Stateline Midwest

Capitol Ideas Magazine

Special Reports


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

Published 11 times a year, 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.


June/July 2019











Past editions of Stateline Midwest


May 2019
Cover story: Mix of state policy reforms, new federal law bringing big changes to foster care
systems »
Other featured topics: New 'Census of Agriculture' results, civics education laws in Illinois and Nebraska, Illinois' support for plan to keep Asian carp from reaching the Great Lakes, new laws in Indiana to improve teacher retention and pay, a search for answers in Nebraska to prison overcrowding, and Indiana's plan to boost tourism efforts.
Profile: Minnesota Rep. Laurie Halverson »
FirstPerson article: Illinois Sen. Pat McGuire on a bipartisan effort to "help higher education
thrive again" »
April 2019
Cover storyTime to bail on cash bail? A growing number of states are scrutinizing current systems, and exploring alternatives such as use of risk-assessment tools »
Other featured topics: 'Tobacco 21' laws, youth voter turnout, Michigan's farm-to-school initiative, progress on a new bridge at the busy Detroit-Windsor border, new meat-labeling laws in North Dakota and South Dakota, state programs that forgive student loans, and a new Michigan House committee designed to improve bill deliberations

Profile: Ohio Senate Majority Floor Leader Matt Huffman »

FirstPerson article: Michigan Rep. Mary Whiteford on her state's response to the emerging problem of PFAS contamination in sources of drinking water »


March 2019
Cover story: Overwhelmed by overdoses: The rise in drug-related deaths has states still searching for mix of strategies to address the public health crisis »
Other featured topics: State responses to the coming of 5G technology, governors' new proposals to raise the gas tax, Minnesota's plans to control chronic wasting disease, how states are regulating insurers' use of "step therapy," and proposals to end states' economic 'border wars"

Profile: Iowa House Minority Leader Todd Prichard »

FirstPerson article: North Dakota Rep. Corey Mock on why his state is pursuing better ways to deliver its information technology-related products and services »


February 2019
Cover story: From changing laws that authorize dental therapists to expanding the use of telemedicine, state legislatures are implementing policies that expand access to oral health care »
Other featured topics: Seven ideas from the first seven State of the State addresses from the Midwest's governors, states' industrial hemp policies, Ohio's investment in projects that keep dredged materials out of Lake Erie, legislation to improve investigations of missing and murdered indigenous people, trends in state graduation rates, the closing of gender gaps in several Midwestern state legislatures, and the impact of the new federal cap on state and local tax deductions

Profile: North Dakota House Majority Leader Chet Pollert »

FirstPerson article: Indiana Sen. Erin Houchin on a new law in her state that aims to close the rural broadband divide »


January 2019
Cover story: 'Victim-centered’ approach: New policies on sexual assault, from handling of rape kits to new supports in hospitals, being implemented across Midwest »
Other featured topics: A look at what recent studies show about the Midwest states' fiscal conditions, a recap of the new farm bill, Michigan's plans for a new tunnel and pipeline under the Great Lakes, an Indiana case on forfeiture and fines reaches the U.S. Supreme Court, state laws on "skinny" health plans, the power struggle between legislatures and attorneys general, and legislation to end daylight savings time — or make it year-round

Profile: Wisconsin Assembly Assistant Majority Leader Mary Felzkowski »

FirstPerson article: Illinois Treasurer Michael Frerichs on how states are working together to make ABLE accounts work for disabled »



December 2018

Cover story: New laws in Iowa, Michigan seek to build stronger 'middle skllls' workforce »
Other featured topics: How states have addressed lead in water supplies, post-Flint; the effects of a new North American trade deal on Midwest agriculture; how recently enacted federal law will impact Great Lakes and state regulation of ballast water; Michigan's statutory changes to ensure use of "objective parole"; trends in ridership on state-supported passenger rail routes; the "curious tension" of secretaries of state running elections; and state laws to promote computer science education

Profile: South Dakota Assistant Majority Leader Jim Bolin »

FirstPerson article: Ohio Rep. Scott Wiggam on a new tool to improve communications between police and disabled »


