Wisconsin Policy Research Institute

Upcoming Events


Save the date:
WPRI Annual Dinner featuring guest speaker
J.D. Vance, author of the #1 New York Times bestselling book, Hillbilly Elegy: A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis
Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Wisconsin Club, Milwaukee, WI


For more information on J.D. Vance, click here.

What's New From WPRI

The federalization of Wisconsin DPI
WPRI President Mike Nichols and Dan Benson, editor of WPRI's Project for 21st Century Federalism, gave a presentation on Jan. 24, 2017, to the Assembly Committee on Federalism and Interstate Relations in Madison. Read a transcript of their presentation.

Story on the federalization of state Department of Public Instruction.
Story on the bureaucratic 'skim' of federal school funding.
Press release on the project.


Unlocking Potential
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.

Wisconsin Interest - Fall 2016
The racist roots of UW progressives
MPS turnaround plan was doomed from the start
New federal housing rule is 'social engineering'
Rebecca Bradley is out to prove voters got it right
Time for toll roads in Wisconsin?
Beyond the riots: What Milwaukee can do
Ex-inmates need more than shoestrings


How to Recreate the Outstate University and Finally Give Students Their Money's Worth

What would an entirely new public university, created virtually from scratch, with none of the established strictures in place, look like?

By Ike Brannon and Philip Coyle

Read WPRI's press release issued on September, 29, 2016, regarding this report.



The Trouble with Tenure

What do the UW instructors without it - the ones doing much of the teaching - think? By Ike Brannon
How the Regents can make professors accountable to taxpayers and students. By Mike Nichols and Mike Flaherty with Charles Sorensen



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








WPRI Grant$tanding project

The “Federal Grant$tanding” project is a multi-year investigation of the growth in federal grants used by Washington, D.C., politicians to curry favor with voters.

The latest stories in the project:

The bureaucratic 'skim' of federal school funding
The federalization of Wisconsin DPI

Keeping ‘real money’ local helps solve real problems
Congressman calls for more investigation into tribes’ spending of federal grants
Analysis: Cash-strapped school districts burdened by federal grant regulations
West Allis school district weaning itself from some federal money

While poverty persists for St. Croix Chippewa, tribe officials misuse federal funds, audit shows
WPRI’s press release on the launch of the Federal Grant$tanding project

WPRI Media Mentions


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

Journal Sentinel: February 23, 2017

Nichols: Rebuilding lives and the economy

Journal Sentinel: February 5, 2017


How a law designed to promote fairness is hiking gas prices in Wisconsin

The Daily Signal: February 9, 2017


Federalism is a watchword in new year

Rhinelander Daily News: February 2, 2017


Republicans urge Congress to cut back federal mandates

Minneapolis Star Tribune: January 24, 2017


New state Assembly committee looking at ways to take more control from federal government

Kenosha News: January 24, 2017


Alma Center addresses root causes of domestic violence

Journal Sentinel: December 18, 2016


Mike Nichols on corrections reform

"UpFront with Mike Gousha": December 11, 2016


Brannon: How to fix America's colleges
Journal Sentinel: November 26, 2016

Benson: Governing local is governing best
Journal Sentinel: November 13, 2016

Real Clear Policy: November 15, 2016

Franzen: Wisconsin GOP legislators should govern as true conservatives

Journal Sentinel: November 13, 2016

Experts assess college affordability proposals

Wausau Daily Herald: October 25, 2016

Congressman requests information from HUD regarding audits of St. Croix tribe

Inter-County Leader & Washburn County Register: September 28, 2016

Report suggests reimagined UW campus

Journal Sentinel:  September 29, 2016

Does lack of transparency encourage misuse of funds?

Inter-County Leader & Washburn County Register: September 2016

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

Inter-County Leader & Washburn County Register: September 2016

Woodson: Take steps toward progress: responsibility, introspection
Journal Sentinel: August 21, 2016

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