Legislative News
ABI Legislative Update Call Tomorrow
The first monthly legislative update call will be held tomorrow (Friday, Jan. 19) at 8 a.m. There is no cost to participate, but you must be an ABI member. The ABI public policy team participated in several subcommittee and committee meetings this week. Varying legislation--from SF 2002 (putting purple marks or caps on fence posts and trees as an alternative notification method for trespassers) to HF 2019 (modifying the language in the electronic payroll chapter of the code)--has been introduced. ABI staff will update you on the most relevant information to the business community on Friday. RSVP to Michelle Vollstedt at mvollstedt@iowaabi.org.

ABI President Mike Ralston Joins Gov. Reynolds at Press Conference
On Tuesday, ABI President Mike Ralston joined Gov. Reynolds and Lt. Gov. Gregg at their weekly press conference to discuss regulatory reform and positive changes the Reynolds administration has implemented, including a five-year review of rules and a jobs impact statement accompanying all proposed rules. Ralston highlighted efforts in specific state agencies where they identified issues and made changes. During the press conference, the administration also unveiled a new website that will allow Iowans to better grasp the administrative burden Iowa's regulations have on businesses and individuals. Keep reading.

Federal Spotlight: ABI to Co-host NAFTA Event with Sen. Joni Ernst
ABI, along with the Greater Des Moines Partnership, Iowa Farm Bureau and U.S. Chamber, will host a NAFTA event with U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst on Friday, Feb. 9. The event, which is free for ABI members to attend, will be held at the ABI office. Registration is at 9:30 a.m. and the event is at 10 a.m.  In addition to remarks by Sen. Ernst, members of each organization will be featured on a panel discussing the importance of trade, specifically NAFTA to the Iowa economy. Although there is no cost to attend, space is limited! We ask you please RSVP to Michelle Vollstedt at  mvollstedt@iowaabi.org  by Friday, Feb. 2. Keep reading.

Auditor Mosiman Announces New Anti-fraud Initiative for Local Governments
State Auditor Mary Mosiman announced Tuesday a new initiative to help educate city officials statewide about their fiduciary duties as elected officials. 
The state auditor's office has produced a video on fraud prevention and fiduciary best practices to educate newly-elected city council members and all city clerks in Iowa.  Keep reading .

Federal Spotlight: Supreme Court to Review Internet Sales Tax Case
The United States Supreme Court has decided to take up a case that will revisit whether states can collect sales tax from online purchases. The court will hear arguments over South Dakota. v. Wayfair, Inc. in the spring and likely hand down their ruling in June. The court's ruling in June could have monumental effects. Depending on the outcome, consumers may have to pay a sales tax when buying online, and state and local governments could stand to reap a windfall if the 1992 precedent is overturned. Keep reading.
 
DNR and DOT Unveil Key Reports
The Department of Natural Resources and the Department of Transportation have released several reports that pertain to ABI members. Executive branch departments compile these reports pursuant to the Iowa code and then put them out for public consumption. Read the reports.

Lunch Speaker Confirmed for Iowa Business Day on the Hill
ABI is pleased to announce that Sen. Randy Feenstra, chairman of the Senate Ways and Means Committee, will be the speaker at this year's luncheon. The luncheon takes place at the conclusion of Iowa Business Day on the Hill on Tuesday, March 13. The luncheon is open to all contributors who give at least $50 to the PAC. Plan to attend the lunch and hear the latest on tax reform. Click here to RSVP for the lunch.  Stay tuned for more information about Iowa Business Day on the Hill, including additional speakers, in the coming weeks!

Bossman Wins Sioux City Special Election
Jacob Bossman (R-Sioux City) won the special election in House District 6 on Tuesday. The election was necessary after Rep. Jim Carlin moved to the Iowa Senate. Bossman faced former educator Rita DeJong. This was the first statewide election to take place since portions of the new voter ID law went into effect in January. Rep-elect Bossman will be sworn in after the votes are canvassed. Click here to read the Sioux City Journal article.
From the Desk of...
5 Signs a Spreadsheet Isn't Cutting It

Kelly Kimmich
Spreadsheet applications like Excel have their advantages. They come with every computer. They're easy to use. And they're universally understood. It's no wonder so many people use them for planning, budgeting, tracking and more.

However, as your business grows, so does your need for accessibility, security, scalability, reporting and efficiency. So, how do you know when your spreadsheet has reached the end of its useful life? When does it make sense to go to the next level?

Here are five signs it may be time for you to transition from spreadsheets to custom software. Keep reading.
Top News
First Iowa Location for National Sign Company to Celebrate Grand Opening in Ankeny
You're invited to attend the grand opening and addition of YESCO (Young Electric Sign Company) to Signarama. The event will be Jan. 31, 2-6 p.m., at 1450 NE 69th Place, Suite 55, in Ankeny. YESCO provides expert electric sign and lighting service and repair to Signarama's existing sign business. Attendees are encouraged to share in the celebration by bringing items for the Food Bank of Iowa.

"The Journey to Your Vision" Seminar for Top Decision-makers to Be Held March 9 in Pella
Iowa Farm Bureau's Renew Rural Iowa will present "The Journey to Your Vision" seminar on March 9 in Pella. Every business faces peaks and valleys as it progresses through stages of growth. Do you know what stage your business is in and how you can reach the next level? Attend this valuable seminar to stack the odds in your favor by understanding the stages of business growth, their unique challenges and methods to overcome them. The seminar is complimentary, but pre-registration required. Visit  http://bit.ly/2DDDyX7 for more information and to register.

Workiva in Ames Named One of the 2018 Best Workplaces in Technology 
Workiva, a leading provider of solutions for enterprise productivity, was named one of the 2018 Best Workplaces in Technology by Great Place to Work and Fortune. The ranking considered more than 79,000 employee surveys from technology companies across the U.S.  Great Place to Work, a research and consulting firm, evaluated more than 50 elements of team members' experience on the job.  Read the news release.

The Boulder Company Celebrates 40th Anniversary in 2018
Join us in congratulating ABI member The Boulder Company on celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. The company is a diversified industrial product distributor offering fasteners and other Class C items used in manufacturing and construction, direct Asian sourcing and logistics support, vending machines for inventory control and broad solutions to critical supply chain problems. It serves an eight-state service area  in the Upper Midwest from its four distribution facilities. The Boulder Company's president and CEO is John Bruntz, who was a past ABI Board Chairman and is a current ABI Board member. 
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