June 4, 2021
Governor Reynolds to Address ABI Conference Attendees
An exciting and robust agenda is set for ABI’s annual Taking Care of Business Conference, which will take place next week in Coralville and Iowa City. ABI is honored to have Governor Kim Reynolds speak to attendees on Wednesday, June 9th during the lunch hour. The governor has been a strong advocate and supporter of the business community during her time in office. ABI looks forward to hearing her remarks and seeing conference attendees next week.
Register for Regional Meetings Today
ABI’s public policy team will be hitting the road in the next several weeks for regional meetings that will recap the 2021 legislative session for the business community. ABI will be hosting meetings in (Council Bluffs, June 23), (Sioux City, June 24), (Des Moines, June 30) and (Ottumwa, July 15). The meetings provide an opportunity for you to learn about ABI’s efforts at the Capitol this year, ask the policy team any questions you may have and bring forward issues you would like to see addressed in 2022. They’re free to attend and you can register today.
Public Policy Team Hosting Workshop
at Conference Next Week
ABI’s public policy team will lead a workshop entitled “2021 Landscape: Implications of Policy and Politics to Iowa Businesses” at the ABI conference. The workshop, which will take place on Wednesday at 3:30 pm, will cover a number of topics pertinent to the business community. JD Davis and Brad Hartkopf will provide an overview of the 2021 legislative session and what the results mean for your business. The state of play and a political outlook at the state and federal levels will also be discussed. If you haven't yet signed up for a workshop, consider attending the 2021 Landscape!
Important Unemployment Insurance Changes for the Unemployed and Employers Begin June 12
On June 12, 2021, two actions taken by Governor Kim Reynolds affecting workforce participants and employers will go into effect. Unemployed Iowans will no longer receive the additional $300/week in federal dollars that have augmented standard state unemployment benefits. Governor Reynolds took this action to create a greater incentive for the unemployed to rejoin the workforce citing 60,000 unemployed Iowans, an unemployment rate of 3.7% and more than 66,000 job listings on the IowaWorks website. 

The second change affects employers directly. Early in the pandemic, as federal and state government policies forced Iowans from the workforce, Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) suspended the practice of tracking unemployment claims by an employer for the purpose of charging each employer for their workforce’s unemployment experience and reflecting that experience in individually higher unemployment tax rates. Starting June 12, 2021, IWD will resume tracking the unemployment experience of each employer and it will once again factor in determining that employer's unemployment tax rates. For more information contact JD Davis at jddavis@iowaabi.org.
U.S. Chamber Launches America Works Initiative
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, a federal partner of ABI, announced Tuesday morning that it is spearheading a new nationwide initiative aimed at addressing the workforce shortage. The campaign, known as America Works, seeks to mobilize industry and government to tackle this issue which is drastically affecting businesses in all sectors. The America Works agenda aims to close the jobs gap by helping Americans acquire the skills they need to fill today’s open jobs, improve educational and job training opportunities for the jobs of tomorrow, remove barriers to entering the workforce, and expand the workforce through immigration reform. You can learn more about the America Works Initiative here. ABI appreciates the Chamber’s leadership on this important issue.
WATCH: ABI leads the Elevate Advanced Manufacturing campaign called Elevate Iowa. Elevate Iowa strives to equip educators and engage students with the resources they need to connect with careers in the advanced manufacturing industry.

You can find more about training and career pathways by visiting the website here.
WATCH: ABI is a member of the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), which formed the Creators Wanted Campaign to build the modern manufacturing workforce. The campaign is presented by NAM and the Manufacturing Institute. Creators Wanted aims to reduce the skills gap in the U.S. by 600,000 and increase the positive perception of the manufacturing industry among parents from 27% to 50%.
Department of Revenue Proposes Rule to Implement Peripheral Legislation
On Tuesday, the Iowa Department of Revenue (IDOR) issued notice of intended action rule ARC 5659C, which is designed to facilitate the implementation of HF 2641. Governor Kim Reynolds signed this legislation into law in 2020. The legislation was a result of a workgroup that included ABI staff and ABI members during the summer & fall of 2019 to address and help define computer and computer peripherals. Please provide any feedback that you might have to JD Davis or Brad Hartkopf by Monday, June 14.
First Democrat Announces Run in U.S. Senate Race
Dave Muhlbauer, a farmer from Manilla, declared last week that he would be running for the nomination of the Democratic Party in hopes of becoming Iowa’s next U.S. Senator following the 2022 election. The seat is currently held by Republican Senator Charles Grassley who has indicated he will make his intentions known on whether or not he seeks re-election later this fall. Muhlbauer, “a 5th generation, farming, labor Democrat,” released a campaign video last week highlighting his connections to rural Iowa. He’s also a former Crawford County Supervisor and his father and grandfather both served in the Iowa House. 

