Legislative News
Legislative Call ­-- TOMORROW, Feb.16
The monthly ABI legislative update call will be tomorrow, Friday, Feb. 16 at 8 a.m. The ABI public policy team will provide information about key bills that will continue to advance after the first legislative funnel. If you haven't RSVPed yet, please do so today by emailing Michelle Vollstedt at mvollstedt@iowaabi.org

Gov. Reynolds Unveils Tax Plan
On Tuesday, Feb. 13, Gov. Reynolds released a summary of her comprehensive tax policy bill. The legislation has many components including reducing individual income tax rates, increasing Sec. 179 expensing to $100,000, providing for 25 percent of the new qualified business deduction, eliminating the Alternative Minimum Tax and adding language to take advantage of changes in retail buying habits. The bill doesn't include reductions in the corporate income tax or changes to existing tax credits for corporations or individuals. 
Click here for the full release. The bill is SSB 3195 . We expect to see a tax policy plan introduced in the Iowa Senate next week that will address corporate taxes, in addition to individual income taxes. Click here to read more from Radio Iowa on the proposals. ABI is currently seeking feedback from members. Staff contact: Nicole Crain .

Funnel Week Complete -- Key Business Legislation Advances
Numerous committee meetings were held this week as the Legislature worked to advance bills through the process before the first self-imposed deadline of the session known as the funnel. Bills must have passed at least one full committee in either chamber to be eligible for further legislative consideration. Bills that are Appropriations, Ways and Means or Government Oversight are exempted from the funnel requirements. The funnel helps lawmakers narrow their focus on key policy issues and also tax and spending policies for the balance of the legislative session. ABI is currently tracking nearly 400 bills. Below is the status of a few key bills the association is following for the year.
 
The following bills made it through the funnel and are still ALIVE:
  • HSB 602/SSB 3087 - Future Ready Iowa Act. ABI's top legislative priority in 2018 is workforce. This is why ABI strongly supports the Future Ready Iowa Act, which was put forward by the governor's office. The legislation seeks to make sure that 70 percent of Iowans obtain education beyond the high school level by 2025. Click here to read a summary of the legislation. Community colleges have expressed concern about some items in the bill, and some changes are expected before the bill goes to the floor. The Senate Commerce Committee passed the legislation unanimously, and the House Committee passed it 16-7 with Reps. Jacoby and McConkey joining Republicans. ABI position: Support.       
  • HF 2308/SF 2262 - Final stage manufacturers. Legislation that allows an Iowa equipment manufacturer to pass the manufacturer statement of origin to the final customer passed House and Senate Commerce Committees unanimously. The legislation is now ready to be debated on the full House and Senate floor. ABI position: Support.               
  • HSB 645 ­- Water quality. This bill makes modifications to a major water quality bill that passed earlier this session and was signed into law by Gov. Reynolds. This bill, HSB 645, was discussed on the House floor by Rep. Wills during debate of HF 512. HSB 645 has been introduced to make modifications to the water quality bill, one of which was requested by ABI. The bill adds industries named in the nutrient reduction strategy to the definition of "eligible entity" for purposes of the revolving loan fund created in HF 512. The new revolving loan fund will be housed at IFA and can be accessed by eligible entities like cities and rural water districts to implement nutrient reduction water quality projects or sponsored projects within the watershed. The law allows IFA to distribute loans, forgivable loans or grants from the fund, which will grow over time from just under $2 million available in FY2020 to nearly $7 million by FY2029, for a total of about $58 million by FY2029. The fund will likely be mainly used for loans, not grants, since it must "revolve." HSB 645 will give industry a seat at the table in water quality discussions as they move forward and evolve. ABI position: Support.              

The following bills didn't make it through the funnel and are likely DEAD.
The Legislature considered several policies that could increase the cost of doing business or add additional burden to employers. ABI worked to educate legislators about the business impact the legislation could have if passed. As a reminder, no bill is ever "dead" in the legislature, and many of these proposed bills could show up in amendments or budget bills.  
  • HF 2155 & SF 2156 - Bottle bills. HF2155 would expand the bottle bill by adding a five-cent deposit to tea, water, sports drinks and juice containers. It would also increase the handling fee distributors have to pay from one to two cents. Under the bill, grocery stores will still have to accept beverage containers unless there is a redemption center within one mile of their location. SF 2156 would have expanded the definition of beverage container to include "sports drinks." The bill would also double the deposit from five to 10 cents. Both of the bills were assigned a subcommittee, but didn't advance. ABI position: Against. 
  • SF 2028/HF 556 - Right to repair. The bill would require manufacturers to provide diagnostic and repair information to customers free of charge. ABI position: Against.
  • SF 2103 - EMS assignment of benefits. Legislation that would change emergency medical provider networks in the state of Iowa. The effect of the legislation could be an increase in cost to insurance companies and individuals. The subcommittee recommended amendment and passage. The bill received lots of conversation until the last day of funnel but did not advance. ABI position: Against.

