2013

What's Thwarting Charter School Expansion? Follow the Money.

Allow local districts to count students from their districts attending independent charter schools and then transfer the state and local revenue generated by each pupil to the charter school.
Mike Ford - October 18, 2013

District Charter School Change a Needless Distraction

It is counterproductive to force school districts to rebrand a popular district-option while the state expands the competitive atmosphere of K-12 education.
Mike Ford - December 2013

Obamacare Not Bending the Curve, Just Throwing One

Corporate buyers are demonstrating that making health care affordable is more about management science than political science.
John Torinus - January 13, 2014

Good Riddance. What's Next for MPS?

Everybody who cares about their kids has to also start caring enough to educate the Milwaukee School Board as it looks for a new superintendent.
Mike Nichols - February 20, 2014

Reflections on Paul Ryan's Listening Tour

Throughout his journey through Washington, D.C., Cleveland, Indianapolis, New Jersey, Milwaukee and San Antonio, Paul Ryan has witnessed unforgettable transformations.
Robert L Woodson Sr. - March 2014

WIAA’s ‘1.65 Solution’ Hurts Private Schools in the Name of Sports Equity

The last thing Wisconsin and the WIAA need are state lawmakers or the governor (of either party) calling the shots in high school sports.
Michael Flaherty - April 2014

Modern Dems Could Learn from Lucey

Democrats need a nextgen leader who understands the imperative of building a vibrant 21st century economy in a state mired in an Old World Wisconsin re-enactment of yesteryear’s political wars.
Marc Eisen - May 2014

The best bet for SE Wisconsin may not be a casino

As attractive as the tribe’s offer is, the real estate market points to another profitable solution.
Michael Flaherty - May 29, 2014

The real story about those job numbers

Wages are rising. The unemployment rate is low. And a high percentage of Wisconsin residents have jobs.
Tom Hefty - June 24, 2014

Clumsy Special Needs Framework Falls Short

The new approach is too broad and lacking in nuance to ultimately make much of a difference in the performance of special needs pupils in Wisconsin or elsewhere.
Mike Ford - July 8, 2014

Milwaukee’s inner city needs good fathers

As long as young men keep getting the message that they are unnecessary or unwanted or that the mothers can make more money if they are not in the picture, the downward spiral will continue.
Shannon Whitworth - July 11, 2014

Millennials Have Major Problem

Why are so many people wasting tens of thousands — often hundreds of thousands — of dollars on degrees they don’t end up using?
Emily Jashinsky - July 22, 2014

Stop Using the Word "Outsourcing"

“Expanding” or “growing” or “selling in foreign markets where there are billions of customers hungry for American stuff” would be a lot more accurate descriptions than “outsourcing.”
Mike Nichols - August 2014

The root of urban violence is a sick culture, not guns

To end gun violence in our inner cities, we need to stop focusing on the guns. Guns are only a symptom of a larger and more insidious disease.
Shannon Whitworth - August 11, 2014

Funny What We Get Worked Up About

There’s the recent bellowing about the so-called $1.8 billion “structural deficit” Wisconsin could theoretically face some three years down the road, and the absolute indifference to the real federal deficits that could well be this country’s ruin.
Mike Nichols - September 11, 2014

Only One Sure-Fire Way Out of Poverty

The most obvious way to learn how to be wealthy is to learn about wealthy people and do what they do. Imitation is the sincerest form of becoming wealthy.
Shannon Whitworth - November 17, 2014

Poverty Growing Quickly Among Single Mothers in Wisconsin - Conservatives Can Help

Conservative lawmakers should visit low-income communities, develop relationships with their community leaders and use the experience to craft innovative solutions that don’t involve throwing more money at a broken system.
Emily Jashinsky - December 9, 2014

Higher Ed Quandary: Women Lean In; Men Tune Out

Male students are so outnumbered on our nation’s campuses that it’s worth considering who really controls the dynamics of day-to-day life.
Emily Jashinsky - August 18, 2014

What Do Millennials Really Want? (And Where Wisconsin Fits In)

Well-educated, ambitious millennials see a lot to like in Madison — and appear increasingly likely to put down roots.
Emily Jashinsky - November 6, 2014

It’s Time to Toll

Wisconsinites need to get used to the idea of electronic tolls on our freeways. It’s a free-market solution to an overwhelming problem: lack of cash to pay for modestly modern highways.
Mike Nichols - November 24, 2014

Wisconsin Has a Spending Problem

Wisconsin state and local taxes are high because Wisconsin spending is high — particularly for welfare and higher education. Our public leaders need to find the right balance between taxes and programs.
Tom Hefty - November 24, 2014

Right-to-Work: Freeloading or Just Freedom?

