Stateline Midwest

 

March 2014 ~ Stateline Midwest »
Illinois is in the process of becoming the latest U.S. state — and the second in the Midwest — to allow residents to purchase and use marijuana for medical purposes. Earlier this year, the state Department of Public Health issued proposed rules to implement legislation signed into law in 2013.
Nearly half of the U.S. states (including Illinois and Michigan) now have laws allowing patients with certain conditions to use marijuana for medical purposes.

February 2014 ~ Stateline Midwest »

In 1977, South Dakota’s state prisons held just 550 inmates. Over the next 35 years, however, that population would multiply six times — and, in the process, drive costs through the roof.
By 2011, the state’s corrections budget was more than $100 million and had quadrupled in 20 years. And the prison population was projected to grow by another 25 percent in 10 years, with costs increasing to the tune of $224 million.
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Since his state began to allow same-sex marriage earlier this year, Sen. Scott Dibble has been officiating weddings himself, including for Kansas and Wisconsin couples who traveled to Minnesota for the express purpose of getting married. Five years ago, it was Dibble who did the traveling — to California, so that he could marry his partner under that state’s marriage-equality law. But same-sex marriage has since come to the Midwest, first in Iowa due to a state Supreme Court ruling and now this year as the result of legislative actions in Minnesota and Illinois.

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For years, the Wisconsin city of Waukesha has had a water problem: High levels of radium in the town’s supply of drinking water, and a federal requirement that it find a new water source by 2018. Its proposed solution to this local problem will require support from the entire Great Lakes region.
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Through either statutory provisions or legislative rules, most states in the Midwest have policies to ensure that lawmakers understand the monetary impact of proposed bills on local governments.  A 2013 CSG Midwest survey of nonpartisan legislative service agencies (which provide these fiscal estimates for lawmakers) highlighted the different policies employed by the region’s legislatures. In some instances, fiscal notes are only prepared upon request.

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