Other Democrats are taking a look at potentially joining the field as well. Politico and other outlets reported last week that former 1st District Congresswoman Abby Finkenauer is strongly considering a bid for the Senate. Other candidates could include former 4th Congressional District candidate J.D. Scholten, former Iowa Secretary of State candidate Deidre DeJear and former U.S. Senate candidate and retired Navy Admiral Mike Franken. Read more from The Gazette.
Prichard Resigning From Post
as Iowa House Minority Leader
Todd Prichard, the Democratic Minority Leader in the Iowa House, announced on Wednesday that he would be stepping down as leader of the Democratic caucus. Prichard, who has served five terms as a state representative, had been Minority Leader for the past three legislative sessions. He lives in Charles City, is an attorney and also serves in the Army Reserves as a lieutenant colonel. House Democrats will select a new leader on Monday, June 14.
EEOC Issues Guidance Allowing
Employers to Require Vaccine
A report posted by CBS News last Sunday indicates the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) recently unveiled updated guidance that permits employers to require the COVID-19 vaccine and also allows the employer to provide incentives to employees to receive the vaccination. The article goes on to state that “companies must still provide reasonable accommodation for employees who are exempt from mandatory immunization under the Americans with Disabilities Act and Title VII of the Civil Right Act." ABI was successful in defeating efforts during the legislative session which would have interfered with the employer/employee relationship in this regard. EEOC is likely to continue to update guidance on this subject. ABI recommends that members consult with their legal counsel before implementing such policy.
June 8 - 10: Taking Care of Business Conference
2021 Taking Care of Business Conference Next Week
ABI’s annual Taking Care of Business Conference will take place next week in Coralville/Iowa City. We look forward to welcoming almost 500 ABI members back to the best business conference in Iowa! Spaces are limited. Click to Register!

Marriott International recently released new guidance and lifted its mask mandate for the conference. Fully-vaccinated guests are not required to wear face coverings or social distance. Guests not fully vaccinated must continue to wear face coverings and practice social distancing.
WATCH: #ABICON21 Preview

Holly Mueggenberg, ABI Member Programs Director, joins ABI President Mike Ralston and Executive VP Nicole Crain to discuss what's in store for the 2021 conference!

Advanced Manufacturing Conference Workshop Proposals Due June 30
Share your manufacturing expertise at the September 29th 2021 Advanced Manufacturing Conference. ABI is accepting speaker proposals through June 30. Email Holly Mueggenberg
for a proposal form.
Registration is now open for the ABI CEO Forum in Okoboji on July 29 & 30.

CLICK HERE to register today!
ABI Foundation Update
Bid now and win for our state with “Iowa’s Best” Auction!
BID NOW on exceptional experiences, packages and services of our online silent auction! As the 501c3 non-profit working to retain and develop Iowa’s workforce, you can help empower Iowans as enthusiastic citizens, engaged workers and inspired leaders. Biddonate and share now through Wednesday to support the ABI Foundation’s statewide programs!
Remember: ABI Conference attendees will have 10 more exclusive packages available during the in-person live auction following the Chair’s Dinner! Make your plan now to win for our state.
118th Taking Care of Business Conference Next Week
From Mike Ralston, ABI President

Next week, ABI will hold its 118th annual convention, the 2021 Taking Care of Business Conference. After having to cancel last year’s event, we are excited to host a reduced crowd of around 500 ABI members in Coralville/Iowa City next Tuesday-Thursday.

For three days, ABI members from all over Iowa and beyond will come together for business, social, and networking activities. 

Click on the headlines to learn about the latest ABI member news
Please submit member news to: communications@iowaabi.org
Free Webinar - June 16
How Google Ads and Social Media Are The Perfect Match
Kari Ratkovich of LocaliQ invites you to a FREE webinar on how Google Ads and Social Media work better together. This quick 50-minute live event will discuss all things digital and how paid search and social media advertising are the perfect match.
You’ll learn:
  • How to combine Facebook’s targeting with Google’s reach to drive awareness and ROI
  • How to better allocate your budget and data by utilizing both platforms
  • How to fill in the gaps of your consumer buying journey to produce more revenue
Secure your spot and register HERE.
Can't make it? Register anyway and receive a recording and materials.
Free Webinar - June 24
Wage and Hour Compliance
A Wage and Hour Compliance Update

Our partners at hrsimple.com are hosting a wage and hour compliance webinar on June 24th. As an ABI member, you can register for FREE.
During this presentation, employment law attorney Greg Grisham at Fisher Phillips will examine new developments at the DOL, provide guidance on how to avoid wage and hour lawsuits, and much more!