About Us

The Council of State Governments is the nation’s only nonpartisan association of state officials serving all three branches of government in all 50 states and the U.S. territories. CSG is a region-based, national organization that promotes excellence in state government. CSG fosters the interstate exchange of insights and ideas to help state officials shape public policy, and it offers unparalleled regional, national and international opportunities to network, develop leaders, collaborate and create problem-solving partnerships.

CSG Midwest focuses on meeting the needs of state policymakers and leaders in the nation’s heartland, including 11 Midwestern states: Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. In addition, four Canadian provinces — Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Saskatchewan — are members or affiliate members of CSG Midwest’s Midwestern Legislative Conference.

View the CSG Midwest brochure »

Overview of Member Services

You are automatically a member of The Council of State Governments (and able to take advantage of our member services) if you are:

  • An elected or appointed state government official or
  • A staff member in the executive, legislative or judicial branches of state government

Through our publications and research services, we strive to keep the region’s state officials informed about critical issues, emerging trends and best practices that are impacting their work as leaders in state government. We provide opportunities for policymakers to share resources, strategies and ideas with counterparts in other states at regional and national conferences as well as through our committees and task forces. In addition, leadership and professional development training is available to help newer state legislators develop the skills they need to be effective state government leaders.

For more information on our services, please give us a call at 630.925.1922 or send us an email.

Midwestern Legislative Conference

Midwestern Legislative Conference

A principal objective of CSG Midwest is to support the efforts of the Midwestern Legislative Conference. The MLC is a nonpartisan association of all legislators representing 11 states (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin) and the Canadian province of Saskatchewan. The provinces of Alberta, Manitoba and Ontario are MLC affiliate members.

 

Visit the MLC webpage

Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Legislative Caucus

Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Legislative Caucus GLLC Logo

The Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Legislative Caucus (GLLC) is a binational, nonpartisan organization that exists solely for the purpose of engaging state and provincial legislators in the policy-making process related to the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River. CSG Midwest provides staff support to the caucus.

 

Visit the GLLC website

Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission

Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission MIPRC Logo

The Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission (MIPRC) brings together state leaders from across the region to advocate for passenger rail improvements. Formed by compact agreement in 2000, MIPRC’s current members are Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, North Dakota and Wisconsin. CSG Midwest provides secretariat services to the commission. Laura Kliewer serves as director of the commission.

 

Visit the MIPRC website

Radioactive Waste Shipment Rail

Midwestern Radioactive Materials Transportation Project (MRMTP)

The Midwestern Radioactive Materials Transportation Project is a joint project between CSG Midwest and the U.S. Department of Energy. Since its inception in 1989, this project has helped state governments in the Midwest learn about and provide input into the DOE’s plans for shipping radioactive materials through the region. The cooperative agreement has also enabled states on the shipping routes to receive financial assistance from the DOE in order to prepare for shipments.

 

Visit the MRMTP webpage

Picture of Ohio Revised Code Books

Legislative Service Agency Group

The Midwestern Legislative Service Agency/Research Directors Group is a network of nonpartisan legislative service agency directors and staff representing the 11 Midwestern states. The group facilitates the interstate exchange of information among participating agencies. During the group’s meetings, participants examine various facets of nonpartisan legislative staff work, including: legislative research, bill drafting, committee staffing, membership services, information technology, staff management and training, and professional ethics.

For more information, please contact Mitch Arvidson at 630.925.1922.

Staff

State Capitol Dome - Indianapolis, Indiana.

