Wisconsin Policy Research Institute
Established in 1987, the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute (WPRI) is a nonprofit think tank that studies free-market growth and public policy in Wisconsin. It advances the idea that “competitive free markets, limited government, private initiative, and personal responsibility are essential to our democratic way of life.”
WPRI works with several notable commentators, including:
- George Lightbourn, WPRI’s president who served as secretary of administration under two Wisconsin governors;
- Christian Schneider, who worked as a policy analyst in the Wisconsin State Legislature for eight years; and
- Charles J. Sykes, a talk-radio host and former reporter who has written for The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.
Think tank reports
WPRI produces highly regarded original research and analysis on tax policy, education, government, social services, health care, economic development, and other Wisconsin issues. It disseminates its research primarily through the WPRI Reports program and WI Magazine. The group also reaches major media, state legislators, and concerned citizens through a podcast series and a popular blog.
WPRI Reports in 2009 included the following:
- An analysis of the climate-change initiatives proposed by the Governor’s Task Force on Global Warming, the cost of which would be borne by Wisconsin taxpayers.
- Policy recommendations to reform Wisconsin’s correctional system.
- Arguing in favor of term limits for Wisconsin’s elected officials, whom polls say no longer hold the public’s trust.
- Improvements sought for K-12 testing and overhauling teacher compensation in Wisconsin’s public schools.
WI Magazine features opinion columns by a variety of respected conservative thinkers. It is edited by Charles J. Sykes and publishes three times a year.
Institutional funders of WPRI have included the Northwestern Mutual Foundation and the Wausau Paper Foundation. The Lynde and Harry Bradley Foundation, the Charlotte & Walter Kohler Charitable Trust, the Lubar Family Foundation, and the Roe Foundation have also been key supporters of WPRI in the past. The Institute encourages individual donations through its website.