LOMBARD, IL., Aug. 23, 2023 — State Rep. Julie M. Rogers (D-Kalamazoo) was among 37 select lawmakers to complete a leadership training program that identifies and assists emerging state and provincial leaders in the Midwest.

“I am honored to have been chosen as a fellow of the 2023 Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership Development (BILLD). Meeting other legislators from throughout the Midwest was a privilege, and I enjoyed learning from presenters and leaders,”  Rogers said.

Rogers met with fellow lawmakers from Michigan, 10 other Midwestern states and two Canadian provinces from Aug. 18-22, in Madison, Wisconsin for The Council of State Governments’ 28th annual Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership Development.

“The Bowhay Institute is one of the premier leadership training programs in the nation,” said Iowa state Sen. Amy Sinclair (R-Allerton), who serves as co-chair of the institute’s steering committee. “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.”

Since 1995, more than 900 lawmakers have graduated from the Bowhay Institute. State legislators from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin are chosen to participate through a competitive, nonpartisan selection process. Members of the Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan legislative assemblies are selected by their caucuses to take part in the program.

BILLD was founded in 1995 to help new legislators meet the demands of increased policy responsibility being shifted to the states and, in many states, term limits and high legislative turnover. These continued forces highlight the shortage of training available for state legislators — a void that BILLD aims to fill.

A program of The Council of State Governments’ Midwestern Office, the 2023 BILLD program included courses and seminars conducted by policy experts, Midwestern legislative leaders and professional development trainers. In addition to a curriculum designed to develop leadership skills, the program analyzed a variety of public policy issues, including the economy, trade and energy policy. The program is funded through grants from foundations, organizations and corporate sponsors, as well as in-kind contributions provided by The Council of State Governments’ Midwestern Office.

The Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership Development is named in honor of the late James Bowhay, 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 (Lombard, Illinois.), New York City and Sacramento. The goal of the national, nonpartisan organization is to assist and advance state government.