Staff

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Laura Tomaka
Director
Laura A. Tomaka is director of the CSG Midwest office. She is responsible for managing the staff and providing secretariat services to the Midwestern Legislative Conference, along with various other association duties. Before serving as director, Laura served as CSG
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Midwest director of policy and professional development. She served many years as CSG Midwest's lead staff person for the Midwestern Legislative Conference Economic Development Committee and as program coordinator for the Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership Development (BILLD). Laura holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Old Dominion University and a master's degree in political science from Loyola University in Chicago. Phone: 630.925.1922
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Tim Anderson
Director of Policy and Research
Tim edits and manages Stateline Midwest, CSG Midwest's flagship publication, and helps manage CSG Midwest's website. He also serves as lead staff person for the Midwestern Legislative Conference Health & Human Services Committee while serving as staff liaison to the
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states of Nebraska and North Dakota. Tim holds undergraduate degrees in journalism and education from Butler University as well as a master's degree in political science from Northern Illinois University. Phone: 630.925.1922
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Mitch Arvidson
Program Manager
Mitch serves as CSG Midwest's program manager for the Midwestern Radioactive Materials Transportation Project and the Midwestern Radioactive Materials Transportation Committee. He also is CSG Midwest's lead staff person for the Midwestern Legislative Conference Midwest-Canada Relations Committee and the office's
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staff liaison for the states of Illinois and Minnesota. Mitch holds an undergraduate degree in political science and international studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison as well as a master's degree in international public affairs from the La Follette School of Public Affairs at UW-Madison. Phone: 630.925.1922
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Derek Cantù
Policy Analyst
Derek serves as CSG Midwest's lead staff person for the Midwestern Legislative Conference Education and Workforce Development. He also is the office's staff liaison for the states of Indiana and Iowa. Derek holds a bachelor’s degree in history and secondary
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education from Bradley University, a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction from Kansas State University, and a master’s degree in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois-Springfield. Phone: 630.925.1922.
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Jenny Chidlow
Director of Operations
Jenny is responsible for leading the office administrative staff, and also guides CSG Midwest's marketing efforts and oversees its website. Additionally, she acts as the lead host state contact for the Midwestern Legislative Conference Annual Meeting. Jenny holds a bachelor's
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degree in geography from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Phone: 630.282.3061
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Jon Davis
Policy Analyst and Communications Specialist
Jon serves as assistant editor for Stateline Midwest and as lead staff person for the Midwestern Legislative Conference Energy and Environment Committee. His additional duties include providing staff support to the Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission and serving as CSG
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Midwest staff liaison for the states of South Dakota and Wisconsin. He holds an undergraduate degree in English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a master’s degree in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois at Springfield. Phone: 630.925.1922
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Laura Kliewer
Senior Program Manager
Laura serves as director of the Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission. She also leads CSG Midwest's planning efforts for the business program of the Midwestern Legislative Conference Annual Meeting. Additionally, Laura is the CSG Midwest staff liaison for the states
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of Kansas and Michigan. She holds an undergraduate degree in political science from the University of California-Los Angeles and a master's degree in communications from Wheaton College. Phone: 630.925.1922
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Becky Leis
Policy Analyst
Becky serves as CSG Midwest’s lead staff person for the Midwestern Legislative Conference Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee. She also is the staff liaison for Minnesota. She lives and works remotely from rural Minnesota where she farms with her family.
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Becky earned a juris doctorate from Mitchell Hamline School of Law in 2006 and holds an undergraduate degree in political science from the College of Saint Benedict. Phone: 630.925.1922
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Jessica Lienhardt
Great Lakes Program Director
Jess is CSG Midwest's Great Lakes program director. In this position, she guides the many activities and services provided to state and provincial legislators through the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence Legislative Caucus (GLLC) — a binational, nonpartisan organization of state and
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provincial legislators working together to protect the Great Lakes basin. Jess attained her master's degree in public policy from Michigan State University and holds bachelor's degrees in political science and history from the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Phone: 630.282.3077
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Christina Luporini
Administrative Assistant
Christina provides administrative support to CSG Midwest staff and assists with day-to-day office management. Her duties include managing the member database as well leading registration efforts for various CSG Midwest events, including the Midwestern Legislative Conference Annual Meeting registration. Christina
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has more than 30 years of experience in the trade show, event and meeting planning industries, specializing in travel and meeting management, logistics, operations, contracts, food and beverage, office management and computer technology. Phone: 630.925.1922
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Melissa Shahzadeh
Policy Analyst
Melissa serves as a policy analyst for CSG Midwest’s Midwestern Radioactive Materials Transportation Project. She supports the Midwestern Radioactive Materials Transportation Committee and its various work groups. She also works deeply with the National Transportation Stakeholders Forum (NTSF) and serves
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on several of the NTSF's ad hoc working groups. Melissa holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from New Zealand’s University of Otago and a master’s degree in philosophy from St. John’s College in New Mexico. She is a certified natural resource professional through the National Registry of Environmental Professional. Melissa also earned certificates in renewable technologies from Imperial College London and Hamad Bin Khalifa University. Phone: 630.925.1922.
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Kathy Treland
Administrative Coordinator and Meeting Planner
Kathy provides administrative support and assists with meeting planning efforts for CSG Midwest. Her other duties included helping manage the member database, develop office marketing materials, and plan for the Midwestern Legislative Conference Annual Meeting. She holds a bachelor's degree
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in business administration from Aurora University. Phone: 630.925.1922
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Contact Us

The Council of State Governments
Midwestern Office
701 E. 22nd Street, Suite 110
Lombard, IL 60148
Phone: 630.925.1922
E-mail: csgm@csg.org