Iowa

CSG Midwest
A recent decision in Michigan to eliminate straight-ticket voting leaves the Midwest with only two states that offer this option on ballots. At one time, states commonly allowed individuals to vote for all partisan candidates through a single selection — their choice of party. But according to Ballotpedia, this began to change in the 1960s and 1970s. Before the passage of SB 13 in Michigan, Wisconsin had been the last state in this region to end straight-ticket voting, in 2011.
CSG Midwest
Over the past two years, Iowa legislators have deepened the state's commitment to work-based learning, and thousands of young people are taking advantage of the opportunity. Through a bill passed in 2013 (HF 604), lawmakers laid the groundwork for the creation of 15 regional intermediary networks. The goal of these networks is to increase K-12 students' access to career fairs, internships and job-shadowing opportunities in their communities.
CSG Midwest
Four state legislatures in the Midwest made major moves on transportation policy this year, adopting increases in motor fuel taxes that in some cases had been left unchanged for more than a decade.
This decision to boost funding for roads and bridges was one of the region’s more notable legislative trends from the past year. Several factors, transportation experts say, caused 2015 to be a breakthrough year for transportation measures — lower gas prices, growing shortfalls in state transportation funds, gubernatorial and legislative leadership, and the support of key business groups.
In this region, the tax hikes on gasoline and diesel fuel have already taken full effect in Iowa and South Dakota. Nebraska’s four year, phase-in plan begins in January, while in Michigan, the state’s new transportation plan won’t be fully implemented until 2021.
CSG Midwest
Across the country, the number of “earn while you learn” programs is growing rapidly, and some states in the Midwest are leading the way with new policies to expand apprenticeship opportunities.
CSG Midwest
If all goes well with a pilot program launched this summer, Iowa may soon be the nation’s first state to offer digital driver’s licenses to residents.

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