Jason Stein Named Wisconsin Policy Forum Research Director
Longtime Capitol Reporter Will Lead Nonpartisan Research Team
MADISON and MILWAUKEE — Jason Stein, a longtime State Capitol correspondent for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, has been named the Research Director of the Wisconsin Policy Forum (WPF), WPF President Rob Henken announced today.
“Jason has established a reputation as an insightful observer of Wisconsin state government, finances, and complex policy issues,” Henken said. “We believe he will be a great leader for our team of dedicated, nonpartisan researchers.”
Stein, 42, will be based in Madison and will lead a team of seven researchers in Madison and Milwaukee for the Wisconsin Policy Forum, an independent, nonpartisan research organization analyzing Wisconsin state and local government finance, education, and economic development. The Wisconsin Policy Forum is the product of a January 2018 merger between the Madison-based Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance and the Milwaukee-based Public Policy Forum.
Stein has worked as a statehouse reporter for the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel since 2010. He has covered the protests related to Act 10, which dramatically changed the state’s public sector collective bargaining laws, Gov. Scott Walker’s presidential bid in 2015, and recent legislation to bring Foxconn to southeast Wisconsin.
He co-authored a book on the Act 10 protests, “More Than They Bargained For,” with fellow Journal Sentinel reporter Patrick Marley. Prior to joining the Journal Sentinel, Stein worked for the Wisconsin State Journal as a business and state Capitol reporter.
“The Wisconsin Policy Forum and its predecessors have a century-old reputation for giving Wisconsin citizens the unbiased facts about their government. I will do all I can to uphold these traditions of
nonpartisan research and analysis and to ensure the Forum continues serving the public in innovative ways,” Stein said.
Stein will succeed Dale Knapp, who is leaving WPF in May to become Director of Research and Analytics for the Wisconsin Counties Association. Knapp served as Research Director of the Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance for more than 15 years.
“We are indebted to Dale for all he has done to help make the merger of our two organizations a success, as well as his willingness to share his unparalleled knowledge of Wisconsin’s economy, demographics, and state and local finance systems with us,” Henken said. “We wish him well and look forward to working with him in his new role.”
The Wisconsin Policy Forum was created on January 1, 2018 by the merger of the Madison-based Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance and the Milwaukee-based Public Policy Forum. Throughout their lengthy histories, both organizations engaged in nonpartisan, independent research and civic education on fiscal and policy issues affecting state and local governments and school districts in Wisconsin. WPF is committed to those same activities and that same spirit of nonpartisanship.
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Driven by rising income tax collections, Wisconsin’s state tax burden climbed in 2021 for the first time in a decade. Yet local and federal taxes as a share of income hit all-time lows during the pandemic and the total tax burden for state families and businesses is at its lowest level in at least a half century. Some taxes paid by middle-class families here remain relatively high, however, particularly the property taxes on a typical home.
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