May 14, 2021
Iowa Senate Committees Advance Governor’s Tax Plan
Session Will Move into Third Week of Overtime
The first session of the 89th Iowa General Assembly will continue into next week. Legislative leaders in the House and Senate, as well as Governor Kim Reynolds, are still working to reach an agreement on tax policy and the budget for the coming fiscal year.

There was relatively little action at the Capitol this week, but on Tuesday, the Senate Ways & Means and Appropriations Committees passed SF 619, which is the governor’s tax compromise. The bill, which ABI supports, does a number of things to enhance our tax climate. The bill also addresses childcare, housing and economic growth issues. The governor and Senate are in agreement with the legislation, while the House has their own proposal in HF 893, which has passed out of the House Ways & Means Committee. Once a tax bill is agreed upon, the rest of the budget should fall into place fairly quickly.
Legislative Update Next Friday Morning
You’ll want to be sure to join ABI’s public policy team for a legislative update call on Friday, May 21st at 8:00 am. You’ll hear from JD Davis and Brad Hartkopf as they brief ABI members on the latest happenings at the Capitol. If you haven’t already, be sure to contact Michelle Vollstedt to register for the call. The call is for ABI members only.
Governor Ends Iowa’s Participation in Federal Unemployment Benefits
This week, Iowa Governor Kim Reynolds announced the state will end its participation in supplemental federal unemployment benefit programs on June 12, 2021 to help address the workforce shortage. This affects:
  • Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC)
  • Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA)
  • Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation (PEUC)
  • Mixed Earners Unemployment Compensation (MEUC)

Moreover, effective June 13, 2021, Iowa will no longer waive employer charges for COVID-related unemployment insurance claims.

ABI applauds the governor’s decision to end the supplemental federal unemployment benefits. This action will help with the ongoing workforce shortage in the state at all skill levels. The Iowa Workforce Development reported that there are more than 66,000 available jobs. Iowa’s economy also continues to recover from the pandemic. The state’s unemployment rate was at 3.7 percent in March. 

This action only affects the supplemental federal unemployment benefits. Iowa continues to provide robust state benefits to help with an unemployment safety net.

With this latest announcement, Iowa joins several other states that have announced plans to also end extended federal unemployment benefits, including: Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Montana, Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee, South Carolina, North Dakota and Wyoming.  

ABI (and its members) received statewide coverage on this update and was featured in a number of newspaper, radio, television outlets and blogs.
Weekly Business Report

JD Davis and Brad Hartkopf from ABI's Public Policy team discusses what Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds' announcement on federal extended unemployment benefits means for members.
Jackson Manufacturing Hosts Senator Ernst
for 99 County Tour Visit
Jack Hasken, ABI Vice Chair and President & CEO of Jackson Manufacturing in Maquoketa, recently had the privilege of inviting and hosting U.S. Senator Joni Ernst at his facility for a town hall meeting. The visit, which was a part of the senator’s annual 99 County Tour, took place last Wednesday in Jackson County. During the Q&A portion of the stop, Senator Ernst largely focused on labor issues, including the effect that federal extended unemployment benefits were having on Iowa’s workforce shortage. She also spoke about infrastructure, which is an issue gaining a lot of attention at the federal level right now. 

