A Publication for and about the Region's State Legislatures and Legislators
Published monthly, Stateline Midwest 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. 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.
Other featured topics: Fiscal solvency of states, the age gap in voting patterns and state policies designed to improve turnout, a proposed new high school diploma system in Indiana, legislation to improve Medicaid access among individuals released from prison, the impact of the current property-tax squeeze on farmers, the rise of veterans treatment courts and a Wisconsin town's plan to divert Lake Michigan water
Other featured topics: An overview of this year's MLC committee meetings; a look at the policy sessions on "Leveraging the Senior Year," state budget conditions, juvenile justice and police body cameras; a recap of Anne-Marie Slaughter's keynote session on how to reshape health care policy; and a summary of the resolutions passed by the region's state legislators
Other featured topics: Pension woes and successes in 11-state Midwest, this year's legislative debate over the future of prevailing-wage laws, strategies to expand access to Advanced Placement courses, new Iowa guardianship law, binational plan to improve safety of oil shipments by rail and new law in Indiana to promote regional cooperation among cities
Other featured topics: New federal plan for storage of nuclear waste, Indiana legislation allowing local needle exchanges to deal with public health crises, Wisconsin measure to help students with disabilities transition out of high school, status of "shared parenting" proposals in Midwest, and "lame duck" sessions in state legislatures
Other featured topics: Debate in Midwest over religious-freedom laws, regionwide decline in labor participation, strategies to increase number of skilled workers, state proposals to ban microbeads, new plan to ease bottlenecks at U.S.-Canada border, increased scrutiny on USDA's agriculture research centers, proposals to require paid sick leave, and a Minnesota proposal to expand dual enrollment
Other featured topics: Nebraska proposal to strengthen academic rigor for soon-to-be graduates, "blue laws" in the Midwest, regional support for Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, progress on new Detroit-Windsor bridge, rise of the region's craft beer and wine industries, and Kansas' leading role in the women's suffrage movement
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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