State Rep. Jim Runestad, R-White Lake, was among 36 lawmakers to attend a legislative development program that assists emerging state and provincial leaders in the Midwest.
Rep. Runestad met with fellow colleagues from Michigan, lawmakers from eleven Midwestern states and three Canadian provinces on August 12-16, in Wisconsin for the Council of State Governments’ 22nd annual Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership Development (BILLD).
“The Bowhay Institute is one of the premier leadership training programs in the nation,” said Rep. Runestad. “The legislatures in the region have benefited greatly from the skills their members have gained through this unique educational experience. Many of the graduates now hold leadership positions in their states.”
Legislators from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin and the Canadian provinces of Manitoba and Ontario were chosen to participate through a competitive, nonpartisan selection process.
BILLD originated in 1995 to help new lawmakers meet the demands of federal devolution and, in many states, term limits. These two emerging forces have highlighted the shortage of training available for legislators, a void that BILLD aims to fill.
A program of The Council of State Governments’ Midwestern Office, BILLD is held in partnership with the University of Wisconsin’s Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs. Courses and seminars are conducted by La Follette faculty, Midwestern legislative leaders and professional development experts. In addition to courses designed to develop leadership skills, the program analyzes a variety of public policy issues, including corrections, education, and workforce development.
The Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership Development was named in honor of the late James Bowhay, a longtime director of The Council of State Governments’ Midwestern Office. Founded in 1933, The Council of State Governments has national headquarters in Lexington, Kentucky, and regional offices in Atlanta, Chicago, New York City and Sacramento, California. The goal of the national, nonpartisan organization is to assist and advance state government.