Legislative News
Workers' compensation rates decrease due to reform legislation
The National Council on Compensation Insurance this week proposed lowering the workers' compensation rate in Iowa. The filing delivered to the Iowa Insurance Division proposes an overall average rate change of -3.9 percent to become effective July 1, 2017 for new and renewal policies in the voluntary and assigned risk market.

This filing is a direct result of the enactment of a workers' compensation reform bill ABI advocated for during the 2017 legislative session. The reform was ABI's top priority and provided much needed reforms to Iowa's workers' compensation system. The new law takes effect July 1, 2017. A comprehensive section by section of the enrolled bill can be found  here. The full details on the rate filing can be found  here.

Des Moines and Atlantic public policy meetings on May 9
The ABI public policy team will be in Des Moines and Atlantic on Tuesday, May 9, to provide a comprehensive review of the 2017 legislative session and begin discussions on priorities for the next year.

There is no cost to attend, but registration is encouraged.  Click here to join us in Des Moines.  Click here to join us in Atlantic.

Two regional meetings were held earlier this week in Muscatine and Fairfield. Don't miss your chance to get the latest information on ABI's legislative accomplishments and to give input on policies you think ABI should engage in next year.   Sign up now to join us at an upcoming regional meeting in Des Moines, Atlantic, Sioux City or Waterloo.

Make your IIPAC contribution now to be recognized at ABI conference
Show off your commitment to fostering a pro-growth economy in Iowa during the upcoming Taking Care of Business Conference. IIPAC contributors will be recognized for their investments during the event and receive access to exclusive IIPAC events.  Click here to donate today.

IIPAC investors have a lot to celebrate following the most successful legislative session business advocates have seen in a decade. In order to ensure pro-jobs, pro-growth lawmakers can continue to serve us in the Iowa Legislature, we need your support.   Make your IIPAC contribution now.

All IIPAC contributors who donate more than $100 will receive a sticker on their name badge at the conference. All donors will be recognized with signage in the main conference room. If you want to learn more about the IIPAC donor levels and opportunities to become a Platinum IIPAC investor, contact Nicole Crain,  ncrain@iowaabi.org.



Federal Spotlight: House to vote on American Health Care Act today
The U.S. House of Representatives is set to vote on a repeal and replacement of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) today. The American Health Care Act, crafted by Republicans, will bring many changes to the health care system. The bill does the following:
  • Eliminates many costly taxes imposed by the current ACA
  • Eliminates the individual mandate to buy health insurance
  • Allows states to apply for waivers concerning pre-existing conditions
The vote is set to take place after compromises were made and agreed to between the conservative and moderate wings of the GOP. With the uncertainty in the healthcare market and the last of Iowa's insurers expected to leave the ACA exchange, something needs to be done. To contact your elected official about the the American Health Care Act, click here.

Federal Spotlight: Governor Branstad one step closer to China
Gov. Terry Branstad traveled to Washington this week for a committee hearing concerning his nomination as U.S Ambassador to China. On Tuesday, he sat in front of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee where members asked a wide range of questions concerning the topics of North Korea, trade, human rights, intellectual property theft, and opioid shipments from China. The two hour hearing went well for the governor as he received praise from senators on both sides of the aisle for his knowledge about the issues currently facing U.S-China relations. Keep reading...

ABI's digital success on display at Ready to Run seminar
ABI Communications Director Emily Schettler spoke about ABI's success in digital marketing and offered advice on social media use during a recent Ready to Run event hosted by the Carrie Chapman Catt Center for Women in Politics at Iowa State University. The event attracted more than 100 individuals interested in running for elected office. The program has seen a record number of participants in 2017. Read more about it  here.
Rediscover Dubuque during ABICON17
ABI is thrilled to return to Dubuque and northeast Iowa for the 2017 Taking Care of Business Conference! This vibrant city along the Mississippi River last hosted the ABI conference in 2011. This year's conference offers several opportunities for attendees to get more acquainted with the city and the businesses that call Dubuque and northeast Iowa home. Sign up now before space is full!

Building Dubuque Tour: Participants will explore the transformation and history of some Dubuque icons, including Hotel Julien Dubuque, University of Dubuque and Flexsteel.

Dubuque History Tour: This progressive lunch tour takes participants through some of Dubuque's most beautiful historic sites, including Mathias Ham House, St. Mary's Church and the Mandolin Inn. 

Industry tours: These are popular feature of every conference. Get a behind-the-scenes look at local manufacturers, including Geater Manufacturing and Machining, John Deere Dubuque Works, AY McDonald Mfg. Co., and Progressive Processing (Hormel). 
From the Desk of...
Join hundreds of ABI members already signed up for the 2017 Taking Care of Business Conference

Mike Ralston
President 
Iowa Association of Business and Industry

As you read this column, the 2017 Taking care of Business Conference, ABI's 114 th  annual gathering, is a month away. Ladies and gentlemen, it will be a terrific event and believe me when I say you do not want to miss it.

Dubuque is a fabulous river city, eager to host ABI members from across the state. Officials there have been working with our organization for well over a year to ensure a truly world-class meeting is experienced by every attendee. Exciting new venues, fantastic nationally-known speakers, golf at one of the nation's finest resorts, and absolutely the very best business networking in Iowa are yours for the taking when you join us in Dubuque June 6-8. If you haven't yet done so (and literally hundreds of you already have), go now to  www.iowaabi.org and register for this event!

Related to the conference, people ask all the time if ABI staff members are busy getting ready for it. The answer is yes. But ABI is involved so much more than simply one event.

For instance, this week, a typical week for ABI, our association is hosting a series of meetings and events. Two regional public policy meetings, a teleconference regarding ABI's Elevate Advanced manufacturing initiative, two separate events for the ABI Board of Directors, a meeting of the Executive Committee, a siting discussion related to the 2019 annual conference, a three-day session for the Leadership Iowa class, and other member and foundation meetings and programs... all of that is happening just this week. Keep reading...
Top News
Agri-Industrial Plastics featured in Plastics Technology magazine 
(Plastics Technology)  Leaders at Agri-Industrial Plastics say there are four ingredients to their success, including a fearlessness in taking on challenging new technologies, a readiness to invest and an outstanding group of employees.

ABI President Mike Ralston interviewed on Advanced Manufacturing Podcast   (AMP)
ABI President Mike Ralston sat down with Gabriel Glynn for an interview on the Advanced Manufacturing Podcast recently. The two discussed Mike's career and his path to ABI, as well how ABI has evolved over time and the organization's commitment to manufacturing and trades.

Creighton University business survey finds solid Midwest Growth  (Radio Iowa)
A survey of business owners and supply managers across Iowa and eight other Midwestern states finds the economies in Iowa and in the region are healthy and expanding. 
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