Policy Work

At CSG Midwest, we regularly research and write about key issues and trends impacting the region and state government. If you have a specific research question, please contact us by email or call us at 630.925.1922. In addition, please click on the links below to read our recent articles and reports.

Agriculture and Natural Resources

The Midwestern Legislative Conference Agriculture & Natural Resources Committee provides a forum for state and provincial legislators to exchange information and ideas on agriculture policy at all levels of government. It represents state government on key regional and national issues, promotes the importance of agriculture to the U.S. economy and society, and guides MLC projects related to agriculture and other policy issues impacting the rural Midwest. The CSG Midwest staff liaison to the committee is Carolyn Orr.


Criminal Justice & Public Safety

Established in 2017, the Midwestern Legislative Conference Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee is exploring a range of issues, including sentencing reform; strategies to reduce recidivism; the role and use of specialty courts; alternatives to incarceration; police and community relations; victims’ rights; and more. Legislators from 11 Midwestern states and four Canadian provinces serve on the MLC Criminal Justice and Public Safety Committee. The committee is Co-Chaired by North Dakota Rep. Shannon Roers Jones and Illinois Sen. Robert Peters and Vice Chaired by Nebraska Sen. John McCollister. A full committee roster can be found under Committee Resources below. The CSG Midwest staff liaison to the committee is Mitch Arvidson.


Economic Development

The Midwestern Legislative Conference Economic Development Committee provides a forum for legislators to examine strategies for economic growth in individual states and the region as a whole. Legislators from the 11 member states of the MLC and four Canadian provinces serve on the committee. The CSG Midwest staff liaison to the committee Laura Tomaka.


Education

The Midwestern Legislative Conference Education Committee provides a forum for state and provincial legislators to exchange information and ideas on education. The CSG Midwest staff liaison to the committee is Tim Anderson.


Elections

CSG Midwest regularly reviews and writes about state legislative activity on elections. CSG also has an Overseas Voting Initiative, the goal of which is to help states and election jurisdictions advance policies that assist members of the military serving abroad and other U.S. citizens residing overseas.


Energy

CSG Midwest tracks energy-related state laws and policy trends. In addition,  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 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.


Fiscal Affairs

The Midwestern Legislative Conference has established a Fiscal Affairs Committee to provide a forum for state and provincial legislators to exchange information on fiscal conditions in the region as well as to learn about best practices in budget management. For information on how to get involved with this new committee, please contact Mike McCabe.


Great Lakes/
Environment

CSG Midwest provides staff support to the Great Lakes St.-Lawrence Legislative Caucus — the leading binational organization of state and provincial legislators promoting the restoration, protection, economy and sustainable use of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River. It also regularly reviews and writes about other environmental issues in the region’s state governments.  


Health and Human Services

The Midwestern Legislative Conference Health & Human Services Committee provides legislators with a forum to exchange information and ideas on a range of critical policy issues — from health care and wellness, to services for the poor and disabled. Legislators from the MLC’s 11 member states and four Canadian provinces serve on the committee. The CSG Midwest staff liaison to the committee is Jon Davis.


Midwest-Canada Relations

Created in 1991, the Midwestern Legislative Conference Midwest-Canada Relations Committee ensures that the perspective of state and provincial legislators is presented to federal officials. It does so through meetings with officials in Washington, D.C., and Ottawa as well as with policy resolutions and occasional letters and public comments. Another mission of this committee is to provide a cross-border forum for dialogue and information sharing. To that end, it organizes legislative exchanges between state and provincial legislators. Legislators from 11 Midwestern states and four Canadian provinces serve on the committee. The CSG Midwest staff liaison to the committee is Ilene Grossman.


Radioactive Waste Transportation

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.  


State Governments & Legislatures

CSG Midwest regularly tracks and writes about important institutional issues and trends in state government and legislatures. CSG also annually produces “The Book of the States,” the long-running “encyclopedia” of state governments that is a valuable reference tool for policymakers and research scholars.


Transportation/
Passenger Rail

CSG Midwest provides staff support to the Midwest Interstate Passenger Rail Commission, which brings together state leaders from across the region to advocate for passenger rail improvements. CSG Midwest also tracks and writes about other transportation-related legislative activity and trends in this region.