November 2018
Cover story: A review of legislative sessions, actions in Midwest in 2018 »
Other featured topics: Takeaways from the 2018 elections in the Midwest, legal challenges to North Dakota's anti-corporate-farming law, Wisconsin's pre-diversion grant program to curb opioid abuse, a new federal law on the Soo Locks and Asian carp, potential legislation in North Dakota to address persistent workforce shortage via scholarships and loan forgiveness, and Good Samaritan laws for individuals who save animals
Profile: Incoming Indiana Senate President Pro Tem Rodric Bray »
FirstPerson article: Nebraska Sen. Anna Wishart on how a new law will help her state be positioned for a future that includes autonomous vehicles »


October 2018
Cover story: Privacy, data security becoming bigger and bigger issue in state governments and legislatures »
Other featured topics: Estate law and family farms in Iowa, transparency questions over executions in Nebraska, changes to evaluation of teacher performance in Ohio, state laws that allow for citizen-initiated juries, and state-level restrictions on who can own and possess firearms
Profile: Nebraska Sen. John Stinner »
FirstPerson article: Kansas Sen. Barbara Bollier on how principles in the medical profession can be used in legislatures »


September 2018
Cover story: No sure bets for states: Legal climate for sports wagering has changed, but impact in Midwest remains unclear as legislators weigh risks and benefits »
Other featured topics: Ballot measures for 2018, health insurance plans for Midwest's farmers, Wisconsin's new investment in juvenile justice, Ohio adopts blockchain law, Indiana establishes perinatal "levels of care" standards, how legislative vacancies are filled in region, and personal literacy policies in the 11-state Midwest
Profile: Minnesota Sen. Ann Rest »
FirstPerson article: Iowa Rep. John Wills on his state's new investment in water quality »


August 2018: Midwestern Legislative Conference Annual Meeting Edition
Cover story: Looking for breakthrough energy policies? Much of the action is in the states, former governor tells region's legislators at MLC meeting »
Profile: Illinois Sen. Elgie Sims, incoming MLC chair »
FirstPerson article: Wisconsin Rep. John Nygren details his state’s ongoing efforts to fight opioid crisis »


June/July 2018
Cover story: With binational tensions unusually high, trends in key Midwest sectors are reminder of value of U.S.-Canada partnerships »
Other featured topics: Ohio plans additional investments in Lake Erie protection, more states suing opioid makers, Illinois provides jolt to local solar industry, Minnesota proposal targets costs of college textbooks, Illinois starts new initiative to help private-sector workers save for retirement, and Ohio experience shows potential troubles of having to replace a top leader during session
Profile: Kansas House Majority Leader Don Hineman »
FirstPerson article: South Dakota Sen. Jeff Partridge on how legislatures can jump-start efficiency in state agencies »


May 2018
Cover story: States in Midwest are examining their mental, behavioral systems with eye toward cost- and life-saving reforms »
Other featured topics: State grants aim to prevent farmer deaths from tractor rollovers; pair of Ohio bills address two hurdles to broadband access in homes, communities; Kansas lawmakers invest additional half-billion dollars into K-12 schools; Nebraska law gives trafficking victims chance to have records erased; Midwest's states at center of legal questions over collection of sales taxes from online sales; South Dakota ties legislator pay to state's median household income; and state policies seek to increase minority businesses' share of state contracts
Profile: Indiana House Minority Leader Terry Goodin »
FirstPerson article: Wisconsin Rep. Rob Brooks on an initiative that fosters success for students with disabilities »


April 2018
Cover story: Steps for states to secure election systems include upgrading voting equipment, performing post-election audits »
Other featured topics: Michigan, Minnesota among states dealing with contamination of drinking water from PFAS chemicals; Iowa law aims to ensure lower-cost eggs are option for consumers; Indiana emphasizing importance of building 'soft skills' among K-12 students; "export-intensive" areas of Midwest have much at stake with talk of more tariffs; Iowa to mandate suicide prevention in schools; states implementing measures to address safety in K-12 schools; and Kansas lawmakers take look closer a transparency in government
Profile: South Dakota House Majority Leader Lee Qualm »
FirstPerson article: Michigan Rep. Klint Kesto on the work of a bipartisan House task force and its ideas for improving his state's mental health system »


