Stateline Midwest

Stateline Midwest ~ September 2012

 

American citizens and businesses spent almost $62 billion on landscaping services in 2007, according to U.S. Census data. And to help keep those lawns and gardens pest-free, more than 102 million pounds of pesticides are applied yearly in the United States, according to Beyond Pesticides, a nonprofit group advocating for limited use of pesticides.

One of the biggest concerns about these chemicals is their potential impact on humans, which can include nerve damage, birth defects and cancer, reports the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Stateline Midwest

While 5 percent of the general U.S. population is affected by a serious mental illness, the rate in state prisons is much higher: 24 percent among females and 16 percent among males.

More than half the time, these illnesses occur in conjunction with substance abuse — a combination that, when left untreated, can lead to an increased risk of recidivism, according to Hallie Fader-Towe, a program director at The Council of State Governments’ Justice Center. She led a discussion on mental health and the criminal justice system at the Midwestern Legislative Conference Annual Meeting in July.

Stateline Midwest

When the Midwestern Legislative Conference Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee met in July, much of the discussion — and ultimately the passing of a resolution — focused on the importance of basing policy decisions on sound scientific data.

Stateline Midwest

Canada is the largest supplier of energy to the United States, providing 9 percent of this country’s energy needs — more than Saudi Arabia and Venezuela combined. These statistics, and other information related to bilateral energy trade, were the focus of a joint meeting this summer of the MLC’s Energy and Midwest-Canada Relations committees.

Stateline Midwest

Can the Midwestern states collaborate to more effectively compete in the national and global economy?

This question, which has been at the center of the work of the Midwestern Legislative Conference’s Economic Development Committee for the past two years, was explored further during the committee’s July meeting.

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