COVID-19 Related Research

As the fight against COVID-19 changes our daily lives, the Wisconsin Policy Forum maintains its commitment to providing the highest level of nonpartisan public policy research on state and local issues in Wisconsin. We have shifted our research agenda to produce several crisis-related reports.

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Impartial Research For Informed Debate

The Wisconsin Policy Forum is a nonpartisan, independent statewide policy research organization with offices in Milwaukee and Madison. Our mission is to provide informed, nonpartisan analysis of critical policy issues affecting local governments, school districts, and the state of Wisconsin. Our research and facilitation activities encourage elected officials and community leaders to find effective, data-driven solutions to pressing policy challenges, and promote productive discussion among the public and private sectors.

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We are hiring!

We’re hiring a new Researcher to help lead our government finance research agenda and further our efforts to highlight financial challenges and promote innovative and responsible financial decision-making in local governments across Wisconsin.

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Upcoming Events

Featured Research



Viewpoint Luncheon: Can Downtowns Thrive in the New Normal?

11:45 AM - 1:30 PM

Italian Community Center
631 E Chicago St, Milwaukee, WI 53202


2022 Salute to Local Government

11:30 AM - 1:30 PM

Italian Community Center
631 E Chicago St, Milwaukee, WI 53202
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Featured Research

In 2021, Wisconsin’s state and local governments and school districts counted just under 277,800 full-time equivalent employees, the fewest on a per-capita basis in two decades. While the pandemic played a role, years of tight school revenue limits and local property tax caps also likely contributed. Other factors may include technology, rising healthcare costs, and declining school enrollments. Average pay for these Wisconsin workers also declined relative to the nation, though that may reflect lagging incomes for all workers in the state.

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"With your support, the State of Wisconsin – and Greater Milwaukee – will continue to benefit from housing one of the country’s premier public policy research organizations.”

- Steve Radke

Northwestern Mutual

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In The News

Organizations seek to address low home ownership rates for people of color in Madison, state

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We disagree

The Record-ReviewRead More

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Central southern Ozaukee County fire department may be studied

Ozaukee County News GraphicRead More