Legislative News
Committees move legislation
House and Senate policy committees have moved several pieces of legislation out of subcommittees and full committees. The ABI public policy team attended 14 subcommittees this week on issues ranging from making permanent the Property Assessment Appeal Board (PAAB) and trespass liability to Iowa Prison Industries and utility maintenance vehicles, all on behalf of members. In addition to attending subcommittees, ABI's lobbyists followed bills through the committee process and worked with legislators to educate them on issues important to ABI members. Here are just a few highlights of bills that moved through the process this week:

HSB 35: Codifies common law as it relates to the liability of trespassers. Passed the House Judiciary Committee by a vote of 18-1 on Wednesday. A companion bill in the Senate,  SSB 1011, passed a Senate Judiciary subcommittee.
          Position: ABI supports
          Staff contact:  Jessica Harder

SSB 1026: Requires an apprentice to be a resident of Iowa for a company to obtain financial assistance awards from the Iowa Economic Development Authority. Passed the Senate State Government Committee on Wednesday.  HSB 40 passed the House Economic Growth Committee on Tuesday.
          Position: ABI supports
          Staff Contact:  Brad Hartkopf

HF 69: Increases the penalty and makes trespassing a scheduled fine. The goal is to deter individuals from trespassing on private property. The bill passed the House Judiciary Committee 19-0.
          Position: ABI supports
          Staff contact:  Jessica Harder

HSB 49: Relates to Iowa Prison Industries and competition with the private sector. Passed a House State Government subcommittee with amendment. Another bill, SF 165, was introduced in the Senate dealing with the same topic.
          Position: ABI supports
          Staff contact:  Brad Hartkopf

HF 2: Sets parameters for placement of global positioning device with an individual's knowledge. Bill still allows employers to use GPS on vehicles driven by employees. The bill passed the House Public Safety Committee with amendment this week.
          Position: ABI is undecided
          Staff contact: Nicole Crain, Jessica Harder, Brad Hartkopf

HSB 44: Makes permanent the Property Assessment Appeals Board (PAAB). The bill also makes changes to how an appeal is filed. The bill passed a House Ways and Means subcommittee Thursday morning.
          Position: ABI supports
          Staff contact:  Nicole Crain

Next ABI Legislative Update Teleconference is Friday, Feb. 10
Don't forget to sign up for the next ABI Legislative Update Teleconference. The call will take place Friday, Feb. 10 at 8 a.m. Friday is also the last day that individual legislators can request bill drafts. To participate in the call, RSVP to Michelle Vollstedt,   mvollstedt@iowaabi.org .

Iowa Senate introduces E-Verify
The Iowa Senate on Tuesday introduced SF 172, which requires Iowa employers who have more than 25 employees to participate in the federal E-Verify process. ABI was asked for feedback on this legislation and sent information to the ABI Employment and Workforce Committee. A subcommittee is expected to be scheduled soon.
          ABI position: ABI is undecided
          Staff contact:  Nicole Crain

Legislation to restrict employer property rights introduced
The Iowa House introduced HF 162 on Tuesday. The legislation, sponsored by Rep. Dean Fisher (R-Montour), would prevent employers from having a policy prohibiting employees from bringing guns into the parking lot of a workplace. In addition, the legislation includes contractors and volunteers who may be on an employer's property for a specific job. ABI has seen this legislation pop up in other states and heard concerns from many members on the Jan. 20 conference call.           
          ABI position: ABI is opposed
          Staff contact:  Nicole Crain

Critical legislation pending, speak with your lawmakers at a weekend forum
There are many important pieces of legislation pending at the Legislature that will affect you and your business. One way to stay involved is to attend a weekend forum and meet with your elected officials to tell them how you feel about specific pieces of legislation. See which legislators are hosting forums in your area: House RepublicansHouse DemocratsSenate RepublicansSenate Democrats. If you aren't able to attend a forum, make sure to contact your legislator via email or a quick phone call to provide feedback on issues or to thank them for their service. In order to pass key business reforms, legislators need to hear from you. For more information about how to communicate with your legislator contact Nicole Crain or Emily Schettler.

Federal spotlight: Take action on regulatory reform
The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) has sent an action alert to members encouraging individuals to contact their representatives in Congress on key regulatory issues. This week, the U.S. House will consider the repeal of several rules including:
  Click here to take action and let Congress know rules and regulations increase the cost of doing business and make it more difficult to manufacture in the United States.
Elevate accepting scholarship applications
Elevate Advanced Manufacturing is now accepting applications for its latest round of scholarships. In 2017, Elevate is offering $500 scholarships to Iowa high school seniors interested in studying a manufacturing-related career at one of Iowa's 15 community colleges. One award will be made per community college region.

Click here to see a copy of the application and share it with students you know who are interested in pursing a career in manufacturing! To learn more, visit www.elevateiowa.com.
From the Desk of...
Maximize the return on your ABI investment by attending our upcoming events

Mike Ralston
Iowa Association of Business and Industry

Around this time of year, people begin to finalize their plans to attend ABI's annual  Taking Care of Business Conference . If you haven't done that yet, you should. Registration opens on Feb. 22.

There is no better value in Iowa business meetings than the ABI conference. You will hear terrific speakers, see fabulous venues and enjoy great food, golf and fun. More importantly, you will find no better networking anywhere than that you find at the conference.

Attendees conduct a lot of business at the conference each year. Sales are made, vendors acquired and prospects developed. So, make your plans now and we will look forward to seeing you in Dubuque June 6-8.

That said, you make a big mistake if you believe that is the only high-value event ABI produces. The association is hosting valuable meetings and events all year long, all over Iowa.

Next week, the association's public policy staff will hold its second  legislative teleconference of the 2017 session. In March, ABI will host another in the popular  Connecting Statewide Leaders events (this one will be held at Kinnick stadium in Iowa City; a truly fabulous venue). Also in March,  Business Day on the Hill, the biennial  ABI Workers' Compensation seminar, and another  legislative teleconference will be held. Keep reading...
Top News
ABI board member Cindy Dietz recognized as MVP for Iowa STEM (Iowa STEM Advisory Council)
The Governor's STEM Advisory Council highlighted Dietz and Rockwell Collins for the company's role as a STEM advocate in its January newsletter.

Review Mercer survey results at upcoming events  (Mercer)
Mercer will unveil the results of its 2016 National Survey of Employer-Sponsored Health Plans at two upcoming events on Feb. 22 in Iowa City and Feb. 23 in Urbandale.

Grant funding available through Iowa Student Internship Program   (IEDA)
The Iowa Economic Development Authority has limited grant funding available for internships. Employers in the advanced manufacturing, IT and bioscience industries with 500 or fewer employees may be eligible. Funding is provided on a first-come, first-serve basis.

New tools available for Iowa communities to improve overall well-being  (Iowa Healthiest State Initiative)
A new program aims to engage communities of all sizes to improve their overall well-being. Communities can receive help from experts in identifying and implementing a single community priority or determining to undergo a complete community transformation to make healthy choices available and easy for residents to adopt. 
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