The burgeoning debate over right-to-work is really over two different things: the rights that workers, either as individuals or collectively, should have in the workplace; and whether right-to-work states are more conducive or less conducive to long-term prosperity.
Mike Nichols - December 15, 2014

Prevailing wage law rife with problems

There’s ample evidence that Wisconsin’s prevailing wage law is harming taxpayers and contractors, frustrating good government servants and diverting resources away from those in need.
Mike Nichols - May 2015

Cutting to a Broader Truth

Mike Nichols - June 2010

The Negative Side of Negative Politics

George Lightbourn - October 2010

Minimum markup law: Why is this relic still on the books?

It’s almost impossible to find a legislator willing to defend the markup law on policy grounds; it’s also impossible to find a legislator willing to even hold a public hearing and risk rankling special interests.
Mike Nichols - February 10, 2016

What Wisconsin can learn from Illinois' fiscal predicament

Wisconsin should not assume, however, that it will gain from Illinois’ predicament, unless it takes steps to improve its own income tax competitiveness.
Jay Miller - January 7, 2015

Recognize the costs of increasing minimum wage

The harder we make it for young people to get on the first rung of the job ladder, the harder it will be to move up.
Ike Brannon - April 8, 2015

Pave the way for direct primary care in Wisconsin

A new model of care has quietly emerged that changes primary care as we know it - perfectly aligning the priorities and best interests of doctors and patients.
Kathryn Nix - July 31, 2015

School choice: A success story

“My family wanted private schools because private schools take education seriously. They offer a more rich education and prepare me for my future,” said Sahara Aden, of Milwaukee. But her family couldn’t afford the steep tuition.
Liz Tolsma - December 2, 2015

Why Wisconsin remains a tax hell

New findings trumpeted by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel fail to break down Wisconsin’s tax burden by income categories or on a regional basis.
Jay Miller - December 15, 2015

An unlikely alliance to connect Milwaukee job-seekers to employers

The Joseph Project addresses regional employment challenges with a free-market approach.
Michael Jahr - May 4, 2016

Wisconsin economy moving toward head of the class

What seemed like an improbable goal of becoming a top 10 state is already true on some measures. It is within reach on others.
Tom Hefty - March 10, 2015

Wisconsin, not federal judges, should manage wolf population

The Fish and Wildlife Service didn’t delist the gray wolf on a lark. In fact, the gray wolf’s comeback is a rare example of the federal government doing something well.
Eric Searing - January 22, 2015

The conservative response to climate change

Climate change has become a bipartisan issue -- and one that we as conservatives can’t afford to ignore.
Kevin Croswhite - January 22, 2015

Consuming news without a printed newspaper

Not long ago, printed newspapers were the gatekeepers of information. No well-informed American could go very long without picking up a paper. Clearly, that has changed.
Emily Jashinsky - January 27, 2015

Is it time for nonprofits to pay property taxes?

Tax-exempt institutions pay utility fees for their use of electricity and water. Shouldn’t a tax for their ownership of property be viewed in the same light?
Jay Miller - February 3, 2015

Revitalizing the entrepreneurial spirit of blacks in Milwaukee

Throughout the past 50 years, the established history of self-determination and entrepreneurship in the black community has been undermined.
Robert L. Woodson Sr. - February 5, 2015

The one-size-fits-all federalization of local police departments

Good policing is a highly localized issue. There is general agreement that an outstanding officer in one municipality might struggle if placed in another.
John Paulus - February 10, 2015

