Stateline Midwest

Capitol Ideas Magazine

Special Reports


A Publication for and about the Region's State Legislatures and Legislators

Stateline Midwest, published monthly, keeps members of the Midwestern Legislative Conference up to date on policy issues impacting their states, actions being taken by the region's 11 state legislatures, and work being done by the MLC and The Council of State Governments. Each issue of Stateline Midwest includes in-depth articles covering issues of importance to Midwestern lawmakers. The newsletter also has sections devoted to a roundup of news from the region's leading newspapers and summaries of recent reports examining critical public policy issues.
This publication is provided to state government officials free of charge. If you are not a state government official, the annual subscription rate is $60.


March 2015













Past editions of Stateline Midwest

February 2015 »
Cover story: States' expansion of Medicaid and use of unprecedented federal waivers »
Other featured topics: Ohio program to train high school dropouts in high-need careers, Iowa's rural-urban conflict over nutrient runoff, U.S.' and Canada's new "known worker" pilot program, review of State of State addresses, and state policies and exemptions for mandatory auto insurance
Profile: North Dakota Senate Minority Leader Mac Schneider »
FirstPerson article: Ohio Sen. Frank LaRose on redistricting reform in his state »


January 2015 »
Cover story: Transportation funding shortfalls and potential legislative fixes »
Other featured topics: U.S. Supreme Court ruling on Medicaid, minorities and the innovation economy, Midwest agriculture and trade with Cuba, regulatory hurdles blocking U.S.-Canada trade, fiscal trends in the Midwest, legislative-immunity clauses in state constitutions and statutes, and state policies on scrap-metal theft
Profile: Minnesota Speaker Kurt Daudt »
FirstPerson article: Indiana Senat Majority Floor Leader Brandt Hershman on ideas to ensure economic development incentives are working, and worth the investment »


December 2014 »

Cover story: Improving work outcomes for people with disabilities »
Other featured topics: Impact of country-of-origin labeling on cross-border agriculture, new federal support for passenger rail in Kansas, the effects of a California law on the Midwest's egg industry, a 2014 review of legislative trends in state capitols, and a look at the role of this region in establishing land-grand universities
Profile: Illinois Senate President John Cullerton »
FirstPerson article: Kansas Sen. Elaine Bowers on how new legislators can make the most of their first year in office »


November 2014 »
Cover story: State preparedness for public-health emergencies »
Other featured topics: A first-of-its-kind coal plant opening in Saskatchewan, cooperation among Midwestern states and provinces to battle invasive species, new revenue sources for state fairs, Minnesota's mission to close the achievement gap, voter approval in three Midwestern states of an increase in the minimum wage, the expansion of Republican majorities in most of the region's legislatures, the role of nonpartisan staff in Midwestern legislatures, and how states and provinces are regulating new "ride-sharing" services
Profile: Wisconsin Sen. Sheila Harsdorf »
FirstPerson article: Illinois Rep. Elgie Sims on closing the "resource gap" among the state's schools »
October 2014 »
Cover story: Big changes occurring in state campaign-finance law in the Midwest »
Other featured topics: Ariculture-driven economic development, federal proposal to limit state regulation of ballast water, a new Michigan law requiring scientifically based policies on hunting and fishing, calls for stricter safety standards for transporting crude oil, state legislation aimed at closing the "gender gap" in wages, how Midwestern states are using information technology to boost efficiency and better serve citizens, state policies to encourage people to seek assistance during a drug overdose, and the roots of today's drunken-driving statutes — which date back to Indiana's first-in-the-nation law, passed 75 years ago
Profile: Michigan Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof »
FirstPerson article: Nebraska Sen. Brad Ashford on his state's path to juvenile-justice reform closing the "resource gap" among the state's schools »
September 2014 »
Cover story: Payment reform in state health care systems »
Other featured topics: New anti-bullying laws in Illinois and Minnesota, the need for federal support for a new Detroit-Windsor international crossing, the problem of algal blooms in Lake Erie, state policies on industrial hemp, the upcoming 2014 elections, and serving with close family members in the legislature
Profile: South Dakota Minority Leader Jason Frerichs »
FirstPerson article: Iowa Sen. Bill Dotzler on his state's new plan to invest in programs that "upskill" workers, help businesses »


July/August 2014 »

Cover story: New state initiatives, proposals to boost career and technical education »
Other featured topics: Legislative concerns about the safety of triclosan, bacteria counts on Great Lakes beaches, the use of "big data" in agriculture, industry clusters as as economic development tool, concentrated areas of poverty in the Midwest, the debate over full- or part-time state legislatures and state regulation of alcoholic beverage sales
Profile: Indiana Rep. Tim Brown »
FirstPerson article: Wisconsin Rep. Cory Mason on a proposal to address the problem of rising student debt »
2014 MLC Annual Meeting Edition »
Cover story: Kotkin: Midwest positioned for bright economic future »
Other featured topics: State policies to increase participation in Advanced Placement courses, concern over a fee hike that would affect cross-border shipments, "economic gardening" as a state development tool, state responses to the rising use of e-cigarettes, protecting bee populations, results-based budgeting, how to weather state revenue volatility, privacy legislation, and helping young people who suffer from mental illness
Profile: North Dakota Sen. Tim Flakoll »
FirstPerson article: Ohio Sen. Cliff Hite on a new state law to combat nutrient runoff »


