Riemer, 62, has a long history of pushing innovation in government policies, often pertaining to poverty. He co-founded the Milwaukee-based New Hope Project, a welfare-to-work effort, in the 1990s. He wrote a book called "The Prisoners of Welfare" in 1988, urging reforms in the long-standing welfare system, and participated in some of those very reforms, including the creation of W-2, Gov. Tommy Thompson's welfare-to-work program, and the state's BadgerCare program that provides health insurance for low-income people.
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