MPS needs an overhaul; Milwaukee kids deserve better

The system is performing so poorly that major changes, not just tweaks, are needed.
Shannon Whitworth - February 18, 2015

The tiff over training

“The idea that if they lose union dues that will impact training is nonsense,” says Scott Manley of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce.
Mike Nichols - February 20, 2015

Labor battling public sentiment and new economic era

Even Democrats favor a right-to-work law that would end compulsory union dues from unwilling workers.
Mike Nichols - February 20, 2015

Tackle violence without demonizing police

Rather than being portrayed as the enemy of low-income blacks, police should be seen instead as the community’s strongest allies against recurring violence.
Robert L. Woodson Sr. - March 2, 2015

In support of special needs scholarships

The Wisconsin Special Needs Scholarship initiative would give parents the opportunity to do what they believe is best for their child, much like parents who seek the best medical treatment for their child’s illness.
Craig Peterson - March 4, 2015

Debate over Wisconsin beer law comes to a head

“I get why the law is in place, but I’m not a threat to monopolize anything,” says restaurateur Justin Aprahamian.
Ken Wysocky - September 17, 2015

Take this federal money or else ...

Federal grants-in-aid, in truth, are anything but free. Many serve a valid purpose. But they also can drive up federal and state spending, taxes and debt.
Mike Nichols - March 11, 2015

What's a conservatarian?

Come hear author Charles C.W. Cooke explain.
Mike Nichols - March 24, 2015

Parents deserve a choice on where to educate children with special needs

There is strong public support for special needs vouchers: 62% of Wisconsin residents support such a program, according to a WPRI poll.
Liz Tolsma - March 25, 2015

An imbalance in public funding for UWM

The funding disparity between UWM and UW-Madison reflects that the two institutions have sharply different histories and are in many ways two different animals.
Tom Tolan - March 31, 2015

There's a better way to select Wisconsin's chief justice

Twenty-two states provide for election of the chief justice by the court, and none seem to have faced the divisiveness that Wisconsin has experienced.
Richard Esenberg - April 1, 2015

Children with special needs discriminated against - until now

The special education voucher program will help a small but deserving group of kids who repeatedly have been denied the opportunities available to their non-disabled peers.
Mike Nichols - May 20, 2015

The black-on-black unpleasant truths

Poor blacks have been the victims of a cruel bait-and-switch game, where the demographics of all blacks were used as the bait; when resources arrived, the bulk of them went to middle-class providers.
Robert L. Woodson Sr. - May 28, 2015

New arena for Milwaukee isn't a panacea

Building new facilities often do little to alleviate the scourge of crime-ridden neighborhoods, which just get pushed to the background — until they explode.
Jay Miller - June 10, 2015

Time to review Wisconsin's tuition reciprocity agreements

The number of Minnesotans migrating east for Wisconsin universities is now nearly double the number of Wisconsinites traveling west for Minnesota schools.
Michael Flaherty - June 24, 2015

Senate remembers - finally - that Madison is not Washington

Some folks in Wisconsin believe that we are simply another part of the federal government and should march in lockstep.
Mike Nichols - July 8, 2015

A worthy local government program to combat poverty

The Dane County Child Support Agency will be rolling out a pilot program called the Forgiveness of Arrears for Completion of Education.
Shannon Whitworth - July 13, 2015

IT worker shortage in central Wisconsin near 'crisis'

Only now are businesses realizing that traditional college curriculums are not meeting the growing demand of companies such as Epic and are turning to technical colleges to fill the gap.
Dave Daley - July 15, 2015

Despite naysayers, skills gap exists

Lori A. Weyers, president of Northcentral Technical College in Wausau, says the IT worker shortage is reaching a “crisis” stage.
Mike Nichols - August 13, 2015

Study counts the cost of 'free' federal money

About one-third of all state spending today originates in Washington, D.C., dramatically increasing the influence of the federal government on state spending priorities.
Dan Benson - February 3, 2016

The impending depletion of Disability Insurance trust fund

The fact that SSDI is now a year closer to a mandatory 19% benefit cut once reserves are depleted doesn’t mean there is much more urgency in Congress for reforming disability benefits.
Steve Prestegard - August 19, 2015