Advocacy Opportunities: Meet Your Representatives           
During the legislative session, local chambers hold coffees on Fridays and Saturdays to hear from constituents. These meetings are great opportunities to get involved in the legislative process. In addition, Iowa's Congressional delegation holds meetings throughout their districts when home from Washington. Sen. Grassley will hold meetings next week in southeast Iowa. Click here for the schedule . Two other opportunities to get involved include an ABI Legislative Roundtable with Sen. C. Johnson and Rep. Salmon in Waverly on March 2 and the Iowa Business Day on the Hill on March 13! Click here to register for Day on the Hill. 

Federal Spotlight: Speaker Upmeyer at White House for Infrastructure Meeting
President Trump unveiled his infrastructure plan earlier this week, and Iowa's Speaker of the House Linda Upmeyer (R-Clear Lake) was in attendance, as was the new mayor of Cedar Rapids. President Trump's infrastructure outline can be read in its entirety here . Read the six principles of the plan.
From the Desk of...
Are You Looking to Positively Change Your Culture?



One of the most common questions I receive in my client relations role at Tero revolves around culture. "How can we change our culture to be more collaborative?" "How can we position team members to be more polished and professional in our work environment?" "How can we reduce our turnover and handle change more effectively?"
 
What contributes to an organization's culture?
The way we interact with and respond to coworkers, prospects, clients and the community impacts the culture an organization works to establish. The culture is developed and formulated like a personality. It may include the company mission, vision, values and atmosphere. It may be reflected in the business logo, in the work a company does for the community and in the way people are taught to treat each other. It may be the pictures on the wall or the rug on the floor. All result in the unspoken but understood environment that sets the standards for the culture. Keep reading.
Top News
WriteBrain Announces "Going Big for Small Business" Contest
WriteBrain  is giving one small business a free marketing strategy and social media presence for six months. The giveaway, an $8,100 value, includes one short profile per month, one comprehensive story per month and social media management of that content. Fill out this five-minute survey to enter. The deadline to enter is March 5. The winner will be announced on WriteBrain's Facebook page  in a live video on March 9.

Advance Iowa to Host Succession Planning Webinars on Feb. 22 and March 28
Did you know 80 percent of businesses will be for sale in the next 5-10 years? And that 86 percent of businesses have no succession plan?  Succession planning is one of the UNI Advance Iowa focuses this year.  Each month industry experts will host a webinar on some aspect of succession planning. The goal is to educate, demystify the process and get businesses to start working toward successful transitions. Upcoming webinars include  Considering Buy-Sell  Agreements on  Feb. 22 at 12 p.m. and Motivation: Employee Incentive Compensation Strategies on  March 28 at 12 p.m. Register here.

Two Weeks Left to Apply for In-demand Manufacturing Training Scholarships 
Elevate Advanced Manufacturing, a non-profit spreading the word about career opportunities in manufacturing, is offering 15 $500 scholarships to Iowa high school seniors interested in studying a manufacturing-related career at one of Iowa's 15 community colleges.  Examples of eligible training programs include  welding, computer numerically controlled (CNC) machining, industrial automation, industrial maintenance, robotics, tool and die, and transportation and logistics.  The application deadline is March 2.  Download the application .

East Penn Manufacturing Co. Celebrates Major Expansion in Oelwein
Past and present ABI Board members pictured: Mike Espeset, Story Construction; Jeanine Penticoff, Alliant Energy; Roger Winslow, Richardson Molding Inc; and Alan Johnson, Norplex-Micarta

Many ABI members were on hand last Friday in Oelwein to celebrate the grand opening of a new $70 million, 345,000-square-foot battery manufacturing and distribution plant. Read more about the East Penn grand opening in The Courier.
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