ABI Releases Q2 Survey Results
Business Leader Survey Shows Continued Optimism About Iowa's Economy
Survey results released by the Iowa Association of Business and Industry (ABI) on Monday found members think the state's economy will keep growing in Q2.  "Business leaders continue to be optimistic about Iowa's economy," said Mike Ralston, ABI president. "That's great news for all Iowans."  ABI surveyed its board members in March 2018. The survey found... Read the news release .
Legislative News
ABI #1 Priority Issue Heads to Governor's Desk
The Future Ready Iowa Act has passed both the House and Senate unanimously and will be sent to Gov. Reynolds. The Senate approved HF 2458 on Monday, while the House passed the legislation last week. ABI's top priority in 2018 is workforce, and this bill seeks to strengthen and expand Iowa's skilled workforce. This legislation contains incentives for industry to create additional apprenticeships and scholarships to encourage those entering the workforce to pursue a field that is in high demand. ABI would like to thank those who helped get this bill passed in the Legislature and sent to the Governor's desk.
 
De-appropriations Bill Heads to Gov. Reynolds' Desk
The House and Senate approved of a de-appropriations bill for fiscal year 2018 this week, and that bill will now head to Gov. Reynolds' desk for her review. The passage of the bill comes on the heels of the latest revenue projection by the Revenue Estimating Conference that indicates the state will see increased revenues over the next two fiscal years, but still have to de-appropriate for fiscal year 2018. The bill will cut the FY18 budget by $25 million and also includes a $10 million adjustment. The Revenue Estimating Conference projected budget growth for FY19 and FY20, but that's primarily due to the consequences of federal tax reform. Legislative leaders have indicated that any increase in the state treasury due to federal tax reform should be given back to Iowa citizens in the form of a tax cut.
 
Association Health Plans and Health Benefit Plans
SF 2349, a bill that will allow the formation of association health plans modeled after federal rules, was amended and passed on the House floor 69-30 yesterday. The amendment added language from a separate bill that allows certain agricultural organizations like Farm Bureau to create health benefit plans outside the requirements of the federal Affordable Healthcare Act. The bill requires the Iowa Insurance Commissioner to write rules governing the health benefit plans. The combined bill now goes back to the Senate. Both components passed the Senate in separate bills earlier this session. The bill aims to encourage the creation of new, more affordable options for the individual insurance market.
 
Alcohol Testing Bill Passes Senate
An ABI-supported bill that will clear up a gray area in Iowa law regarding testing for alcohol passed the Iowa Senate 44-5 and now goes to the Governor. The legislation, HF 2383, conforms Iowa's testing for alcohol to the federal motor safety carrier guidelines. Currently, Iowa has a .04 testing limit, and federal guidelines for transportation is .02. The bill states Iowa can't test for a level less than .02.
 
Energy Legislation Update
The Iowa Legislature is currently considering two proposals related to energy policy. The first is SF 2311 , which you have read about in past newsletters. Several ABI members from industrial companies and utility representatives spoke earlier in the week about key provisions and questions about the legislation. The bill is still waiting debate in the Iowa House. The other bill, SSB 3078, speaks specifically to energy efficiency programs currently mandated by Iowa law. At the subcommittee, the bill manager, Sen. Feenstra, mentioned there would be an amendment. The amendment would cap energy efficiency programs at 2% for electric and 1.5% for natural gas. The amendment would also require the fee to be disclosed on the utility bill that customers receive. The future of both pieces of legislation is unclear at this time, but ABI continues to receive feedback from members and attend meetings where the issues are being discussed. If you have questions or comments, please contact Nicole Crain.
 
Legislative Roundtable in Cedar Rapids Tomorrow
ABI and International Paper will host a business roundtable discussion tomorrow, Friday, March 23 at International Paper's Cedar River Mill in Cedar Rapids. Rep. Ashley Hinson (R-Marion), vice-chair of the appropriations committee, is scheduled to attend the meeting. This is a great opportunity for ABI members to have a candid conversation with a key legislator who has been a strong supporter of the business community. The roundtable is scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m. Lunch will be provided, so please RSVP to Michelle Vollstedt .

