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Research

The collected Wisconsin research conducted by the Badger Institute — home of the Badger State’s best work on economic freedom, educational opportunity and civil society.

The Legislature appears ready to confront one of the primary factors driving up childcare costs in Wisconsin: overregulation. Failing to confront this reality would miss an opportunity to improve the affordability and accessibility of childcare without adding to the budget. Eliminating unnecessary or unverifiable regulations can reduce compliance costs for childcare providers without sacrificing quality — savings that they can pass on to families. Fewer regulations will increase competition among childcare providers, return authority to parents and ultimately make childcare more affordable for Wisconsin families.

Policymakers and environmental activists opposed to the use of fossil fuels like natural gas have pushed state and local governments to ban their use in homes and businesses without consideration of increased cost to consumers, the nature and reliability of our energy supply or technological advances impacting emissions. Other policymakers — including some in Wisconsin — have in response introduced legislation designed to ensure the continued right to use fossil fuels to heat and power buildings as well as cars and various other devices.

State and local governments in the United States have wide latitude in setting economic policy. In the first half of the 20th century, the progressives chose an economic model for Wisconsin that called for high levels of taxation and government expenditure coupled with extensive regulation of business and labor.

Milwaukee is among the cities that have repeatedly cut law enforcement positions in recent years.

Not only has the city reduced the number of authorized police positions, it has fewer officers to fill them, leading to higher vacancy rates. This inability to fill what remaining positions the city is funding includes leadership ranks: The Milwaukee Police Department is facing a damaging loss of institutional knowledge and practical skills, a loss that could worsen policing just when Milwaukee needs its force to perform at its peak.

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