May 21, 2021
2021 Legislative Session Adjourns
The first session of the 89th General Assembly adjourned late Wednesday night, wrapping up its 19th week. The Iowa House and Senate leaders worked closely with Governor Kim Reynolds to finalize budget bills, a comprehensive tax/economic growth bill and other key policy items. 

ABI’s three legislative priorities for this session were workforce, infrastructure and regulatory reform. ABI accomplished the workforce goals of preserving the solvency of the Iowa Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund and strengthening state commitment to child care and workforce housing. Infrastructure priorities were accomplished through the initiation and funding of a new high speed broadband policy for the state. Regulatory reform issues continue to be pursued by staff throughout the year and continues.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Here is ABI's Sine Die Session Wrap-Up Report
Weekly Business Report

JD Davis and Brad Hartkopf from ABI's Public Policy team share the main takeaways from the 2021 legislative session and what they mean for ABI's members.
Final Legislative Update TODAY at 8:00 a.m.
Please join JD Davis and Brad Hartkopf from ABI’s public policy team for ABI’s final legislative update this morning. Both JD and Brad will provide their behind-the-scenes insight on key priorities for the business community and a look ahead on how to prepare for the 2022 legislative session. If you haven’t already, be sure to contact Michelle Vollstedt to register for the call. The call is for ABI members only.
Legislature Passes, Governor Signs State Preemption of Local Government Mask Mandates
On Wednesday the Iowa legislature passed a measure that is now in effect with the Governor’s signature that prohibits local governments and schools from adopting mask mandates that are more stringent than policy set at the state level. It is important to note that the new law does not affect policies that have been adopted by employers governing their workplaces. Read more from The Des Moines Register.
ABI to Host DNR for Meeting on PFAS
The ABI Environment Committee plans to host a virtual meeting with the Iowa Department of Natural Resources to discuss PFAS and the agency’s approach to the matter in Iowa. Earlier this year, DNR released the state’s PFAS action plan, which includes public drinking water sampling across the state in some areas. PFAS is a hot topic around the country and one of the emerging issues that we could see action taken on the federal level as well.

All ABI members are invited to participate in the virtual meeting with DNR. CLICK HERE to participate in a doodle poll with your availability for a virtual meeting.
DNR Proposes No Fee Change for
Air Construction Permits
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources has announced there will be no changes in Air Quality Bureau fees for the 2022 fiscal year, which goes from July 1, 2021 and ends June 30, 2022. Asbestos demolition notifications, asbestos renovation notifications, applications for new source review construction permits, applications for initial and renewal Title V operating permits, and emissions are assessed for fees. ABI has been working with Environment Committee members and the Department for many years to focus on efficiencies and regulatory reforms to maintain the cost of doing business. If you have recently seen large fluctuations in your minor or major air construction permit fee costs, please provide feedback to Nicole Crain or Brad Hartkopf.

CLICK HERE for more information on air quality fees.
Opportunity to Comment on
2021 Air Monitoring Network Plan
The public is now welcome to review and comment on Iowa’s 2021 Air Monitoring Network Plan as initially proposed by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources. The plan is required by the Environmental Protection Agency’s national ambient air monitoring regulations. It contains detailed information about the location and purpose of any monitor in Iowa’s air monitoring network that produces data for comparison with national ambient air quality standards. The plan and comments will be submitted to the EPA after a 30 day review period. You can view the plan here. Comments must be received by June 17 and directed to Sean Fitzsimmons with the subject line “2021 Air Monitoring Network Plan”.
Iowa Department of Revenue Proposes New Rule on “Marketable Food Products for Human Consumption”
Iowa law provides a limited sales tax exemption for food product manufacturers in Iowa Code 423.3(49). The Iowa Department of Revenue is proposing to adopt a limited definition where “marketable food products for human consumption” only applies to final food products and not food ingredients for purposes of sales tax exemptions. The Department of Revenue states its proposed definition will provide clarity to taxpayers seeking to claim this exemption as manufacturers of marketable food products for human consumption. The Department of Revenue states there is no fiscal impact to the state with this limited definition. However, the rule change would substantially change how food manufacturers in Iowa are currently treated for purposes of sales tax. ABI plans to comment at the May 25 public hearing, which will be hosted via video-conference call from 2-3 p.m

Interested members must submit written or oral statements to the Department of Revenue about this proposed rule making by 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 25, 2021. Contact JD Davis for more information.
House Passes Pregnant Workers Fairness Act
Last Friday, the U.S. House approved H.R. 1065, the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, with a vote of 315-101. The bill, which had 228 sponsors, prohibits employment practices that discriminate against making reasonable accommodations for qualified employees affected by pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions. The legislation enhances protections for qualified employees and goes beyond the scope of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, which was signed into law decades ago. All four members of Iowa’s Congressional Delegation voted in favor of the bill. It’s fate in the Senate is uncertain. You can view a summary of the bill here. Read more from USA Today.
Iowa Business Report Features ABI President Mike Ralston 
ABI President Mike Ralston recently spoke with Jeff Stein, host of the Iowa Business Report program, to discuss Iowa’s business climate in the state.

CLICK HERE to hear about wages, population growth in Iowa, and more.
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
Updated Safety Protocols: Space Still Available for 2021 Taking Care of Business Conference
ABI’s annual Taking Care of Business Conference will take place in less than a month and is scheduled to be in Coralville/Iowa City from June 8-10.  

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.

Spaces are still available. 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.
“Iowa’s Best” Auction Around The Corner:
Make Your Plan To Bid June 1-9!

Now announcing the exclusive packages available only to ABI Conference attendees! Following the Chair’s Dinner on Wednesday, June 9, you’ll have the chance to win at the in-person live auction. Great Iowa leaders and businesses put forward must-have experiences, services and products! Don’t forget: the silent online auction starts on June 1. Make your plan to participate in both!
Biddonate or share to support the ABI Foundation’s statewide leadership programs!
Property Tax Relief Planning During Times of COVID
How manufacturers can navigate the looming crisis and come out on top
By Josh Malancuk, CPA, CMI and Karen Koch, CPA, MT - JM Tax Associates, LLC

As we mark the one-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic, the economic fallout has been far and wide. But only now have business owners come to grips with the impact that the COVID-induced recession will have on their property taxes. When the new property tax rates and assessments start arriving in the mail, jaws will be dropping in many parts of the country--especially among business owners. But instead of getting angry, taking the right approach to a solution can substantially improve your company’s ability to negotiate and reduce their tax hit for years to come. Don’t rush into this decision, and it’s not an area where you want to be a do-it-yourselfer.

CLICK HERE to review a list of steps suggested for the company review process.
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Hot Topic Insights from Eide Bailly
ABI member Edie Bailly serves a diverse array of industries including construction and manufacturing among others. To help keep you in the know on trends and hot topics, they offer monthly blog Insights on their website, including:

What started out as a slow quarter for accounting standards updates (ASUs) ended with a bang. Here’s the latest update. Learn More
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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.