March 2018
Cover story: South Dakota and Kansas have revamped their juvenile systems in recent years, and some of the early results are promising »
Other featured topics: Slumping agricultural economy and its impact on Midwest states' budgets, Michigan's plan to bring region together to fight Asian carp, Iowa and Wisconsin legislation on workforce development, update on NAFTA negotiations, states and blockchain technology, state qualifications for governor, and how region's states fund preschool programs
Profile: Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka »
FirstPerson article:Indiana Senate Majority Floor Leader Rodric Bray on his state's new plan for a better balance on the issue of civil forfeiture »


February 2018
Cover story: Work requirements approved by federal government, being pursued by some states in Midwest »
Other featured topics: Nine ideas from nine State of the State addresses, Iowa's new investment in farm-based water quality, North Dakota's suspension of homeownership' child support payments, potential statutory changes for rising craft brewing industry, ridership increase in Midwest's state-supported passenger rail routes, concerns about ballot initiatives, and state laws on E-Verify
Profile: Ohio Senate Minority Leader Kenny Yuko »
FirstPerson article: Ohio Sen. Peggy Lehner on legislation to prevent expulsions and suspensions in the early grades »


January 2018
Cover story: Redistricting, reconsidered: U.S. Supreme Court case, pending ballot initiatives and legislation could reshape process »
Other featured topics: New law on police-officer hiring in Michigan, additional legal protections for county fairs in Iowa, policy debate on value of tax incentives, CSG national report on policies to combat rise in diabetes, state tax credits for historic preservation, and legal battle in North Dakota over veto authority
Profile: Illinois Senate Minority Leader Bill Brady »
FirstPerson article: Nebraska Sen. Matt Williams on the problem of affordable, available housing in rural areas —  and how to address it »


December 2017
Cover story: Big deals, big incentives: Competition to land new businesses, and jobs that come with them, have put spotlight on states’ economic policies »
Other featured topics: New laws try to improve prison mental health services, more states embracing direct care model, farm groups raise concerns about potential end of NAFTA, loan forgiveness among strategies being used by states to attract more teachers, rise of school-based health centers helping children in rural areas get access to care, Illinois takes steps to address concerns about sexual harassment in state government, and automatic admissions policies for students who meet certain criteria
Profile: Wisconsin Assembly Minority Leader Gordon Hintz »
FirstPerson article: Kansas Sen. Carolyn McGinn on new economic opportunities for farmers, questions for legislators »


November 2017
Cover story: State-by-state review of the legislative year in the Midwest »
Other featured topics: Michigan's investment in value-added agriculture, another year of "severe" algal blooms in Lake Erie, cost of devalued nuclear plants to states and their communities, 50-state study on Medicaid highlights strategies for addressing opioid epidemic, state laws that pre-empt local governments, strategies to improve access to maternal depression screening and treatment, and laws in the Midwest on release of body-camera footage
Profile: Iowa Senate President Jack Whitver »
FirstPerson article: Indiana Reps. Dan Forestal and David Ober on the importance of providing a bipartisan voice for millennials inside state legislatures »
October 2017 »
Cover story: Help wanted in health care: Student recruitment, telehealth expansion, and changes in scope of practice among strategies being pursued »
Other featured topics: A longstanding cross-border water dispute between North Dakota and Manitoba, Indiana's new investment in workforce training, Illinois' expansion of its automatic-expungement law, the future of wind energy in Ohio, a look at school accountability policies under the Every Student Succeeds Act, a constitutional face-off in Minnesota between the governor and Legislature, and state laws that restrict "non-driving" factors in the setting of auto insurance rates
Profile: Michigan House Speaker Tom Leonard »
FirstPerson article: South Dakota House Majority Leader Lee Qualm on his state's path to resolving a dispute over who controls access to "non-meandered waters" »


