Stateline Midwest

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For every 100 children born to a poor family in Iowa’s largest metropolitan area, Des Moines, about 11 will eventually reach the nation’s top quintile of income earners. In Indiana’s most populous metro area, Indianapolis, the rate is much less: Fewer than 5 of every 100 low-income children rise to the top rung of the income ladder.

These large variations in economic mobility occur across the country — among different cities, states and regions. What is the cause? 

November 2013 ~ Stateline Midwest » Preschool enrollment in Midwestern states (as % of state’s total population of 3- and 4-year-olds)
When Indiana Rep. Robert Behning was recently visiting a preschool, one of the instructors cited some alarming statistics.
The teacher pointed to three young African-American students. “She told me, ‘One of the three — if they don’t have the opportunity for a high-quality education in early childhood — [is likely to] end up in the criminal-justice system. Which one are you going to pick?’”
“No one wants to pick any of them,” Behning says. “It is much better for our society to provide early education and an opportunity to be a successful member of our community.”

October 2013 ~ Stateline Midwest

Detroit’s bankruptcy filing was a milestone in the 79-year history of Chapter 9. Municipal filings have been rare and, for the most part, inconsequential because they have involved small taxing bodies. Detroit’s case is much different and more consequential, leading to new questions for state legislators about their bankruptcy laws and their policies and programs for intervention when political subdivisions are in financial distress.

October 2013 ~ Stateline Midwest

Illinois has joined the handful of U.S. states that ban tanning facilities from opening their beds and other tanning equipment for use by people under the age of 18.


October 2013 ~ Stateline Midwest

Three months after an effort to block the sale of E15 stalled in the U.S. Supreme Court, the fuel blend began being offered in another Midwestern state. North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple announced in September the availability of E15 (a mix of 15 percent ethanol and 85 percent gasoline) at...