Legislative News
New State Senator Elected in Senate District 3
State Representative Jim Carlin (R-Sioux City) defeated Democrat Todd Wendt in a special election for Senate District 3 on Tuesday. Unofficial results from the Secretary of State's website show Carlin won with 3,591 votes compared to Wendt's 2,988 votes. The election was called due to former State Senator Bill Anderson resigning his seat . Carlin's victory means that Senate Republicans will continue to hold 29 seats going into the 2018 legislative session. Democrats currently hold 20 seats, along with one Independent. The result of the election also creates a vacancy for House District 6 with a special election to be held in the coming weeks.
Bossman Announces Candidacy for House District 6
With the election of Rep. Carlin to the Iowa Senate, another special election must be called to fill the vacant Iowa House seat. Jacob Bossman (R-Morningside) announced his candidacy Wednesday afternoon. Bossman works as a regional director for U.S. Senator Charles Grassley. The date for the special election has not yet been set. Watch for more information in future newsletters. Read the Sioux City Journal article about his candidacy

Secretary of State Finalizes Rule
The Administrative Rules Review Committee gave the go-ahead Tuesday to the Secretary of State's business fee increase rule. After diligent work by ABI, the rule was modified from its original version to ensure the fee increases only go toward funding business technology upgrades, not other functions of the Secretary of State like elections. Additionally, the fee increases are now set to expire in 2022. At the same time, statutory language passed last session requires the technology fund, into which the new fees will flow, to sunset. Keep reading.

2018 Legislative Session Issue Preview: Unemployment Insurance Trust Fund
Each year ABI works to defend the Unemployment Insurance (UI) Trust Fund, an account funded by employers used to pay unemployment benefits to unemployed Iowa workers who lose their job through no fault of their own.  ABI has strong policy on defending and protecting the integrity of this somewhat obscure, but very important trust fund. While it's well known by employers, many other don't know the fund is paid for by Iowa employer taxes. About 40,000 Iowa businesses pay into the fund. In Iowa, more than half of businesses have a zero percent rate, which means they don't have any experience with the system. Keep reading.

Nutrient Reduction Strategy Progress Report Released
The Iowa Department of Natural Resources, the Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship and Iowa State University unveiled an annual report of the Iowa Nutrient Reduction Strategy this week. Keep reading.

ABI Testifies at Governor's Budget Hearing
ABI President Mike Ralston testified Tuesday afternoon at Gov. Reynolds' public budget hearing. Ralston thanked Gov. Reynolds for her leadership on workforce initiatives and encouraged continued funding for skilled jobs. ABI is committed to working with the administration to advance public-private programs and policies that help get Iowans of all ages skilled and employed. Keep reading.

ABI Attends SBA Meeting with Gov. Reynolds
Wednesday morning,   ABI Senior Vice President of Public Policy Nicole Crain   had the opportunity to listen to Iowa small businesses share with Gov. Reynolds and Linda McMahon, the Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the challenges of doing business. Healthcare and taxes were the top issues followed by regulations that affect different industries. Administrator McMahon visited Iowa as part of her nationwide listening tour. Keep reading .

Monthly Members-only Legislative Calls Set for 2018
ABI is pleased to announce we will once again have monthly members-only legislative conference calls while the Legislature is in session. The calls will occur on Friday mornings at 8 a.m. To participate, please contact Michelle Vollstedt . The calls will be held on the following dates: January 12, February 16, March 16 and April 20. The purpose of the calls is to provide a brief legislative update and answer any questions members may have. Thank you, Alliant Energy, for your support of ABI's monthly calls.

REC Projects Challenges to Fiscal Year 2018
The Revenue Estimating Conference (REC) announced on Monday the Legislature will likely have to cut between $45 million and $90 million for the current fiscal year budget when it reconvenes in January. The REC is projecting a budget of $7.235 billion for FY18, which is a slight decrease from previous projections. The current budget projection for FY19, which begins on July 1, 2018, is set at $7.527 billion--representing 4% growth from the FY18 budget. Keep reading.

Federal Spotlight: House and Senate Come to Tax Reform Deal
The House and the Senate have come to a preliminary deal on a tax reform package. Members of the two chambers have been in a conference committee working to settle their differences. A vote is most likely to be held next week. The deal is not yet finalized, but here is what we know right now.

Federal Spotlight: House Introduces ACA Tax Relief Bills
Members of the House Ways and Means Committee introduced multiple bills aimed at delaying the implementation of several of the taxes associated with the Affordable Care Act this week. Some of the changes to the existing taxes include the following. Keep reading.
From the Desk of...
How Can ABI Help You and Your Business?

Mike Ralston
That question-and delivering on the answer(s) to the question-drive our work at the association and is really what ABI is all about.

For any organization that's 114 years old such as ABI, things tend to ebb and flow over time. Unless action is taken, there will be a lot more ebbing than flowing and ultimately, the organization won't be in a position to be successful.

Thankfully for you, as an ABI member, the association's board of directors and former chairs of the board provide leadership that ensures ABI will be successful. The board develops a plan each year and focuses on results. Thanks to that leadership and that focus, ABI knows at all times whether or not it's achieving success.  Keep reading.
Top News
IIC Releases Recommendations to Support Innovation, Growth and Competitiveness in Manufacturing
The Iowa Innovation Council recently released  recommendations  to support innovation, growth and competitiveness in the manufacturing industry. The strategies focus on enterprise leadership, market and product development, technology, productivity and workforce. The IIC developed the strategies as part of former Gov. Terry Branstad's 2017 Year of Manufacturing Initiative. In 2018, the IIC's AM Workgroup will develop a plan to implement the recommendations and finalize indicators to measure GDP growth progress.

Ambassador Branstad to Speak at Iowa-China Business Forum on Dec. 22
The Iowa-China Business Forum will be held Dec. 22, 9 a.m.-1 p.m., at the Embassy Club, 666 Grand Avenue, in Des Moines. At the forum, Ambassador Terry Branstad will address new challenges and opportunities of U.S.-China business relations after President Trump's China visit and the Chinese Party's 19th Congress. Learn more about the event.
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