Senator Ernst has a long track record of supporting the business community in the U.S. Senate and ABI is thankful for her consistent and strong backing of pro-growth policies. Mr. Hasken is no stranger to opening his doors to elected officials. He has also hosted Senator Charles Grassley, Congresswoman Ashley Hinson and a number of local officials. ABI encourages our members to develop relationships with those in office so they understand the importance of supporting policies that will allow for businesses to flourish in Iowa. Read more from The Dubuque Telegraph Herald.
Air Quality Stakeholder Meeting Next Week
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources Air Quality Bureau will be hosting a virtual client contact meeting this coming Thursday, May 20, from 1:00 - 2:30 pm. The agenda, which can be found here, includes topics such as Title V permitting, the EASY Air permitting system, construction permitting, planning and support updates and monitoring & compliance. There will also be time for an open discussion on any other topics participants might like to bring forward. You can join the virtual meeting or dial in by phone via information found on the agenda page.
Deadline for 2021 IIPAC Recognition at
Annual Conference is Next Week
Time is running out to be recognized for investing in IIPAC at ABI’s annual Taking Care of Business Conference in Coralville. Those who contribute to IIPAC by the Tuesday, May 18 deadline will receive recognition on a large poster board which will be displayed throughout the conference. Investments in IIPAC are necessary as they help amplify the voice of Iowa business in our public policy efforts. Investing in IIPAC also allows ABI to back and elevate pro-business candidates who are running for the Iowa Legislature or other statewide races. If you haven’t made your 2021 investment yet, please do that today.
CDC Says Fully Vaccinated People Can Stop Wearing Masks in Most Settings
Face Mask 2
The Centers for Disease Control & Prevention issued new guidance on masks on Thursday, May 13, 2021, saying that people who are fully vaccinated do not need to wear a mask - indoors or outdoors - in most settings. The relaxed changes come as states are pushing towards more normalcy.

According to the CDC, fully vaccinated people can resume activities without wearing a mask or staying six feet apart, except where required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, including local businesses and workplace guidance.

The Associated Press reports that around 154 million Americans have received at least one dose of the COVID-19 vaccine. 

You can learn more at this CDC video.
Registration is now open for the ABI CEO Forum in Okoboji on July 29 & 30.

CLICK HERE to register today!
June 8 - 10: Taking Care of Business Conference
The conference will take place in person in Coralville/Iowa City
Don't forget to register for ABI's 2021 Taking Care of Business Conference! If you are passionate about business in Iowa, this is an opportunity to meet other industry leaders, network, learn new ideas, and share insight on how to grow and strengthen the state's business climate.

CLICK HERE to register
Business Horizons Accepting Applications, $60 Discount Through Weekend

We’re now accepting Iowa high school students (grades 9-12) for the statewide leadership program Business Horizons! Participants will team up to develop a solution to a real-world problem on July 18-22 at Central College in Pella. The “innovation simulation” culminates with students pitching their mock businesses to investors. Students who sign-up soon will save on the $385 full tuition, so encourage students to apply now at

We also ask you help us spread the word with our advocacy kit! With any questions, contact
Why Choose an ESOP?
By Hillary Hughes - Director,
Prairie Capital Advisors, Inc.

When it comes to deciding upon an exit strategy, owners of closely-held businesses have a lot to think about. Faced with the frightening prospect of turning over the business they have worked so hard to build to new ownership, they might worry about what will happen to the company – and their employees – once they’re gone. Selling the business to a third party isn’t always a welcome or viable option. But if there isn’t a qualified management team or successor in mind, what’s a business owner to do?

CLICK HERE to read more about why you should consider an Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP).
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ABI Members Partner with State to Host
Energy Career Roundtables
Energy producers, service providers, and other related employers are invited to join for a series of interactive virtual roundtable sessions to offer industry guidance and insight for a new project to develop promotional materials for a wide range of exciting energy careers in Iowa.

Women In Manufacturing Event
"Adapting Manufacturing to a New Normal"
Tuesday, May 18
1:00 - 2:00 p.m. CT

Join WiM’s President, Allison Grealis, as she and a panel of manufacturing leaders explore lessons learned from the pandemic and how building long-term resiliency into end-to-end manufacturing operations will be key to thriving in a post-crisis world.

CLICK HERE to register.
Mental Health Awareness Month Resources & Events
The Make It Ok campaign in Iowa, led by the Healthiest State Initiative, has released resources for employers and announced events to raise awareness of mental health during Mental Health Awareness Month in May.

CLICK HERE to download the free toolkit and register for free, virtual events.