Tim Anderson

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As the result of a unanimous decision made in November by its Board of Education, South Dakota has become the eighth state in the Midwest to adopt the Common Core State Standards.

Stateline Midwest, Volume 19, No. 11- December 2010

As the result of a unanimous decision made in November by its Board of Education, South Dakota has become the eighth state in the Midwest to adopt the Common Core State Standards....

The number of legislative committees in Minnesota will be significantly reduced over the next biennium, a move that leaders say will save the state money and free up lawmakers to spend more time with constituents.

Illinois became the first state in the Midwest with a civil-union law for same-sex couples as the result of a bill (SB 1716) passed during the legislature’s fall veto session.

Tax incentives to attract the filmmaking industry are expected to receive close scrutiny in 2011 by legislatures and newly elected governors in at least three Midwestern states.

The practice of “robo-signing” by banks and other loan servicers in the mortgage foreclosure process has resulted in new legislation in Illinois and a first-of-its-kind lawsuit in Ohio.

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.

The federal government will be relying on the states to make the most of its historic federal commitment to clean up and restore the Great Lakes.

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.

The November 2010 elections resulted in a net seat gain of more than 25 percent for Republicans in the region's 20 partisan legislative chambers.

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.

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