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To foster a favorable business, economic, governmental and social climate within the State of Iowa so that our citizens have the opportunity to enjoy the highest possible quality of life.


Legislative News

Legislature proposes bill to couple with federal taxes, codify consumables
Two of ABI's legislative priorities passed the Ways and Means committees in both chambers Thursday morning. Both bills,  SF 2303 and  HSB 642, couple the state tax code with federal tax changes and codify the definition of replacement parts and consumables supplies for Iowa manufacturers.  Gov. Terry Branstad has also expressed support for the proposal.
There is a good possibility the Iowa Senate could debate the legislation on Monday and the House could take it up Tuesday, which is also Iowa Business Day on the Hill. If you haven't yet,  register now to join us at the Capitol next week in support of this and other important issues.  Keep reading... 

With second funnel complete, focus shifts to spending
All bills not related to tax and spending must have made it through one chamber and a committee in another in order to remain alive for the session. After the first funnel, several health care and employment mandates were still moving through the process; however, ABI successfully defeated several anti-business policy bills before they could slip through the second funnel. As always, the public policy team will keep watch for amendments and proposals that may affect your ability to employ people and do business in Iowa. Below is a list of proposals that did/did not survive the second funnel. 

For more information about the issues below, please contact a member of the ABI public policy team.

Key Bills
SF 2303 : Couples with Federal tax code, codifies consumables for manufacturers  (ABI supports)
HF 2392Modernizes career and technical education programs  (ABI supports)
HF 2288/ SF 2300Provides renewable chemical production tax credit  (ABI supports)
HF 2260Extends statewide penny sales tax for school infrastructure and addresses funding inequities  (ABI is monitoring)
SF 398Supports outreach and education for wage payment claims, requires written payroll information  (ABI is monitoring)
HF2431Levels playing field for micro-distillers  (ABI supports)
HF2382Gov. Terry Branstad's proposal to extend the statewide penny sales tax and designate a portion of the revenue for water quality  (ABI is monitoring)
SF2280Creates an enhance Iowa program to increase investment in quality of life initiatives (ABI supports)
HSB 617Provides exemption from Iowa income tax when companies bring employees to state to work on disaster recovery efforts (ABI supports)
SF 410As amended, mandates coverage of abuse-deterrent opioids at same cost as generics (ABI opposes)
SF 2218Provides guidelines for the possession and administration of emergency drugs as administered by first responders (ABI is monitoring)
SF 2154Makes adjustments requested by the Economic Development Authority (ABI is monitoring)

SF 2193Prohibits wage questions between employers and potential employees, increases litigation and establishes an equal pay task force. (ABI opposes)
SF 2240Ban the Box: Prevents employers from inquiring about an applicant's criminal background on an application. (ABI opposes)
SF 2252Requires employers to provide accommodations for expecting and new mothers. Legislation expands initial SF 313 to change burden of proof in cases and makes companies vulnerable to frivolous lawsuits. (ABI opposes)
SF 2243Requires employers to provide paid time off for prenatal care to full and part-time employees (ABI opposes)
SF 2204Requires health insurance plans to cover eating disorder treatment (ABI opposes)
SF 2254Requires employer health insurance plans with more than 50 employees to cover autism treatment. (ABI opposes)
SF 2274Outlines a process for debarment of contracts with state agencies (ABI is monitoring)
SF 2251 Relates to the regulation of anhydrous ammonia tanks and establishing task force (ABI is monitoring)
SF 2121Establishes database at the Iowa Utilities Board to track proprietary energy usage and make available to local governments, entities and individuals doing energy research (ABI opposes)
SF 2034Establishes a minimum solar energy purchasing standard (ABI opposes)
HF 2246Mandates paid sick and safe time for employees (ABI opposes)

2016 is a critical year, make your IIPAC donation now
Did you know the filing deadline for statewide elected officials is next Friday, March 18? ABI's political action committee, IIPAC, supports candidates who in turn support pro-business issues such as property tax reform and protecting employers from frivolous lawsuits and expensive health care mandates. The bad-for-business bills listed above illustrate the importance of having allies at the Statehouse looking out for Iowa businesses and employees.
IIPAC plays a critical role in ensuring we have those allies in the coming years. However, anti-business PACs currently outraise IIPAC  five to one.
We need your help. Will you pledge $100 to help elect pro-business candidates? Click here to donate now. Keep reading...

Iowa Utilities Board approves Bakken pipeline
The Iowa Utilities Board on Thursday unanimously approved a permit for the Dakota Access pipeline, which would transport oil from the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota to Patoka, Ill. Iowa is the final state to approve the pipeline construction. Keep reading...
Administrative rules committee continues to meet
ABI has had several issues that affect members come before the Administrative Rules Review Committee since the end of the 2015 legislative session. Keep reading...

From the Desk of...Amanda Jansen, Attorney, BrownWinick Law Firm

Whose employees are they anyway? DOL issues guidance on joint-employer liability

On January 20, 2016, the Wage & Hour Division of the Department of Labor issued an Administrator's Interpretation  providing a roadmap to liability in "situations where more than one business is involved in the work being performed." A very common example of this is construction projects where work is being performed by laborers and tradesmen, and various businesses are "involved"-i.e., a general contractor and various subcontractors. Even though all parties in such a situation probably consider the laborers to be employees of their respective subcontractors (and therefore, the subcontractors'  responsibility with respect to proper payment of overtime), the DOL now says it's not so simple. 
Instead, in considering which company is (or which companies are) responsible for paying workers overtime, we are supposed to "determine whether, as a matter of economic reality, the employee is economically dependent on the potential joint employer." How do we do that?  By applying another multi-factor test, of course! Keep reading...
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Did you miss the Monday Memo from ABI President Mike Ralston? For the most recent memo click  here.

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