Public Policy Forum

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Anyone who's driven in the Milwaukee area recently knows that there are some roads that are in rough shape.  But do the pot holes and frost heaves and other bumps paint an accurate picture of the overall condition of the city's transportation infrastructure?

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Keeping up with your individual health can be a challenge, but trying to keep a city healthy is another endeavor completely.

Obesity rates are on the rise nationwide, leading to public health issues such as widespread diabetes, cardiovascular disease, sleep apnea, mental health problems and overall issues with quality of life.

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As the fine for possessing small amounts of marijuana has dropped in Milwaukee, so to has the number of citations for it.

Over the past few months, the Public Policy Forum has been examining how the city's marijuana laws are enforced, in an effort to understand what they are accomplishing.

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The millennial generation is generally defined as people who, today, are between the ages of 18 and 34. It's a generation whose influence is being courted in many political and policy debates.

A new study, compiled by the Public Policy Forum with the Milwaukee Business Journal, tries to quantify attitudes among Milwaukee-area millennials regarding a number of policy issues. 

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The budgeting process has begun for the coming fiscal year for both the City of Milwaukee and Milwaukee County.  The Common Council and Board of Supervisors, respectively, will consider the budgets proposed by the Mayor and the County Executive.

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Twenty years ago, seven municipalities along Milwaukee County’s north shore entered into a virtually unprecedented collaboration.  The communities of Bayside, Brown Deer, Fox Point, Glendale, River Hills, Shorewood and Whitefish Bay merged their fire and emergency responder programs and together created the North Shore Fire Department.

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You might remember the game Sim City... It had users create and manage a city, making key decisions along the way about what to build, how much to spend and how to prioritize.

A new website developed by Marquette University and the Public Policy Forum, or PPF, takes a page from the Sim City playbook. But in this case it doesn’t ask you to develop a new city, it asks you how you would fund the one we live in.

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Members of a Milwaukee Common Council committee took up a proposal Thursday that could reduce the penalties for first-time offenses for possession of small amounts of marijuana. Advocates say reforms are needed to address disparities in how marijuana laws are enforced and their impact on offenders.

"When you look at the percentage of the population that is African-American versus the percentage of offenders who are actually being picked up by police in Milwaukee and prosecuted, there is a disparity there," says Public Policy Forum president Rob Henken.

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This month, the leaders of a task force studying arts, culture and recreation funding in Milwaukee County said a regional approach – including a limited-term sales tax – was the ideal way to build support for public and some private cultural assets.

These are places like the Milwaukee Public Museum, the Milwaukee Art Museum, the Marcus Center and others.

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Among the issues before the state legislature in the coming session will be potential expansion of school choice programs to other parts of the state. 

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Last week, Milwaukee’s non-partisan Public Policy Forum released its newest report. Under the microscope this time was the health of the area’s non-profit sector. The report looked at levels of growth, both in terms of numbers of not for profit organizations, as well as trends in contributions and revenue.

New MPS Leader Will Face Dire Financial Outlook

Jun 30, 2014
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A new report by the Public Policy Forum in Milwaukee details the district’s dire financial picture. Forum President Rob Henken says MPS faces flat revenues, but rising costs.

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Some Milwaukee County arts and entertainment properties need a major influx of cash. The Public Policy Forum shares strategies other communities have adopted.

Public Policy Forum

A review of the state's "YoungStar" rating system finds most afterschool programs in Milwaukee County are failing to make the grade.

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Metro Milwaukee's parks, recreational and cultural institutions need a combined $310 million for repairs or upgrades, according to the Public Policy Forum.

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