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.

 

Legislators take part in a BILLD session.

About the BILLD Program

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.

Fellowships are awarded on a competitive, nonpartisan basis by a Steering Committee of legislators from the region. The 2023 BILLD program was held August 18-22 in Madison, Wisconsin. The 2024 program also will be held in Madison, on August 23-27.

“ 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

BILLD Application

Application Deadline was April 15, 2024

Thank you to everyone who applied.

“ Participating in the BILLD program is a tremendous asset for legislators across the Midwest who want to better state government ”
— Ohio Rep. Susan Manchester
BILLD Class of 2022

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.

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Senator Amy Sinclair
Iowa, BILLD Steering Committee Co-Chair
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Representative Anna Moeller
Illinois, BILLD Steering Committee Co-Chair
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Representative Ann Bollin
Michigan, BILLD Steering Committee Co-Vice Chair
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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.

 

 BILLD Sponsorship Prospectus

 

 Sponsorship Reply Form

 

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 CSG Midwest director Laura 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 07/20/2023
Illinois Sen. Elgie Sims speaks at a BILLD reception.

BILLD Alumni

1995-2023

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 1995-2023

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, CSG Midwest director, with story ideas for the BILLD News page.