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Sen. Melton completes regional leadership institute

State Senator Eddie Melton (D-Gary) was among 36 select lawmakers to complete a leadership training program that identifies and assists emerging state and provincial leaders in the Midwest.

Senator Melton met with fellow lawmakers from Indiana, 10 other Midwestern states and two Canadian provinces on August 10-14, in Minneapolis, for The Council of State Governments’ 24th annual Bowhay Institute for Legislative Leadership Development (BILLD).

The Bowhay Institute is one of the premier leadership training programs in the nation,” Iowa Rep. Rob Taylor said, 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.”

Legislators from Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin and the Canadian provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan were chosen to participate through a competitive, nonpartisan selection process.

BILLD was founded in 1995 to help new legislators 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.

“This leadership institute was an incredible opportunity for me to gain some invaluable leadership, conflict resolution and negotiation training,” Sen. Melton said. “I truly feel as though I have come back a much stronger legislator and am humbled to have had this experience that will help me better represent my constituents.”

A program of The Council of State Governments’ Midwestern Office, BILLD is held in partnership with the Center for the Study of Politics and Governance at the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Seminars are conducted by Humphrey 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 transportation, U.S-Canada trade and the regional economy.

The program is funded through grants from foundations, organizations and corporate sponsors and an in-kind contribution 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 diretor of The Council of State

Governments’ Midwestern Office. Founded in 1933, The Council of State Governments has national headquarters in Lexington, Ky., and regional offices in Atlanta, Chicago (Lombard, Ill.), New York City and Sacramento, Calif.

The goal of the national, nonpartisan organization is to assist and advance state government.

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