The Public Policy Forum and the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance, or WISTAX, have been analyzing the work of Wisconsin governments for a combined 191 years. The Milwaukee-based forum has focused on the workings of Milwaukee, and nearby city and county governments and public entities, while the Madison-based alliance has focused on state government.
But a just-completed merger of the two organizations means the newly minted Wisconsin Policy Forum can study public policy at the macro and micro level around the state.
"While the Milwaukee area faces a lot of issues, a lot those issues are being faced by folks in Green Bay, in Appleton, in La Crosse, in Stevens Point," says Dale Knapp, the research director of the newly formed group.
Knapp was previously the research director of WISTAX. Rob Henken, former president of the Public Policy Forum and now the president of the new group, says combining the forums allows them to broaden the scope of their research.
Henken explains, "For the Public Policy Forum, this was actually an opportunity - and one that had been discussed for several years - to expand our focus from just southeast Wisconsin to state government in particular."