Rob Henken's Blogs

May 19, 2017 - 8:00am
By: Rob Henken
For more than a century, the Public Policy Forum has prided itself on impartial and objective budget analysis that explains the financial challenges facing local governments and school districts, but that calls them out when they violate fiscal best...
May 10, 2017 - 8:00am
By: Rob Henken
When the Forum is approached by local governments, school districts, and civic leaders to consider possibilities for service sharing and consolidation, we typically warn that such efforts should not be undertaken if the sole objective is to save...
April 4, 2017 - 9:15am
By: Rob Henken
As a diehard professional sports fan, April always is my favorite time of year, given that it marks the start of a new Major League Baseball season and the onset of the NBA and NHL playoffs. And, as one who makes his living analyzing government...
January 20, 2017 - 10:36am
By: Rob Henken
My guess is that the headline in today's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel proclaiming that Milwaukee Public Schools unfunded retiree benefit costs "fall to under $1 billion" leaves most citizens scratching their heads. Is a long-term liability that still...
January 3, 2017 - 9:00am
By: Rob Henken
The past year not only was a monumental one on the national political scene, but we also had several important elections and debated a range of meaningful policy issues on the state and local levels. Before 2016 fades into the rear view mirror, I...
December 22, 2016 - 9:40am
By: Rob Henken
As 2016 comes to a close, it's time to unveil the Forum's top five research findings. Last year’s list included findings on bus rapid transit, enforcement of Milwaukee's marijuana ordinances, philanthropic funding for the arts, Greater Milwaukee's...
December 19, 2016 - 12:45pm
By: Rob Henken
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's two-part series on Wisconsin's troubled juvenile justice system that ran yesterday and today focused first on the crisis at Lincoln Hills, and the fact that it was "years in the making;" and then on a different model...
November 9, 2016 - 12:30pm
By: Rob Henken
As the dust settles from an historic 2016 election, my mind turns to how the shift in control of the White House may impact some critical fiscal and policy issues facing our largest local governments. While it's obviously far too early to tell, here...
November 8, 2016 - 8:20am
By: Rob Henken
Last week, I had the opportunity to attend the fall research conference of the Association of Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM) in Washington, DC. The Forum has not had many dealings with APPAM, whose membership is comprised primarily of...
October 25, 2016 - 11:38am
By: Rob Henken
One of the most difficult challenges for Forum researchers as we seek to objectively analyze the Milwaukee County, City of Milwaukee, and Milwaukee Public Schools budgets each year is to point out the long-term financial challenges facing each...

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