March 25, 2021
Second Legislative Funnel is Next Friday
Senate GOP Releases Budget Targets for FY22

The Legislature is beginning to debate late into the night as it moves bills through the process to ensure that they survive the next legislative deadline, known as a funnel, which takes place next Friday, April 2. 

Following that date, policy bills must have passed through one chamber and through a committee in the other chamber in order to be eligible for the rest of the year. Appropriations and Ways & Means bills are not subject to this deadline.

The first sign that the end of the legislative session is in sight: Senate Republicans unveiled their budget targets for Fiscal Year 2022 this week. Under the targets, total spending for FY22 would be $7.999 billion, which is an increase of $195 million from FY21. That number comprises 94 percent of available revenue. The targets account for the elimination of the 2018 tax triggers, the phasing out of the inheritance tax and property tax relief. You can read more here.

A key bill that will play a significant role in budget negotiations and the eventual closing out of the legislative session is SSB 1253. The bill passed the Senate Ways & Means Committee today. Learn what the legislation does here.
Join ABI's Legislative Update Call Tomorrow

With just a week left until the second big deadline for this legislative session, be sure to join us tomorrow morning, March 26, at 8:00 a.m. for ABI’s next legislative update call.

JD Davis and Brad Hartkopf from ABI's public policy team will be breaking down the latest from the Capitol, including ABI priorities:
  • Unemployment Insurance Tax Reform
  • Drug Testing Reform

If you haven’t already registered for the calls, please contact Michelle Vollstedt.
REC Projecting Strong Growth for Fiscal Year 2022

The Revenue Estimating Conference, a three-person panel that provides budget forecasts for Iowa, met last Friday and concluded that Iowa is set to see 3.8 percent growth for Fiscal Year 2022, which begins on July 1. 

  • The projection puts the state at $8,385.6 billion for FY22.
  • This is an increase of $306.7 million from the current estimate for FY21. 

These projections are important because:

  • This gives us the most recent estimate on whether or not Iowa will hit the requirements needed for tax cuts from the state’s 2018 tax law on time.
  • The state must hit these marks in order to facilitate the next round of tax cuts in 2023.  
  • What we know so far: the revenue tax trigger is set to hit on time, while the 4-percent growth trigger is not.  
  • The tax triggers are based on actual receipts, which means we ultimately won’t know whether the state hits those triggers until September 2022. 

This is the primary reason why ABI has been supportive of eliminating the triggers. Eliminating the triggers will provide predictability and certainty for businesses.

You can read more from The Des Moines Register.
ABI Supports Bipartisan Legislation to Improve Child Care for Iowans
When Iowa families are supported, everyone succeeds, which is why affordable child care remains a key priority for ABI. ABI knows Iowa employers and the state's working families need solutions.

Sen. Joni Ernst and Congresswoman Cindy Axne have introduced the Improving Child Care for Working Families Act (S.897 in the Senate and H.R.2121 in the House), which would:

  • Permanently increase the cap on the amount of tax-free funds that working families and their employers can set aside in a dependent care assistance plan (DCAP) to $10,500.
  • These dollars can be used for child care expenses and other qualifying dependent care matters.
  • Why this matters: The current contribution limits have not changed since 1986 and child care issues remain a workforce problem in Iowa. Read more about how this legislation will affect Iowans.
Walsh Confirmed as Labor Secretary
The U.S. Senate, in a 68-29 vote, confirmed Marty Walsh as the 29th Secretary of Labor this week to lead the U.S. Department of Labor. The U.S. Chamber of Commerce supported Walsh’s nomination, highlighting in its February letter:

  • Walsh launched the “Building Pathways” program, as well as the “Learn and Earn” Internship in the Boston area and residents found well-paying jobs.
  • His cooperation with the business community and dedication to expanding employment and career opportunities qualify him to be the next Secretary of Labor.
ABI Foundation Endowment Reaches Goal of $500,000

The ABI Foundation's annual report demonstrates the commitment of business and industry in Iowa to developing leaders as critical assets of our state. We thank all who make our participants' experience in our statewide educational leadership programs possible. Through Leadership Iowa, Leadership Iowa University and Business Horizons, as well as Elevate Advanced Manufacturing and Young Professionals of Iowa, we approach another significant year of making a difference in the lives of Iowans!

Some great accomplishments noted in this report:

  • Volunteer hours and in-kind donations contributed to more than $90,000 of value
  • Programs continued to provide unique opportunities by supplementing with virtual elements for the first time. 
  • You are invited to participate in the launch of the 99-county campaign to reach leaders in every corner of Iowa this year: nominate or donate today!
April 8: Connecting Statewide Leaders is Coming to Mason City

Join ABI members, Leadership Iowa's current class and alumni, and community leaders for an engaging conversation about business/education partnerships. Learn how the business community and the education sector are working together to help move our state forward. Lunch and networking will follow. The event is on April 8 at 11 a.m. in Mason City. Learn more and register here. Seating is limited and safety protocols will be in place.
Weekly Business Report

ABI President Mike Ralston shares updates on supply chain disruptions and vaccinations.

ABI Board of Directors Chair Steven Bradford of member HNI Corporation discusses what to expect at this year's Taking Care of Business Conference.
Don't Forget About the Buy ABI Program
  • You receive deep discounts on valuable products and services.
  • ABI receives revenue from program partners, which helps us continue to grow the programs we offer you.
  • ABI members connect and conduct mutually beneficial business.
Family Compensation: You Can't Always be Equal and Fair
By Dan Beeken, Director of Advance Iowa

Compensation is already a touchy subject and if you throw on top of that a heaping spoonful of working with your family, things can get messy real quick. 

Families often approach compensation with the best intentions of wanting to keep harmony. Learn more about what you can do to navigate your family business.
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