CSG Midwest

Wisconsin lawmakers passed a bill in October that they say will provide a new way for the state’s small businesses to access capital — “crowdfunding.” AB 350 received unanimous approval in the Assembly and Senate.

"Ban the box” is a nationwide effort to remove inquiries about criminal history from employer job applications. Supporters argue that the question should be deferred until later in the interview process and not used as an automatic bar to employment at the application stage. Ten states have enacted “ban the box” measures, including Illinois and Minnesota in the Midwest, according to the National Employment Law Project, a nonprofit group that advocates for these restrictions on employers.

With the goals of protecting water quality and providing regulatory certainty to farmers, voluntary state programs that certify land-management practices at agricultural operations are cropping up across the country. Minnesota is one of the latest states to adopt such a program, and is backing it up with state dollars to help farmers adopt new conservation practices.

A decade ago, Minnesota became the first U.S. state with a biodiesel mandate, a move that has since been followed by six other states (none in the Midwest). The state now hopes to advance production and use even further, with plans in place to adopt a first-in-the-nation B10 mandate: a requirement that all diesel fuel sold in the state contain 10 percent biodiesel and 90 percent petroleum. The higher mandate, set to take effect in July of next year, will only apply in warm-weather months.

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.

Pages