Legislative News
Gov. Reynolds Signs Future Ready Iowa Act; Summit Deemed a Success
Gov. Kim Reynolds signed ABI's top legislative priority--workforce--into law at the conclusion of the Future Ready Iowa Summit on Tuesday. The goal of the bill, HF 2458, is to have 70% of Iowa workers obtain education beyond the high school level by 2025. The summit included several ABI business leaders including former board chair Mary Andringa (Vermeer) and board member Roger Hargens (Accumold). Several other ABI board members and member companies attended the summit. Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO), Gov. Asa Hutchinson (R-AR) and Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta also spoke at the conference. ABI was a sponsor of the Future Ready Iowa Summit . Thank you to Gov. Reynolds and the Legislature for passing this critical piece of legislation that will help improve Iowa's skilled workforce.
 
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Federal Spotlight: China Vows to Issue More Tariffs Against the U.S.
The Chinese government announced Wednesday the country would impose $50 billion worth of tariffs on 106 products they import from the U.S. in response to the tariffs President Trump announced last week. The 25 percent duties would hit products such as soybeans, aircraft equipment, cars and beef. Neither the taxes from the U.S. or China go into effect right away. The U.S. will have a public comment period through May 11, and a public hearing is set for May 15. China is waiting to see what the U.S. does before they enforce their tariffs. The stock market has taken wild swings in the last two weeks, as fears of a trade war heat up. Governor Reynolds has stated her disagreement with the President's tariffs.
 
House Appropriations Subcommittee Advances Bill to Phase Out Backfill
A subcommittee met Wednesday afternoon to discuss HSB 678 , which phases out the property tax backfill payments to local and county governments. The Legislature put in place the backfill in 2013 as part of property tax reform to replace the reduction of revenue to local governments. Beginning in fiscal year 2018, the bill would reduce payments from approximately $150 million to $100 million. It would then reduce payments by $25 million each fiscal year from FY19 through FY21. Local governments would continue to receive $25 million in future years. Several government representatives spoke against the bill. There were two main themes to the opposition. Keep reading.
 
Bill to Address Revenue Challenges Receives Hearing
Thursday morning members of a House Appropriations Subcommittee met to discuss HSB 684 . The bill creates a reporting requirement for the Revenue Estimating Conference (REC), establishes a revenue estimating stabilization fund and sets parameters around when the monies in the fund can be expended. This legislation is meant to address fluctuations in state revenue versus the projections of the REC. The bill also reduces the state general fund expenditure limitation from 99 percent to 98 percent over two years. The legislation is a result of a presentation the Pew trust gave to members of the House Appropriations Committee earlier this year. The goal is to provide certainty and predictability in the state budget process. The bill is expected to advance out of the House Appropriations Committee next week.
 
Spring Education Campaign Begins
Many ABI members received an email this week about the Iowa Industry Political Action Committee (IIPAC). ABI's PAC is the best way to financially support pro-jobs candidates who are running for statewide and legislative office. During the next few weeks, you will receive more information about the PAC. If you have questions about the PAC, benefits of the PAC or publications PAC members receive, please contact ABI public policy staff. You can also find more information here . We hope you will learn more about IIPAC and consider a personal investment for pro-business policies.
 
Iowa Workforce Development Proposes Employment Policy Changes
Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) is proposing a change to the definition of severance in the Iowa Administrative Code. ABI has raised concerns with IWD about the language as proposed, which specifies severance can solely be based on years of service. This language will cause additional administrative burden to Iowa employers and inaccurately limits benefit offsets. ABI is working with IWD, members of the Administrative Rules Review Committee and other legislators to address the concerns. Thank you to ABI members of the Employment and Workforce Committee who provided feedback and additional insight into this issue. Read the proposed rule.
From Distracted to Productive
Program: Finding Your Productivity and Focus in a Hyper-interrupted World
E-mail. Texts. Interruptions. Project transitions. Office clutter. Social media. How do you manage all of these "squirrels" that are driving you crazy? Attend this popular program on April 25 at the ABI office. You'll get a game plan for keeping distractions (SQUIRRELS!) under control and finding critical "focused productivity" time each and every day. The results? Enhanced performance, clarity of mind and purpose. Registration is $69 for ABI members and $129 for not-yet-members. Register now.
From the Desk of...
Taking Care of Business Conference Gets Bigger and Better Each Year


Mike Ralston, President
About 60 days from now, ABI will host its 115th annual convention. Some years ago, to better reflect the changes and the growth that have taken place regarding this important event, the name of the annual convention was changed to the Taking Care of Business Conference.

Iowa's Taking Care of Business Conference gets bigger and better each year. If you want to add value for your business, there is simply no better place for you to be than at this meeting. The 2018 edition will be the best ever, with hundreds of people converging on Coralville-Iowa City on June 5-7. Keep reading.
Top News
Mentoring for Women Event in Urbandale on April 12
You could meet your mentor at the Mentoring for Women event, April 12, 7:15-9:30 a.m., at the Holiday Inn & Suites in Urbandale. The event is being hosted by the Urbandale, Johnston and Grimes Chambers of Commerce.  Registration is $25 for chamber members and $30 for non-members. This event will give attendees an opportunity to meet mentors who are influential in business and the community for fast and fun coaching sessions. Learn more and register.

Pollution Prevention Workshop for Manufacturers in Ankeny on April 24
The Iowa Strategic Goals Program will host an "EPA Regional Priorities, TRI 201 & DOT Transportation Regulations" workshop, April 24, 9 a.m.-3:30 p.m., at the Courtyard by Marriott in Ankeny. Regulators will provide hints and tips to help you better understand what is required of your business. The workshop is open to all Iowa manufacturers, and the materials presented will apply to a broad range of industrial processes. Registration is $40 and includes lunch.  A workshop flyer, agenda, registration form and map may be downloaded here.

Elevate Advanced Manufacturing to Host Parents & Students Night in Fairfield and Urbandale
Each night includes an overview of employment in the manufacturing industry and current trends by IowaWORKS, manufacturing career demonstrations, facility tours, college planning and career opportunities in the manufacturing industry through a local community college, and pizza and drink. Email Alexandra Monaghan  to register to attend.

Going Global Export Assistance Seminar in Sheldon on May 24
Northwest Iowa Development, in partnership with the Iowa Economic Development Authority, will host the Going Global Export Assistance Seminar, May 24, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m., at Northwest Iowa Community College in Sheldon. This is your opportunity to learn about export basics and network with resource providers to expand your organization's international capabilities. Cost is $25 and includes all materials, continental breakfast, breaks and lunch. Pre-register by May 21.
Governor's Club Sponsors