Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership Development

The BOWHAY INSTITUTE for LEGISLATIVE LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT (BILLD) is the only leadership training program designed exclusively for Midwestern legislators. BILLD helps newer legislators develop the skills necessary to become effective leaders, informed decision-makers, and astute policy analysts. The 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.

 

“ You will leave better informed and better prepared to make a true impact on your chamber, your legislative body, and your community. ”
— Illinois Sen. Elgie Sims Jr.
Class of 2014
Legislators take part in a BILLD session.

About the BILLD Program

Each year, CSG’s Midwestern Office a unique five-day educational experience for lawmakers 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 its focus on leadership training, such as conflict resolution and negotiation, BILLD includes policy sessions on issues such as education, corrections, health care and economic development, as well as seminars on media relations, priority management and consensus building.

The program is highly interactive and offers a unique opportunity for legislators to share ideas and learn from one another.  In addition to seminars focusing on the development of core leadership skills, the annual program includes policymaking workshops on some of the most pressing issues facing state legislators, such as state economies, health care, and trade relations.

BILLD fellows also participate in a series of professional development sessions in areas such as time and priority management, communicating with the media and speech making, and consensus building and negotiation.  Click here to view the 2021 agenda.

Fellowships are awarded on a competitive, nonpartisan basis by a Steering Committee of legislators from the region.

The 2022 BILLD program will be held August 27-31 in Madison, Wisconsin.  Applications will be available in January.

BILLD Application

2022 BILLD Program: August 27-31  |   Madison, Wisconsin

“ It’s a must-do program for any new legislator wanting a better understanding of how to navigate complex systems and become a better legislator. ”
— Indiana Sen. Erin Houchin
BILLD Class of 2018
The application period for the 2022 BILLD program will open in January

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.

Image for:
Senator Amy Sinclair
Iowa, BILLD Steering Committee Co-Chair
Image for:
Representative Anna Moeller
Illinois, BILLD Steering Committee Co-Chair
Image for:
Representative Ann Bollin
Michigan, BILLD Steering Committee Co-Vice Chair
Image for:
Representative Jarrod Ousley
Kansas, BILLD Steering Committee Co-Vice Chair

BILLD Steering Committee Roster

Sponsorship of BILLD

BILLD is supported through the generous contributions of foundations and corporations. Sponsorships are now being accepted for the 2022 Bowhay Institute.

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 06/29/2021
Illinois Sen. Elgie Sims speaks at a BILLD reception.

BILLD Alumni

1995-2021

Since the inaugural class in 1995, more than 900 Midwestern legislators have graduated from the BILLD program.

View BILLD Classes by Year

 

Search the online BILLD database

 

BILLD Alumni 1995-2021

BILLD Alumni News

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.