Minnesota state agencies are on pace to purchase close to 1 million gallons of E85 in 2010, meaning nearly one-fifth of the retail fuel bought by the agencies is now a blend of 85 percent ethanol and 15 percent gasoline.
In the November 2010 elections, voters weighed in on a wide range of ballot proposals — from a plan in Indiana to cap property taxes and a workplace smoking ban in South Dakota to a proposal in Nebraska to abolish the treasurer's office and a new governor-recall law in Illinois.
All signs are pointing to a revenue rebound for most states in the Midwest in fiscal year 2011. However, thanks in large part to a loss in federal funding, state lawmakers will face perhaps their biggest fiscal challenge yet in crafting FY 2012 budgets.
In an election year that will determine who draws the nation’s political maps and also will serve as the first indicator of President Barack Obama’s re-election chances, no region of the country matters more than the Midwest, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist David Broder said during an Aug. 10 speech at the Midwestern Legislative Conference Annual Meeting.