How Madison stole Milwaukee's prosperity

In the past 30 years, metro Madison grew 45%; metro Milwaukee grew just 11%. What caused the difference in outcomes for two cities separated by only 75 miles? The answer lies in Wisconsin politics.
Tom Hefty - September 9, 2015

Creating a direct pipeline from high school to tech jobs

Many of LakeView Technology Academy’s graduates are leaving high school with half of an associate’s degree in their pockets. Others are entering four-year universities as second-semester freshmen.
Betsy Thatcher - September 24, 2015

Walker still has chance to embrace federalism

The proliferation of grants-in-aid has driven up federal and state spending and taxes, hampered the prosperity and independence of Wisconsin’s citizens and ultimately moved America dangerously closer to centrally controlled governance.
Mike Nichols - October 1, 2015

Madison's monopoly on state office sites

Why are Madison and Dane County always the default for locating new state government facilities?
John Paulus - November 4, 2015

Lessons for liberal arts majors from recent UW grads

We need to know why nearly half of liberal arts graduates from our state’s top university regret the way they spent their money.
Emily Jashinsky - November 19, 2015

Ridesharing helps curb drunken driving

There is evidence that some inebriated Wisconsinites are starting to make better decisions due to the increasing availability of ridesharing.
Zack Vrana - May 12, 2016

A business approach to helping ex-inmates and the chronically unemployed

Milwaukee JobsWork pursues a multi-level business strategy based on the conviction that sustainable employment leads to self-sufficiency and local business growth is necessary for expanded opportunities.
Michael Jahr - June 2, 2016

More government aid doesn't rein in college costs

College tuition continues to rise at a rate that greatly exceeds inflation and student loans are becoming more and more onerous.
Jay Miller - June 23, 2016

A day that helped restore faith for this veteran

Everyone making a donation was thanking me, if for nothing else, as a representative of veterans who had served his country. I can’t tell you how good that made me feel.
Dave Daley - July 21, 2016

Milwaukee streetcar operations not fully funded

The predicament in which the city finds itself is the result of letting the prospect of “free” federal money determine local policy.
Dan Benson - August 9, 2016

Chris Abele's zero state taxes is a non-story

For better or worse, the tax laws are designed not just to collect revenue. They also aim to encourage certain types of behavior, such as being charitable or investing in risky enterprises that, if successful, lead to job creation.
Jay Miller - August 9, 2016

The black community's first steps toward progress: responsibility and introspection

An important step in working toward solutions for situations like Milwaukee’s would be to look honestly at the source of the unrest and rioting in the Sherman Park neighborhood. Not all of those participating have been doing it for the same reason.
Robert L. Woodson Sr. - August 17, 2016

St. Croix Chippewa members have decried council secrecy for years

As sovereign nations, tribes are not subject to state open records and open meetings laws as are Wisconsin’s municipal governments, school boards and other boards.
Dave Daley - September 15, 2016

Tribes in Wisconsin and across the U.S. misusing millions in federal housing funds

In recent years, more than a dozen Indian tribes from North Carolina to Wisconsin to California have come under fire for using federal housing funds to treat tribal officials to lavish vacations, gifts and cash advances for personal expenses, a WPRI review has found.
Dave Daley - September 15, 2016

While poverty persists for St. Croix Chippewa, tribe officials misuse federal funds, audit shows

Dozens of families have at times languished on waiting lists for housing assistance, and in 2014 and 2015 federal audits show tribal housing officials loaned themselves housing money without proper oversight.
Dave Daley - September 15, 2016

West Allis school district weaning itself from some federal money

“Our philosophy used to be procure (funding) and then figure out how to use (the money),” Director of Business Services Andy Chromy said.
Dan Benson - October 11, 2016

Analysis: Cash-strapped school districts burdened by federal grant regulations

Hundreds of districts in Wisconsin and thousands more nationwide are saddled with the Single Audit of federal funds that feeds a bloated bureaucracy in Washington while adding little or no value to educational efforts.
Dan Benson - October 11, 2016

