Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership Development
CSG Midwest’s Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership Development (BILLD) is the only leadership training program designed exclusively for Midwestern legislators. It helps newer legislators develop the skills necessary to become effective leaders, informed decision-makers and astute policy analysts. The annual program offers a unique opportunity for lawmakers to improve their leadership skills and explore the issues of the day with nationally renowned scholars, professional development experts, and legislative leaders and colleagues from across the region.
BILLD is one of the many services that CSG Midwest provides to legislators through its staff support of the Midwestern Legislative Conference. The program offers a unique five-day educational experience for lawmakers from the MLC’s 11 member states (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin) and the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Saskatchewan. BILLD is highly interactive and offers a unique opportunity for legislators to share ideas and learn from one another. The learning experience includes:
- leadership training in areas such as conflict resolution, consensus building and negotiation;
- policy sessions in areas such as education, corrections, health care and economic development; and
- professional development seminars on media relations, effective speech making, and time and priority management.
Click here to view the 2022 agenda »
Fellowships are awarded on a competitive, nonpartisan basis by a Steering Committee of legislators from the region. The 2023 BILLD program is being held August 18-22 in Madison, Wisconsin.
Who should apply for a BILLD Fellowship?
The Bowhay Institute is designed for Midwestern legislators in their first four years of legislative service. Legislators from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin are eligible to apply.
What costs does a BILLD Fellowship cover?
Each fellowship covers the cost of tuition, lodging and meals related to attending the five-day institute. Each fellow also is eligible to receive a nominal travel stipend, which helps cover a portion of the cost of traveling to Madison.
Why should you apply for a BILLD Fellowship?
The BILLD program will help you become part of the next generation of legislative leaders.
BILLD will help you develop leadership skills. Through a series of workshops, the BILLD program will provide training to sharpen and develop the skills you need to become an effective legislative leader. Leaders from across the region will share their advice and experiences to help you develop into a leader for the 21st century.
BILLD will help you better understand key public policies. By focusing on the most important issues facing states today, scholars top Midwestern institutions and outside experts will help you analyze policies and programs, evaluate the information that you receive, and communicate effectively with constituents and colleagues.
BILLD will give you the opportunity to network with the best and brightest emerging leaders in the Midwest. As a BILLD fellow, you will be working with some of the most promising new legislators from across the region. Throughout the five-day program, you will be sharing your knowledge with fellow legislators and learning from their experiences.
BILLD Steering Committee Leadership
The BILLD Steering Committee oversees the Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership Development, which provides training to new legislators from the Midwestern Legislative Conference’s 11 member states (Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin) and the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Saskatchewan
In addition to setting application and selection guidelines, the Steering Committee awards the annual BILLD Fellowships, provides guidance on fundraising initiatives and oversees development of the BILLD curriculum.
BILLD is supported through the generous contributions of foundations and corporations. Sponsorships are now being accepted for the 2023 Bowhay Institute.
2023 BILLD Sponsorship Prospectus
If you are interested in becoming a partner with CSG Midwest to help provide leadership training to new state legislators in the region, please contact Laura A. Tomaka (630.925.1922).
The Council of State Governments is a 501(c)(3) organization, and all contributions are tax deductible as permitted by law.
current as of 08/27/2022
Since the inaugural class in 1995, more than 900 Midwestern legislators have graduated from the BILLD program.
Search the online BILLD database
CSG Midwest’s newsletter, Stateline Midwest, includes a page dedicated to the Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership Development. Readers will find several features on this page:
- A feature article on a professional development or policy topic
- Brief profiles and activity updates on BILLD Alumni
- Updates on the BILLD program and BILLD events
Please contact Laura Tomaka, BILLD Program Manager, with story ideas for the BILLD News page.