Legislative News
Final 2018 Priority and Policies Now on ABI Website
The Iowa Association of Business and Industry's 2018 priority and policies are now available on ABI's website. Following one of the most successful legislative sessions for the business community in recent memory, ABI saw record participation in our public policy process this summer from members who are looking to build on the results achieved in 2017.  After five public policy committee meetings and approval from the legislative committee and board of directors, ABI's top legislative priority for the 2018 legislative session is workforce. Whether it's a small, medium or large business in Iowa, the number one thing we hear from employers is increasing our skilled workforce is key to growing their businesses and the economy as a whole.  Keep reading.

ABI Policy Staff Prepares for New Session
ABI's policy staff has been busy out and around the state holding roundtables, meeting with legislators who will be involved in issues of importance to ABI members and meeting with other lobbyists who work closely on ABI legislative topics. In addition, ABI has been in discussions with executive agencies we work with throughout the session on business-related rules and legislation. Remember, the session is rapidly approaching, so the time to have pre-session meetings with legislators is now! The session officially kicks off Jan. 8. Don't forget, today is the early-bird registration deadline for the ABI Legislative Briefing and Reception on Jan 10!

2018 Legislative Session Issue Preview: Water Quality
Water quality legislation has been discussed as a priority for several years. This session could see additional action on bills aimed at implementing the nutrient reduction strategy and funding water quality infrastructure. ABI has established policy regarding water quality, its connection with quality of life and accountability for funding. Additionally, some industries are listed as point sources in the nutrient reduction strategy aimed at reducing nitrogen and phosphorus in Iowa waters and must comply with it to help achieve nutrient reductions. Keep reading.

Federal Spotlight: ABI Signs Letter in Support of Miscellaneous Tariff Act of 2017
ABI recently added our name to a letter in support of the Miscellaneous Tariff Act of 2017. Congress has not passed a Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (MTB) since 2012, and a host of businesses and business organizations are pushing Congress to pass this legislation in an expedient manner.  An MTB "eliminates border tariffs on imported products for which there is no or insufficient domestic production and availability." This legislation would allow manufacturers to increase their output by over $3.1 billion and eliminate $1.1 billion in import tariffs over the next three years according to the National Association of Manufacturers. Read the full letter .     

Invest in the Iowans For Jobs Initiative Today
2017 will be remembered as a legendary year for pro-jobs, pro-growth and pro-business legislation. ABI secured two historic victories for employers with workers' compensation reform and statewide preemption on wages and benefits. There were a total of 20 bills that ABI actively advocated for that were signed into law during the legislative session.  ABI is looking to continue our momentum. One way your company can help us do that is by investing in the Iowans For Jobs Initiative. Keep reading.
From the Desk of...
The Embezzler in the Next Cubicle: Is It Time for a Fraud Prevention Check-up?

Kristi Beckman, CFE
Mary Jane looked like many fraudsters: unremarkable. She was 40 years old; medium-length brown hair; short, unpolished nails; drab clothing. She was a faithful 16-year bookkeeper at ABC Manufacturing--a small, family-owned business. She and Tom, married since she was 19, had three children.
 
However, Mary Jane was anything but ordinary. Actually, she was extraordinary because the company discovered that in six years she had casually stolen more than $400,000 and had altered checks and credit card statements to conceal her embezzlement.  Keep reading.
Top News
CEC Makes SCN Magazine's Top 50 List for 11th Year in a Row
CEC in Hiawatha has been named to Systems Contractor News' Top 50 Systems Integrators list, which ranks projected systems integration revenue, for the 11th year in a row. Of the 50 companies on the list, CEC is also the longest-running integration firm recognized across the country.
 
Unite Private Networks to Hold "What is a Carrier Hotel?" Lunch and Learn
Nebraska Data Centers and Unite Private Networks invite you to learn how the unique advantages offered within a carrier hotel can improve network performance, reach and reliability. The lunch and learn will be Dec. 14, 11:30 a.m., at the Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery, 4508 University Ave., in West Des Moines. RSVP to Barbara Gipe at 515-344-2669 or barbara.gipe@upnfiber.com.

Don't Miss Out on Valuable 2017 MidAmerican Energy Rebates for Your Business
Year-end reminder: To qualify for 2017 rebates, purchased equipment must be invoiced by Dec. 31, 2017 and paid for prior to Feb. 1, 2018. Proof of payment may be required if application is received after Feb. 1, 2018. Installation of equipment must be completed and rebate application submitted within six months of the equipment invoice date.  Get more rebate information.

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 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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