What others are saying about the ABI conference
What others are saying: 2017 Taking Care of Business Conference

Today we're reminiscing on the 2017 Taking Care of Business Conference. Check out this new highlight video! Thank you to everyone who attended! 
Legislative News
State revenue challenges continue
The state may have to cut another $104 million from the 2017 fiscal year budget according to a new report recently released by the Legislative Services Agency. The report highlights the largest factors for the deficit are lower than projected revenue growth and lagging sales tax receipts. Gov. Kim Reynolds has the authority to borrow up to $50 million from the Economic Emergency Fund, but any additional cuts would require her to call for a special session later this fall. The governor has said that she will wait to call for a special session until after the 2017 fiscal year officially closes the books on Sep. 30. The Revenue Estimating Conference is likely to meet in the fall and must meet at least once before Dec. 15 to provide further revenue projections. Read more from the Des Moines Register

Collective bargaining reforms continue to take effect 
The Iowa Legislature enacted sweeping reforms to the collective bargaining process for most public sector employees during the 2017 legislative session. As we head into the new fiscal year, changes to the law continue to take effect. Beginning July 1, hundreds of state employees who are represented by AFSCME will no longer be eligible for overtime pay. The state's previous collective bargaining agreement expired June 30. Keep reading...

Federal Spotlight: Senate August recess shortened due to health care debate
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) announced this week that the Senate would remain in session going into the month of August to continue work on health care reform. Sen. McConnell shortened the August recess in hopes of passing The Better Care Reconciliation Act (BCRA) - the vehicle Senate Republicans are using to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Deep divisions still exist within in the GOP caucus.
Read more from The Hill. Keep reading...

Federal Spotlight: Congressional officials visit Iowa manufacturers
Congress was in recess last week, and during that time Iowa's Congressional delegation visited business leaders and manufacturers to hear about challenges companies face and answer questions about pending legislation. On Thursday, Congressman Rod Blum received the Spirit of Enterprise award from the U.S. Chamber at an event in Waverly. The award was presented by ABI and IIPAC Board Member Steve Dust of the Greater Cedar Valley Alliance and Molly Smith of the U.S. Chamber.

On Friday, past ABI Chair Lori Schaefer-Weaton welcomed Sen. Charles Grassley to Agri-Industrial Plastics for a town hall with local business leaders and Agri team members. Thank you to all ABI members for hosting Congressional, legislative and local elected officials in your facilities. The voice of Iowa business cannot be heard without you.
Committee Spotlight: Tax
Leading up to our ABI policy committee meetings in late summer, we will highlight each of ABI's five policy committees, so you know more about the mission and purview of each committee. These committees steer the direction of ABI's policy agenda each legislative session. To sign up for a public policy committee, email Dorothy Knowles,
dknowles@iowaabi.org . Click here to see all the upcoming committee meetings and to register.

Tax Committee Mission Statement:
To advocate for changes in Iowa law that will lead to business growth in Iowa. ABI favors continued efforts to reduce the overall tax burden in Iowa. There is a need for consistency and stability in government taxation. Iowa must live within its means to deliver better quality service for less cost, be accountable and continue to operate under a  full accrual accounting basis. As guideposts for any tax system, ABI supports equity, simplicity, predictability, and government accountability.

Current Chair: Larry Countryman, Wilson Trailer

Issues handled by this committee:
  • Income Tax
  • Property Tax
  • Tax credits
  • Tax equity and simplification
  • Government accountability and streamlining
  • Sales Tax
  • Federal Coupling
Recent Successes:
In 2016, ABI was successful in passing a much-needed simplification and clarification of the sales tax on consumable supplies. The legislation has resulted in tens of millions in savings for Iowa manufacturers.

Next Meeting:
Looking to 2018, the committee will examine its policies and direction for the future, and hear from Dave Roederer from the Department of Management on the status of the state budget. The meeting is set for August 21.  Click here  to sign up.

Feedback requested on streamlining regulations
The ABI policy team is always looking for ways we can help advocate for Iowa member companies with the Legislature and on the regulatory front. Currently, we are looking for ways to help businesses by streamlining regulations, permitting processes or other red tape that is holding your business back. If you have specific examples of ways Iowa can be more business-friendly or ideas on how to streamline regulations or permitting processes that your company deals with, please send the information to Nicole Crain, ncrain@iowaabi.org, by August 11.
From the Desk of...










Gains in Productivity

Ro Crosbie, President, and Deborah Rinner, VP, Chief Learning Officer
Tero International

What contributes to your highest levels productivity? It is apparent that millennials expect different things from the workplace than the generations that preceded them. They are largely unimpressed with the corner office or all the usual trappings that communicate status and rank. They prefer an open work environment that fosters collaboration and provides access to decision makers. Other appealing features to the workspace include common areas where they can enjoy informal conversations and meetings with coworkers. They also expect up to date technology.

Tell me to what you pay attention and I will tell you who you are.
Jose Ortega y Gasset

In 1924, Researchers in the Western Electric Hawthorne Plant near Chicago, Illinois were attempting to determine the effect that lighting and working conditions had on productivity. The researchers adjusted the lighting in a variety of ways and measured the impact on output. Each time the lighting was adjusted, productivity increased.  The employee's working conditions were also changed (i.e., hours, breaks) and productivity improved with each change. Interestingly, when the working conditions and lighting were returned to their original levels, absenteeism had plummeted and productivity was at its highest level. Keep reading...

This column is an excerpt from Crosbie and Rinner's new book, Your Invisible Toolbox. Crosbie will also speak at ABI's upcoming Connecting Statewide Leaders event in Okoboji, Aug. 3-4.
Top News
Robots, artificial intelligence and automation are reshaping Iowa's workforce 
  (Des Moines Register)  By 2025, nearly 70 percent of all jobs in Iowa will require some training beyond high school according to Georgetown University's Center on Education and the Workforce. Currently, only 58 percent of Iowans 25 to 64 have completed some education beyond high school.

Proof positive: Serving by the glass is a hit for Mississippi River Distilling Co. 
(QC Times)  Updated laws for Iowa distilleries went into affect on July 1 and they're helping driving fresh business to ABI members like Mississippi River Distilling and its new Cody Road Cocktail House.

Iowa Business Hall of Fame accepting nominations (Business Record)
The Greater Des Moines Committee is seeking nominations for this year's Iowa Business Hall of Fame class. The group annually honors Iowans who have made significant contributions to the state's business climate in December.
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