September 2017 »
Cover story: New plans for K-12 success: A look at the Midwestern states' Every Student Succeed Act implementation plans »
Other featured topics: CAFO siting laws, jobs and a tax incentive plan in Wisconsin, bail and bond reform in Nebraska, new plan for keeping Asian carp out of the Great Lakes, and proposals to change regulation of occupational licensing
Profile: Indiana Kathy Kreag Richardson »
FirstPerson article: Ohio Rep. Jonathan Dever on a measure to erase convictions of human trafficking victims »
August 2017 »
Cover story: Pursuing health birth outcomes — Lawmakers explore policy ideas to prevent stillbirths, maternal deaths »
Other featured topics: Removing work barriers for once-incarcerated, creating an "entrepreneurial climate" in states, the future of gene editing and Midwest agriculture, state laws that promote personalized learning and innovation in education, the road ahead for North American trade, ideas to stem the opioid crisis, and tackling the region's aging population
Profile: Ohio Sen. Cliff Hite »
FirstPerson article: Illinois Rep. Sonya Harper on how her state is leading an effort to get lead out of the schools »


June/July 2017 »
Cover story: Renegotiated NAFTA deal will likely focus on issues of critical importance to Midwest's workers »
Other featured topics: Uncertainty in the Midwest's dairy industry, criminal justice reform in North Dakota, Indiana's economic focus on the life sciences, a plan in North Dakota to encourage local innovation in education, state-level restrictions on the use of solitary confinement, and the value of home visiting programs
Profile: Nebraska Unicameral Legislature Speaker Jim Scheer »
FirstPerson article: Wisconsin Rep. Romaine Quinn on a multifaceted plan to help his state's rural communities »


May 2017 »
Cover story: Reinsurance, premium subsidies among limited strategies that states have to shore up health insurance exchanges »
Other featured topics: State legislation to collect taxes from remote sales, Indiana's new plan for standardized student assessments, a Minnesota tax credit designed to relieve farmers and help rural schools, a federal study looking at long-term passenger rail service in the Midwest, Illinois' efforts to reduce employment barriers for once-incarcerated individuals, state fees on electric vehicles, and a Michigan plan to use better data collection to reduce maternal deaths
ProfileKansas House Speaker Ron Ryckman »
FirstPerson article: South Dakota Sen. Deb Soholt on a new law in her state to help deal with the shortage of physicians »



April 2017 »
Cover story: Earned Income Tax Credit enjoys bipartisan support, and may soon get a boost in some Midwest states »
Other featured topics: State strategies to prevent opioid abuse and related deaths, Iowa law provides new legal protections for some livestock producers, legislation in Midwest to increase the availability of computer science education, Great Lakes legislators fight to save Restoration Initiative, a look at the proposed federal border-adjustment tax, and an overview of who (besides legislators) can introduce bills
Profile: Ohio House Majority Leader Dorothy Pelanda »
FirstPerson article: Michigan House Speaker Pro Tempore Lee Chatfield on how and why to improve transparency in the legislative, executive branches of government »


March 2017 »

Cover story: Healthy birth outcomes is focus of MLC Chair's Initiative for 2017 »

Other featured topics: Agricultural property tax relief, redevelopment of brownfields in Michigan, revamped teacher licensing in Illinois, future of U.S-Canada relations, protest-related legislation in the Midwest and legislative restrictions on state environmental rules
Profile: Minnesota House Minority Leader Melissa Hortman »
FirstPerson article: Saskatchewan Legislative Assembly Speaker Corey Tochor on connecting province's civics teachers with legislators for hands-on learning experience »


February 2017 »
Cover story: New laws in Illinois, Michigan seek to tap power of energy efficiency »
Other featured topics: New tax plans floated by Midwest's governors and state legislatures, Kansas proposal looks to bring more business investment to rural areas, Michigan revamps 'zero tolerance' policies in schools, some states requiring women to be informed about potentially skewed mammogram results based on breast density, agricultural property tax laws in Indiana and Ohio, and signature requirements for ballot initiatives
Profile: Wisconsin Sen. Alberta Darling »
FirstPerson article: Ohio Senate Assistant Minority Leader Charleta B. Tavares on a new plan to curb infant mortality »


