In The News


2018 Salute Winners

Our judges reviewed many outstanding entries, and we are pleased to announce this year’s Salute award winners! The 2018 Salute marks the first time the awards are being presented to local governments and school districts throughout Wisconsin to recognize our new status as a statewide organization. The 2018 recipients are:Read More
Event Recap


City Governments in Wisconsin: At a Breaking Point?

Recent Wisconsin Policy Forum research has revealed disturbing city budget trends in Milwaukee and Racine, including high levels of long-term debt, growing infrastructure and public safety challenges, and staff reductions in areas like libraries and public works. What is driving these trends, and are they growing worse? Are other WisconsinRead More


The story behind our Milwaukee County justice center report

This morning, the Forum released a report on one of the most critical issues facing Milwaukee County government: how to come up with more than $300 million to replace the aging Safety Building. That building was built in 1929 and no longer meets the County’s functionality requirements for the criticalRead More


Are Driverless Trucks Coming to Wisconsin?

In the most recent issue of our Focus newsletter, we briefly mentioned a proposal to create dedicated autonomous vehicle lanes to accommodate Foxconn trucks from Mitchell Field in Milwaukee to Mount Pleasant in neighboring Racine County. Space limitations prevented more discussion of autonomous vehicles and their possible impact in Wisconsin.Read More


Racine Fiscal Report Embodies WPF’s New Statewide Focus

Since 2008, the Public Policy Forum (PPF) has published six detailed local government financial analyses using a methodology we adapted from the International City/County Management Association (ICMA). We’re proud of this work, which has been recognized with a national award by the Governmental Research Association. Today, we release a seventhRead More


1st Quarter 2018 President’s Message

After such a busy year of planning and deliberation, it’s hard to believe the Wisconsin Policy Forum is now three months old. Of course, three months is far too soon to declare “mission accomplished,” but a brief progress report certainly is in order. In my last message in early JanuaryRead More


Deferred parking lots maintenance reveal major parks challenges

Over the past two years, the Forum has been conducting a long-term research project analyzing the condition of local government infrastructure in metro Milwaukee and the capacity of local governments to finance their infrastructure needs. So far, our five-part series of reports has included installments on City of Milwaukee andRead More


Rental housing affordability and equity are critical issues now more than ever

Rental housing affordability is becoming an increasingly prominent issue in advancing the state’s and Milwaukee area’s regional economy. In fact, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett’s “state of the city” speech on Monday emphasizes the importance of this issue on the local policymaking scene. As this year’s Norman N. Gill Fellow atRead More


“Last mile” transportation strategies remain elusive

The Milwaukee County Transit System’s recently announced bus route eliminations exemplify the difficulty of providing transit services that effectively connect workers who live in the City of Milwaukee with jobs in the suburbs. Three of the routes to be eliminated (Routes 219, 223, and 276) are “shuttle routes” designed toRead More