Keeping ‘real money’ local helps solve real problems

The questions we should be asking, however, are: Why aren’t our problems getting better? What value does the Washington bureaucracy add?
Dan Benson - October 25, 2016

Fixing colleges is hard, but here are ideas on how to start

We need to rethink how we use the faculty at the non-Ph.D.-granting schools in Wisconsin to improve the lot of the state’s students.
Ike Brannon - November 22, 2016

Governing local is governing best

Data show people of all political persuasions also favor a govern local approach to solving many of our problems.
Dan Benson - November 15, 2016

Giving greater voice: The fight for equal rights for crime victims

Lawmakers in Wisconsin have a unique opportunity to erase an injustice, without eroding the rights of the accused or burdening our legal system. It’s called Marsy’s Law for Wisconsin.
Brian Reisinger - May 10, 2017

Pathways Milwaukee guides students toward success in college

Many Wisconsin high school graduates arrive at college unprepared and end up in remedial math and writing classes, which makes completing a degree unlikely.
Betsy Thatcher - January 19, 2017

The federalization of Wisconsin DPI

Washington’s grip on state schools continues to grow.
Dan Benson and Dave Daley - January 24, 2017

The bureaucratic 'skim' of federal school funding

Managing federal education dollars is costing Wisconsin taxpayers millions and benefiting children hardly at all.
Dan Benson and Dave Daley - February 15, 2017

EITC expansion will help Wisconsin's low- and middle-income workers

The EITC promotes the expansion of the labor market by increasing the reward to work, while at the same time making it more attractive for businesses to hire.
Andrew Hanson - February 16, 2017

Help students succeed before they get to college

Admitting students with little chance to graduate helps no one; tying UW System funding to graduation rates would force change.
Ike Brannon and Mike Nichols - March 1, 2017

HUD leaves unanswered key questions regarding tribe’s use of federal funds

St. Croix Chippewa agree to fix grants review process.
Dave Daley - March 7, 2017

Is Milwaukee a ‘donor’ city?

More than it used to be, but Mayor Tom Barrett fails to count all the state’s funding to the city or how much other communities give.
Dan Benson - March 8, 2017

Massage therapist finds continuing education requirements for licensing onerous

"How often do ethics change in massage therapy?" she wonders.
Jan Uebelherr - March 28, 2017

A new approach for occupational licensing in Wisconsin

Wisconsin currently licenses hundreds of professions. Some of those are unobjectionable, but other licenses are problematic.
Ike Brannon - April 7, 2017

The cost of Wisconsin's opioid crisis

Beyond the lives lost and countless other tragedies related to addiction, the opioid epidemic imposes a heavy monetary cost in Wisconsin.
Ike Brannon and Devorah Goldman - May 4, 2017

Follow the money: Federal grants are the key to constraining bureaucracy

Grants-in-aid represent more than 1,100 federal aid programs, each with its own rules and regulations.
Dan Benson - May 11, 2017

State legislators should focus on these tax numbers

Badger State residents still pay a mother lode of taxes — way more, given how little the average Wisconsinite makes, than almost anyone else in America.
Mike Nichols - July 5, 2017

Restricting on-site sales by wineries, craft brewers would hinder free market

At issue is a legislative proposal aimed at tightening up and making more uniform the so-called “three-tier” alcohol distribution system.
Ken Wysocky - July 18, 2017

Foxconn deal: There are better ways to create jobs and growth

Governments aren’t very good at figuring out which businesses are likely to grow and which are likely to fail.
Ike Brannon - August 16, 2017

Foxconn deal: Costs certain, but a potential for large gains

Foxconn has the potential to generate broad gains that go beyond job estimates and revenue costs.
Noah Williams - August 16, 2017

Foxconn deal: Why Wisconsinites should be skeptical

The deal is filled with too much uncertainty to be good for residents of Wisconsin.
Andrew Hanson - August 16, 2017

Foxconn deal: Unprecedented decision, disparate opinions

Deal raises questions about everything from job creation to how free markets and economies work best.
Mike Nichols - August 16, 2017

Foxconn deal: What will the future of LCDs mean for Wisconsin?

Will LCD display technology still be relevant in 2020?
Robert S. Anthony - August 16, 2017