January 2017 »
Cover story: Some states in the region are using more evidence, and more money, to revamp school aid »
Other featured topics: A look at the Electoral College and the Midwest's states, North Dakota's oversight of economic incentives, state rankings on measures of health, key federal legislation on Great Lakes signed into law, the energy relationship between Michigan and Ontario, state civil forfeiture standards, and the potential impact of a legal challenge to Wisconsin's redistricting map
Profile: Michigan Senate Assistant Majority Leader Goeff Hansen »
FirstPerson article: Kansas Rep. Susan Concannon on the need to address a crisis affecting the mentally ill and her state's emergency rooms »


December 2016 »
Cover story: Through new state laws and programs, states target help for jobless, "disconnected" youths »
Other featured topics: States put greater emphasis on lead testing, Nebraska seeks more certainty over livestock siting, Wisconsin looks to boost health workforce, Michigan declares its part of Lake Erie as "impaired," progress made toward work on new Detroit-Windsor bridge, Kansas uses special fund for children's programs, and a look at state constitutions in the Midwest that protect crime victims
Profile: Indiana Senate Minority Leader Tim Lanane »
FirstPerson article: South Dakota House Minority Leader Spencer Hawley on one policy approach to better protect his state's waterways from nutrient runoff »


November 2016 »
Cover story: Just now being implemented, the Food Safety Modernization Act will have wide-ranging implications on the Midwest's states and their producers »
Other featured topics: Recap of 2016 state elections in the Midwest, the uncertain future for nuclear power plants, state strategies for an educated workforce, the drop in ridership on region's passenger rail lines, how states will pay for the Medicaid expansion, and Iowa's use of legislative "funnel deadlines"
Profile: Michigan Senate Minority Leader Jim Ananich »
FirstPerson article: North Dakota Rep. Thomas Beadle on the importance of turning the benefits "cliff" into a "slide" for individuals, families moving toward self-sufficiency »


October 2016 ยป
Cover story: How to get out the vote: States are changing registration laws, targeting outreach to young people and using social media to improve turnout rates »
Other featured topics: Fight over Dakota Access pipeline, upgraded rail equipment coming to Midwest to improve passenger lines, a new Illinois law to prevent out-of-school suspensions and expulsions, impact of "Buy America" provisions on U.S.-Canada trade, new state laws to reduce deaths from sepsis, a review of how states collect debts owed to them, and a new initiative in Ohio to help young people and families in crisis
Profile: Wisconsin Senate Minority Leader Jennifer Shilling »
FirstPerson article: Indiana Secretary of State Connie Lawson on a new law to prevent financial exploitation of the elderly »


September 2016 »
Cover story: A review of new laws and legislation to legalize medical marijuana, as well as proposals to legalize or decriminalize marijuana »
Other featured topics: Michigan positioning itself to be leader in autonomous vehicle research and development, the value of cross-border supply chains, proposals would allow fish farming in the Great Lakes, states look to improve access to life-saving allergy medication, a review of this fall's ballot proposals in the Midwest, and a look at how Iowa is trying to improve mental health services for young people

Profile: Ohio House Minority Leader Fred Strahorn »

FirstPerson article: Illinois Rep. Will Guzzardi on how states can help save the population of bees »


August 2016 »
Cover story: With Every Student Succeeds Act, states must prepare to take on more responsibility for turning around struggling schools »
Other featured topics: How states are using tax credits and ratings systems to improve access to child care providers; Wisconsin's farmer-led program to improve water quality; states' expanded use of "harm reduction" strategies to prevent opioid deaths; the value of interstate compacts in protecting water resources; and state laws on weapons in capitol buildings
Profile: Minnesota Senate Minority Leader David Hann »
FirstPerson article: Michigan Rep. Robert Kosowski on how legalized sports gambling could solve a major funding problem in his home state »


