An update on our legislative progress in Madison
The biggest policy decisions in the Badger State are typically made during budget deliberations in the first six months of odd-numbered years – that is, RIGHT NOW.
The Badger Institute’s Mandate for Madison, the 300-page policy playbook hand-delivered to all 132 legislative offices and given to the Evers Administration, is at the forefront of those deliberations.
Your generosity helped us produce this historic guide to prosperity and is helping us make sure legislators use it to push for reforms that limit government, improve access to great schools and ensure that victims of crime get swift justice.
Here is how your support has helped
spur policy ideas into tangible action:
TAXES: We’re helping lead the movement towards a flat tax, no small feat in the state that pioneered the progressive income tax 100+ years ago.
- Our flat tax findings were cited in a co-sponsorship memo that was circulated to legislators with the resulting flat tax bill introduced as Senate/Assembly Bill 1.
- Along with our partners at the Tax Foundation, we’ve worked closely with representatives fashioning tax reform in the Assembly.
- President Mike Nichols testified on flat tax proposals in both the Assembly and the Senate. The Institute featured Senate Majority Leader Devin LeMahieu and his flat tax proposal on an episode of our podcast.
EDUCATION: We’re working hard to close the funding gap between choice, charter and traditional public schools.
- Negotiations are ongoing in the Capitol as we write this but legislation to help lessen or close the funding gap between choice and charter schools and traditional public schools is likely to emerge – and our work and advocacy alongside that of our partners is pivotal. Jim Bender, our education lobbyist in Madison, is a key voice relied upon by legislators debating school funding.
- We’ve bolstered the case for expanding education freedom with our choice videos and articles featuring parents, students and educators sharing how choice and charter schools transformed their lives.
CRIME & PUBLIC SAFETY: Our work has been instrumental in the push to reduce the backlog of court cases so victims get justice.
- Two weeks ago, bipartisan lawmakers on the all-important Joint Finance Committee voted to significantly increase pay for prosecutors and defense attorneys in line with recommendations made in the Mandate on court backlogs. Exceedingly low pay was causing turnover rates that slowed down processing of cases and denying justice to countless victims.
- Assembly Republicans proposed a sales tax plan for the city of Milwaukee that would put police officers back in Milwaukee Public Schools for the first time since 2016, a recommendation made in the Mandate.
- We authored a Mandate chapter on expungement reform and submitted testimony on that issue after introduction of a new bill in Madison.
WORKFORCE: Our work helps reject limitations on opportunity for everyone in the Badger State.
- We were invited to participate in a 2022 Legislative Council Study Committee on Occupational Licenses, and we worked with staff to help draft reform legislation. We are now advocating for key reform bills in the Capitol and expect some success.
- Assembly Speaker Robin Vos called for Wisconsin to adopt tolling as a way to pay for state infrastructure projects, a policy proposal advanced in the Mandate.
What’s next – and how you can help
The Badger Institute prides ourselves on championing the process of diagnosing a policy problem, strategizing a realistic solution, and sharing the findings with our donors, supporters and the media.
There’s endless work to be done. Yet, it’s movement and impact like what’s outlined here where you can tangibly see the momentum and power of your investment to the Badger Institute.
We sincerely thank you for your continued generosity. The future of Wisconsin depends on it.
President, Badger Institute