June 2014 »
Cover story: Early voting, online registration and other trends in state election law »
Other featured topics: The role of universities in innovation development, a battle in Michigan over a proposed nuclear-waste disposal site near Lake Huron, state policies and proposals regarding labeling of genetically modified foods, training teachers and school staff in preventing youth suicide, new data tracking the performance of state health systems, and state laws and licensing requirements for new teachers
Profile: South Dakota House Majority Leader David Lust »
FirstPerson article: Michigan Sen. Judy Emmons on efforts in her state to curb human trafficking »


May 2014 »
Cover story: The enduring effects of childhood trauma, and how states can help those in need get the help they need »
Other featured topics: Regional trends in the number of farms, upgrades to the Midwest's passenger-rail system, the push for tighter regulation of "petcoke" storage, a new ban in Illinois on plastic-containing health and beauty products, Minnesota's passage of the highest minimum wage in the region, an interstate compact designed to increase access to online education, state legislation banning handheld cellphone use, and Illinois' role as a pioneer in the use of a juvenile court system.
Profile: South Dakota Rep. David Lust »
FirstPerson article: Minnesota Sen. Patricia Torres Ray on an education model for English language learners that embraces a student's native tongue »


April 2014 »

Cover story: The influence of the courts on school funding in the Midwest »
Other featured topics: Ongoing battle for funding of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, state funding for full-day kindergarten, an effort in Illinois to examine business incentives, drug testing for welfare recipients, state policies on the use of drones, a drop in public-sector jobs in parts of the Midwest, and laws on sports-related concussion prevention
Profile: Ohio House Minority Leader Tracy Maxwell Heard »
FirstPerson article: Illinois Sen. Michael Hastings on new legislation that takes aim at cyberbullying »


March 2014 »

Cover story: Unemployment insurance: A look at the safety-net program and recent changes to it made by state and federal lawmakers »
Other featured topics: State programs that focus on parent engagement in early-childhood education, a joint state effort to block federal runoff-control regulations, proposals in Michigan to control invasive species, medical-marijuana laws and proposals in the Midwest, rising propane prices in the region, the history of Wisconsin's Legislative Reference Bureau, and laws governing the creation of local land banks.
Profile: Minnesota House Deputy Minority Leader Jenifer Loon »
FirstPerson article: Minnesota Lt. Gov. Yvonne Prettner Solon on preparing to meet the needs of aging Baby Boomers »
February 2014 »
Cover story: Trends in criminal justice reform in the Midwest »
Other featured topics: The status of a bilateral trade initiative between the U.S. and Canada, regional economic collaboration in the Midwest, questions surrounding the future of preventing Asian carp invasion, Wisconsin's kindergarten program for 4-year-olds, the debate over laws regulating all-terrain vehicles, State of the State addresses around the region, and a review of state policies on food stamps and ID
Profile: Nebraska Sen. Kate Sullivan »
FirstPerson article: Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine on an initiative in his state to reduce violent neighborhood crime »
January 2014 »
Cover story: The role of states in improving broadband access in the Midwest »
Other featured topics: Recent changes to benefits in the federal food-stamp program, the rise in apprenticeship programs in the Midwest, a push to improve safety standards in rail shipments of crude oil, changes to federal food-safety regulations in response to producers' concerns, rates of population growth in the region, states' focus on higher-education funding and costs in 2014, state policies to prevent human trafficking and the Indiana legislature's paperless initiative.
Profile: Wisconsin Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca »
FirstPerson article: Michigan Rep. Ellen Cogen Lipton on a new plan to provide struggling school districts with more support and resources »


December 2013 »
Cover story: State policies and other factors that impact economic mobility in the Midwest »
Other featured topics: Minnesota's state-run insurance marketplace, a new law in Iowa on homeschooling, recent state and federal developments regarding ethanol policy, a Wisconsin town's plan to divert Great Lakes water, Midwestern states' policies on same-sex marriage, trends in alcohol-related vehicle deaths and related state laws, and a look at the Bank of North Dakota — the only state-owned bank in the nation
Profile: Kansas House Speaker Ray Merrick »
FirstPerson article: Nebraska Secretary of State John Gale on how states can crack down on the filing of fraudulent property liens »


November 2013 »
Cover story: State policies to support early-childhood education and expand preschool »
Other featured topics: Minnesota program that provides incentives for protecting water quality, new rules taking effect regarding country-of-origin labeling, North Dakota's new funding formula for K-12 education, concerns over an Ontario proposal to store nuclear waste near Lake Huron, the relative reliance of Midwestern states on federal funding, the rising influence of states in the face of gridlock at the federal level, "ban the box" legislation (which bars employers from asking about criminal history on job applications) and the impact of a devastating October blizzard on South Dakota's livestock population
Profile: Michigan House Speaker Pro Tempore John Walsh »
FirstPerson article: Indiana Sen. Ron Grooms on ways to curb prescription-drug abuse and crack down on "pill mills" »


October 2013 »
Cover story: State bankruptcy laws for local governments »
Other featured topics: "Work share" programs that help provide employers with an alternative to layoffs, efforts to reduce Medicaid fraud and abuse, Minnesota's decision to eliminate its high school graduation exam, the challenge in Kansas of addressing its unsustainable use of groundwater, trends in the Midwest's poverty rates and food-stamp use and policies, state laws that encourage medical volunteerism, and a look back at Minnesota's first-in-the-nation charter school law
Profile: Illinois House Assistant Majority Leader Elaine Nekritz »
FirstPerson article: South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard on the path to criminal justice reform in his state »


Older editions of Stateline Midwest »