Special Edition | 2016 MLC Annual Meeting »
Cover story: Nobel Prize-winning economist outlines why investing in young children and families can help change lives — and pay off for states »
Other featured topics: An overview of this year's MLC committee meetings; Charles Fishman's call for states to act now to protect their long-term water future; " strategies to address teacher shortages; an overview of the Midwest's coming fiscal and economic challenges; and tips on how to survive in today's polarized political environment
Profile: Iowa Sen. Janet Petersen »
FirstPerson article: Minnesota Rep. Tony Cornish on how legislative compromise reshaped his state's drug laws »


June/July 2016 »
Cover story: Under MLC chair's initiative of Wisconsin Rep. Joan Ballweg, Midwestern Legislative Conference is highlighting how states can enhance child well-being, strengthen families and improve long-term outcomes »
Other featured topics: Why domestic migration will become an even greater economic and policy challenge for the region's state legislators; how higher education institutions can ease veterans' paths to postsecondary degrees and credentials; a look at angel investor tax credits in the Midwest; the cost-cutting effects of health care homes in Minnesota; and states' use of post-election audits to monitor electronic voting machines
Profile: Iowa House Majority Leader Chris Hagenow »
FirstPerson article: Wisconsin Rep. Jessie Rodriguez on a new cell phone law that will help victims of domestic violence »


May 2016 »
Cover story: Road to wider use of autonomous vehicles will go through the Midwest »
Other featured topics: The response of Midwest communities to the proposed Great Lakes Basin Railroad, efforts in Illinois to expand access to long-acting reversible contraception devices, details on the proposed diversion of Great Lakes water in Wisconsin, a new initiative in Indiana to get adults to finish the postsecondary careers they started, state rules on work requirements and food stamp eligibility, and how and why state legislators are often exempt from open records laws
Profile: South Dakota Senate Minority Leader Billie Sutton »
FirstPerson article: Indiana Rep. Ben Smaltz on a new law to deal with his state's meth scourge »


April 2016 »
Cover story: State proposals in Midwest seek to legalize, regulate daily fantasy sports »
Other featured topics: The Midwest's "Protein Highway," the potential for greater use of passenger rail, strategies to expand broadband access, Iowa's launch of Medicaid managed care, cross-border obstacles for businesses, state laws banning armed drones, and a First in the Midwest feature on how and why Ohio became the first U.S. state to adopt a bilingual education law
Profile: North Dakota House Minority Leader Kenton Onstad »
FirstPerson article: South Dakota Rep. Jacqueline Sly on a new education law that will raise teacher salaries »


March 2016 »
Cover story: Big challenge of addressing the Midwest's aging drinking water infrastructure comes to the surface »
Other featured topics: Selection of state supreme court justices, Ohio's efforts to improve college remediation rates, renewed focus on North American energy partnership, and age criteria in state juvenile justice systems
Profile: Illinois House Minority Leader Jim Durkin »
FirstPerson article: Ohio Sen. Dave Burke on a new pharmacy law in his state that he says will save lives »


February 2016 »
Cover story: Rise in solar power generates interest among Midwest's state legislators »
Other featured topics: Broadband expansion in Minnesota, rise of state "crowdfunding" bills, Indiana's plan to improve education of incarcerated youths, possible Medicaid deal in South Dakota, and laws that permit paramedics to provide non-emergency care
Profile: Ohio Senate Majority Whip Larry Obhof »
FirstPerson article: Nebraska Sen. Merv Riepe on the value of direct primary care »


January 2016 »
Cover story: In aging Midwest, more emphasis being placed on Alzheimer's care and policies »
Other featured topics: How states can operate without a budget, a look at fiscal conditions for 2016 and beyond, the demise of country-of-origin labeling, a look at key federal actions on Great Lakes protection, the rise of teacher shortages in the Midwest, and state programs that provide students with tuition-free community college
Profile: Indiana House Majority Floor Leader Matt Lehman »
FirstPerson article: Kansas Sen. Mitch Holmes on the path his state took to improving the solvency of its pension system »