Federal Spotlight - $1.3 Trillion Dollar Omnibus Bill Announced
Congressional leaders unveiled the details of a $1.3 trillion dollar omnibus spending package late on Wednesday. The 2,253-page bill is set to fund the government through the end of September, which would be the end of the 2018 fiscal year for the federal government. The deal was announced just two days before the government was set to shut down because of a lack of appropriations. The House passed the legislation on Thursday afternoon by a vote of 256-167. The Senate could take up the bill as early as this evening. Keep reading.
From the Desk of...
Need Business Financing? Here's Four Numbers You Should Know.


Mike Slater
President
VITAL Financial Services

In its  2017 Mid-Year Economic Report , the National Small Business Association reported that nearly 30 percent of small businesses couldn't get access to adequate financing. If you're a business owner or in a leadership role, it goes without saying that access to capital is critical to surviving and thriving in the ebbs and flows of the business cycle--particularly if you're focused on generating more flows than ebbs!

Are you worried you could find yourself among the 30 percent? If you anticipate the need for financing in the next year, there are numbers you'll need to understand beyond interest rates and loan terms.

Just as you'll evaluate the bank, the bank will evaluate your company to determine credit-worthiness. This is an assessment of how likely it is your company will repay its loan. Now is the time to start thinking like a banker and consider how your company will look when it's in the financial spotlight.

Here are four key numbers to pay attention to... Keep reading.
Top News
Risk Response Seminar for Community Banks on April 24
SHAZAM and Community Bankers of Iowa (CBI) will host a "Risk, Response, Reputation" seminar on April 24, 8:30 a.m.-3:30 p.m., at ABI's office in Des Moines. Learn best practices for enhancing your cybersecurity, limiting physical threats, responding to a crisis and formulating a comprehensive discussion to further protect your institution. Registration is $175 for CBI members and $225 for non-members. View the agenda and register .

Elevate Advanced Manufacturing to Host Parents & Students Night in Urbandale
Elevate Advanced Manufacturing is partnering with Quality Manufacturing Corporation to host a Parents & Students Night, April 12, 6 p.m., at 3909 NW 109th St. in Urbandale. The evening will include an employment in the manufacturing industry and current trends overview by IowaWORKS, manufacturing career demonstrations, tours of Quality Manufacturing Corporation, college planning and career opportunities in the manufacturing industry through DMACC, and pizza and drink.  Register to attend by emailing Alexandra Monaghan.

Henning Completes Construction on New Kum & Go in Muscatine
Kum & Go's newest store in Muscatine recently opened at 416 Cedar Street. The 6,200-square foot store is open 24 hours and features the new Go Fresh Market design with a variety of food options. The previous building, a Sun Mart grocery store, was demolished prior to the start of construction. Henning Companies completed construction in 184 days.

Magna and Lyft Announce Partnership to Develop and Manufacture Self-driving Systems at Scale
Magna, a mobility technology company and one of the world's largest automotive suppliers, and Lyft, North America's fastest growing rideshare company, have announced a multi-year collaboration in which the companies will jointly fund, develop and manufacture self-driving systems. In addition, Magna will invest $200 million in Lyft equity. The establishment of this partnership is subject to regulatory approval.  Read the news release .

Manpower Survey: Confident Job Market Expected for Iowa
Employers in Iowa expect to hire at a robust pace during Q2 2018, according to the ManpowerGroup Employment Outlook Survey.  From April to June, 27% of the companies interviewed plan to hire more employees, while 3% expect to reduce their payrolls. Another 68% expect to maintain their current workforce levels and 2% aren't certain of their hiring plans. Read the news release.

Clinton High School Tours LyondellBasell's Clinton Complex
Last month LyondellBasell, one of the largest plastics, chemicals and refining companies in the world, partnered with Elevate Advanced Manufacturing, a statewide campaign that promotes careers and educational pathways in advanced manufacturing. Forty-five high school students and three educators from Clinton High School visited the Clinton complex for a plant and building tour. Jim Hiller, site manager, also shared the history, products and employment needs of LyondellBasell. Read the news release.
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