What's New From WPRI
The Foxconn deal
We provide a synopsis of the potential costs and benefits of the Foxconn Wisconsin LDC plant and the analyses of three economists and a tech journalist who offer words of both caution and encouragement.
Mike Nichols: Unprecedented decision, disparate opinions
Andrew Hanson: Why Wisconsinites should be skeptical
Noah Williams: Fiscal costs certain, but a potential for large gains
Ike Brannon: There are better ways to create jobs and growth
Robert S. Anthony: What will the future of LCDs mean for Wisconsin?
In case you missed it, here's the June 26 webinar featuring Robert W. Poole Jr. on the potential benefits of Interstate tolling as Wisconsin grapples with its perennial transportation funding dilemma. Poole is director of transportation policy at the Reason Foundation and author of Rebuilding and Modernizing Wisconsin's Interstate with Toll Financing.
How Wisconsin's child care quality rating and improvement system measures up.
by Rob Grunewald, Michael Jahr and Matt Snyder
Policy Resources for Wisconsin Lawmakers
WPRI has compiled a list of resources for state policy-makers as they debate issues ranging from professional licensure to transportation funding to corrections reform. This handy compilation includes reports, commentaries and videos designed to inform public discourse on issues that will affect Wisconsin residents for years to come.
State licensing rules stymie Green Bay barber and UW entrepreneurs
Albert Walker, whose clients include many Packers players, has years of barbering experience but can’t run his own shop.
Watch video of Albert Walker
Ex-offender Albert Walker’s new barber lounge in Green Bay is in jeopardy due to an onerous state licensing law.
Samuel Haack and James Rohde, UW-Madison students, want to launch an Uber-like, on-demand barbering business to connect clients with barbers outside licensed establishments. But Wisconsin's professional licensing regulations stand in their way.
Wisconsin Interest: Spring 2017
► Nigel Ashford: What "classical liberal' really means
► Sunny Schubert: Rural resentment laid bare
► Brian Reisinger: State forestland program shifts tax burden
► Mike Nichols: Occupational licensure run amok
► Ike Brannon & Devorah Goldman: State's opioid scourge
► Jan Uebelherr: One addict's slow descent into darkness
► Dan Benson: Is Milwaukee a "donor" city or drain?
► Richard Esenberg: Conservatives: Keep eyes on the prize
Black Robes & Blue Collars
"Black Robes & Blue Collars," identifies policy changes to Wisconsin's expungement and sentence adjustment laws that could lighten the state's prison load, increase employment opportunities for ex-offenders and help employers find workers. The report includes two policy briefs:
► Problems with Wisconsin’s Expungement Law: How the Law is Used and How to Make It More Equitable and Effective
► Sentence Adjustment Petitions: Are They Working?
► President's Note: Give judges the information they need
Mike Nichols' testimony on professional licensure
On April 6, 2017, WPRI President Mike Nichols testified in Madison before the Senate Committee on Public Benefits, Licensing & State-Federal Relations.
Nichols appeared with Krissy Hudack, a salon owner from northern Wisconsin who says the state's licensure system makes it tough for small businesses like hers. Hudack was among the people whom WPRI profiled in its April report "Government's Love for Licensure."
Nichols said in his testimony: "Yes, sometimes the government is needed to safeguard the citizens to whom it belongs. But far too often, according to our authors, there appears to be another motive. Simply put, the authors believe that the steady increase in professional licensing is being driven by both the well-intended but excessive growth of government and a desire to protect incumbents from competition."
Read a transcript of Nichols' presentation.
Videos of Unlocking Potential event
On Feb. 14, 2017, WPRI hosted a forum titled "Unlocking Potential" that drew more than 100 participants representing law enforcement, the judiciary, the Legislature, business, community groups and faith leaders. The event at the Wisconsin Center in Milwaukee featured Hope for Prisoners founder and CEO Jon Ponder, Woodson Center President Bob Woodson, representatives of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department and Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch.
The discussion focused on how ex-inmates, with help from one of their own and the same cops who once pursued them, can find a way back to their families and jobs.
► Watch full video of the event here.
► Read WPRI's "Unlocking Potential" report, which includes an in-depth profile of Hope for Prisoners, here.
WPRI Special Report highlights strategy for reducing recidivism through investment in work, training and re-entry programs, and encourages the use of social impact bonds.
► Wisconsin's historical policy dilemma on corrections
► The state can't afford status quo
► Re-entry program offers Hope for Prisoners
► Alma Center: Breaking the cycle of abuse
► MATC program puts offenders on career path
► Private industry, prisons team up
► Skilled trades program offers a second chance
► Social impact bonds: A new way forward
► Watch Mike Nichols on "UpFront with Mike Gousha" discussing the need for corrections reform.
Putting the Squeeze on Consumers:
Real-World Impacts of Wisconsin's
Minimum Markup Law
► WPRI takes an in-depth look at how Wisconsin's Depression-era minimum markup law affects consumers and businesses every day.
► Mike Nichols discusses the law on Radio 620 WTMJ's "Midday with Charlie Sykes." Listen to it here.
► Nichols op-ed: Minimum markup isn't the American way