December 2015 »
Cover story: New state policies help high school seniors leverage" senior year, prepare for postsecondary success »
Other featured topics: Big moves on transportation funding in Midwest, state programs for military veterans to enter agriculture sector, new plan to fix rail "chokepoint" in Chicago, Michigan's strategy for helping clean up Lake Erie, Ohio commission explores ways to reduce infant mortality, and a review of state policies on giving remote testimony at legislative hearings
Profile: Kansas Senate Vice President Jeff King »

FirstPerson article: Michigan Sen. Curtis Hertel on combating sexual assault on college campuses »


November 2015 »
Cover story: States put more watchful eye on tax incentives and their impact on job, economic
growth »
Other featured topics: Marijuana laws in the Midwest, review of new-member orientations in state legislatures, a look at the potential of the TransPacific deal on agriculture, Iowa's new compensation plan for teachers, Ontario's Great Lakes Protection Plan, regional trends in the uninsured under new federal health care law, and the use of "pay to play" fees by K-12 school districts
Profile: Nebraska Senator Bob Krist »
FirstPerson article: Iowa Secretary of State Paul Pate on his state's new Safe at Home program to protect victims of domestic violence, stalking »


October 2015 »
Cover story: Deadly rise in drug abuse, overdoses has states searching for policy answers; responses have included greater oversight of prescription drug use, improving access to treatment »
Other featured topics: Preview of new U.S. Supreme Court term and its impact on states, effects of lower crop prices on Midwest's economy, new nationwide accounting standards for state tax incentives, state-federal plans to prevent the spread of Asian carp, analysis of the cross-border trusted-traveler program, and a review of state bans on the construction of new nuclear plants
Profile: Minnesota Senate President Sandy Pappas »
FirstPerson article: Indiana House Speaker Brian Bosma on his state's path to legislative ethics
reform »


September 2015 »
Cover story: New state laws and programs target improving water quality, reducing nutrient runoff »
Other featured topics: States join forces to improve access to online higher education, the veto authority in the Midwestern states, Illinois law ensures college credit for high-performing AP students, the potential of new tariffs on Midwest-based products, a look at trends in rural employment, EPA study examines progress in Great Lakes cleanup, and review of state laws limiting schools' use of "seclusion and restraint"
Profile: Iowa House Majority Whip Joel Fry »
FirstPerson article:Minnesota Rep. Jeff Howe on new legislation in his state to better protect firefighters »


July/August 2015 »
Cover story: A Supreme Court term to remember for states: Rulings in eight cases have immediate, and long-term, effects »
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
Profile: Ohio House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger »
FirstPerson article:Illinois Rep. Elgie Sims on a new state law that aims to improve police-community relations »



MLC Annual Meeting Edition: 2015 »
Cover story: During plenary session at MLC Annual Meeting, legislators learn about impact of EPA's Clean Power Plan, and potential state responses and policy options »
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
Profile: Wisconsin Rep. Joan Ballweg »
FirstPerson article: Minnesota Sen. Kathy Sheran on how her state is improving its county-administered system for protecting children »


June 2015 »
Cover story: No end to death-penalty debate: In Nebraska, legislative repeal leads to push for statewide vote; in Ohio, new laws and policies center on lethal-injection protocol »
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
Profile: South Dakota House Majority Floor Leader Brian Gosch »
FirstPerson article: Michigan Sen. Jim Marleau on his state's new Peace of Mind registry »


May 2015 »
Cover story: States take new approach to juvenile justice to cut costs, improve long-term outcomes »
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
Profile: Michigan House Majority Floor Leader Aric Nesbitt »
FirstPerson article: Illinois Sen. Michael Connelly on "right to try" legislation »


April 2015 »
Cover story: New health policies that focus on prevention, community health »
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
Profile: Nebraska Unicameral Legislature Speaker Galen Hadley »
FirstPerson article: Wisconsin Rep. Melissa Sargent on the role of states in protecting privacy »


March 2015 »
Cover story: A look at legislation on police body cameras, investigations of officer-related deaths »
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
Profile: Iowa Sen. Amanda Ragan »
FirstPerson article: South Dakota Sen. Deb Soholt »


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 Senate 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: Agriculture-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 »