Katie P. Hall
Director of Government Affairs
khall@iowainstitute.coop
O: 515-292-2667
C: 515-686-1066

Week 6: February 16, 2018
State
1.    Corporate Farms: SSB3105 DID NOT PASS FIRST FUNNEL
·        Subcommittee recommended passage on Feb. 6th
·        Restricts certain business entities (including corporations) from acquiring agricultural land suitable for farming

2. Broadband Easement:   HSB545 DID NOT PASS FIRST FUNNEL
·         SSB3055 (Senate version) introduced Jan. 31st and subcommittee recommended amendment and passage

3.   Governor's Tax Bill: HSB671 Monitoring, NEW
·        Referred to Ways & Means this week in both chambers
·        Reducing individual tax rates
·        Increasing Sect. 179 expensing to $100,000
·        Coupling at 25% for Sect. 199A
·        Focus on reducing taxes for small businesses and helping them compete with on-line retailers
·         The Governor's Plan

4.   IUB Matters: HSB591 —Monitoring, ON SENATE DEBATE CALENDAR
·        Registration instead of certification
·        Dual party relay changed to flat $.03/line/month for wireless & wired, instead of variable rate for wired

5.   Raw Milk: HF2055 Against , UNCHANGED
·       Subcommittee recommended passage on Jan. 30th
·       Legislation to transfer milk directly from dairy farms, allowing unpasteurized and ungraded milk be sold
·        Most milk-related outbreaks (81%) happened in states where selling raw milk was legal (2007-2012)

6.   Utility Matters: SF2311 —Monitoring, UPDATE
·        Previously SSB3093
·        Removes state policies that are duplicative of existing federal policies

7.    Balanced Budget:   SSB3089 —Monitoring, UNCHANGED
·        Bill cuts of ~$52 million from the budget this year
·        Deeper cuts than the Governor suggested

8.    Deappropriations: SF2117 Monitoring, UPDATE
·        Placed on calendar as unfinished business
·        Amendment S5005 cuts $32 million (instead of $52 million) from this year's budget
·        Amendments to S5005 (that passed) include, S5008 : prohibits DOJ reducing victim assistance grants & S5007 : clarifies supplemental reimbursement for ground emergency transport of medicaid beneficiaries, reduces per diem for legislators to 85 days

This week we held our annual legislative events with speeches from Lt. Governor Adam Gregg and Senator Randy Feenstra on Tuesday night. Wednesday morning we met at the capitol to speak with our state legislators. Governor Kim Reynolds talked with us about cooperative priorities and what's coming down the pipeline with tax reform, developing rural communities and water quality. We are excited about Governor Reynolds' FUTURE READY IOWA, that focuses on developing Iowa's workforce. Watch for a special video update of our time with the Governor on our YouTube channel. Pictures above and below are from our Co-op's Day on the Hill.

A special thank you to Land O' Lakes for sponsoring our legislative events this week!

Federal
1.      Waters Of The U.S. (WOTUS): Monitoring, UNCHANGED
·         Defines jurisdiction of the EPA & US Army Corps of Engineers over rivers, lakes, etc.

2.      Tax Reform: Sect. 199A Monitoring, UNCHANGED
·         Talking points from NCFC
  • Congress has a long history of recognizing the unique structure of farmer co-ops and their unique relationship with their farmer-members.
  • We remain committed to exploring changes to Section 199A to address the unintended consequences that private grain handlers claim are occurring in the grain sector.
  • NCFC supports two main objectives in this process:
  • Ensuring that farmers do not see an increase in taxes beyond what they paid under “old” Section 199;
  • Our hope is that any deal recognizes that co-ops are an extension of their members’ operations; co-ops give their member-owners the ability to extend their reach in the marketplace and capture more margins from further down the value chain. 
  • We also want to ensure that farmers and their co-ops are not put at a disadvantage to corporations, which received a 40 percent rate cut.
  • We believe ongoing negotiations can yield an equitable solution for all involved.
  • Any changes to Section 199A will impact producers far beyond the grain sector, including those in dairy, specialty crops, cotton and others. The impact of any proposal must be assessed with this in mind.
  • We want to get this right and not come back to Congress a third time! Creating an artificial deadline, without adequate time to assess the impact of the legislation, would create more disruption and chaos. 

Want to speak with your federal representatives?
D.C. office numbers are below. 

Sen. Chuck Grassley: 202-224-3744
Sen. Joni Ernst: 202-224-3254
Rep. Steve King: 202-225-4426
Rep. Rod Blum: 202-225-2911
Rep. Dave Loebsack: 202-225-6576
Rep. David Young: 202-225-5476

The Iowa Institute Calendar :
February 28-March 1: Mid-management Development in Ames
March 9: Board Meeting in Ames


Have a wonderful weekend,
-Katie