Legislative News
Proposed workers' compensation rates decrease for 2018
The Iowa Insurance Division recently provided notice of an additional reduction in workers' compensation premiums by 8.7%. The reduction is for voluntary and assigned risks beginning on January 1, 2018 for new and renewal policies. This is in addition to the 3.9% mid-year decrease as a result of the workers' compensation reform legislation that was signed into law this past legislative session. To see the analysis of the rate filing click here. Keep reading to see the proposed changes in voluntary rate level by industry group 
   
Make your voice heard 
ABI members have benefited greatly from the workers' compensation reforms of 2017. In addition to workers' compensation reforms, there were several pieces of legislation that passed that directly benefit Iowa employers and the thousands of individuals they employ. ABI's PAC, IIPAC has not yet met the fundraising goal for 2017. Please consider donating to IIPAC today. For more information about IIPAC, please contact Nicole Crain at ncrain@iowaabi.org
 
ABI member participation needed: Iowa Workforce Development Board
ABI is seeking member volunteers to apply to serve on the reorganized Workforce Development Board. The composition of the board has changed dramatically due to the result of HF572 being passed and signed into law this past legislative session. Individuals who serve as business representatives must be employed by companies who have in-demand industry sectors or occupations. Keep reading...  
 
Take Action: Help support the Iowa biodiesel industry
The EPA recently proposed no increase in the 2019 Biomass-Based Diesel volume and  reduced the 2018 Advanced Biofuel volume by 40 million gallons under the federal Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS). The biomass-based diesel industry is at a critical time and the recent EPA Renewable Volume Obligation (RVO) was a new blow to growth.
 
If you would like to support Iowa biodiesel with comments, go to advocacy.regi.com and register as a biodiesel advocate. This easy online registration process will allow you to select a comment template based on your interests. You can review, edit, and e-sign the letter which is sent in this short, easy process.
 
Federal Spotlight: Iowa officials hold town hall meetings 
ABI members are fortunate to have local, state and federal elected officials who want to hear from employers. This month, members of Iowa's Congressional delegation are back in the state for August recess. Many officials are hosting town halls in their districts for constituents to voice their opinion on proposed policies. If you haven't yet had the opportunity to speak with your representative, now is a perfect time to do so. U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley will be hosting a slate of town hall meetings open to the public over the course of the next few weeks. You can click here to see his schedule. Senator Grassley holds constituent meetings in all 99 counties each year and has done so every year he has been in the Senate.
 
Federal Spotlight: ABI joins national tax reform letter
ABI has signed on to a letter sent to Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin that encourages pro-growth tax reform to be enacted at the federal level. The letter, written by the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM), centers around the tax treatment of offshore earnings in moving to a territorial tax system. It calls for a "two-rate approach in taxing foreign earnings that distinguishes between short-term cash reserves and income reinvested in other assets." You can read the full letter here. Comprehensive tax reform is a top priority for the business community as well as Congress and the Administration. Lawmakers are expected to begin work on the subject once they return from August recess. 
From the Desk of...
Jim Hanks, Shareholder
Ahlers & Cooney, P.C.
jhanks@Ahlerslaw.com

PERB Emergency Rules Regarding Union Retention and Recertification Elections
 
On July 20 and 24, the Iowa Public Employment Relations Board (PERB) held public meetings to receive comments and questions on drafted emergency administrative rules addressing union retention and recertification elections created by the February 17, 2017 amendments to Chapter 20. Several union representatives attended these meetings and offered public comment. Ahlers & Cooney attorneys attended both PERB meetings and provided input from the public employer's perspective. Ultimately, PERB approved its draft administrative rules. These rules will be considered by the legislative Administrative Rules Review Committee on August 4. Ahlers & Cooney will continue to monitor the status of these emergency rules.  
 
Employers Must File Collective Bargaining Agreements with PERB
Section 20.29(2) of the Iowa Code requires that public employers file a copy of a collective bargaining agreement with PERB within ten days of entering into the agreement with the union. If an employer fails to file a collective bargaining agreement with PERB, the agency will presume the maximum permitted duration of an agreement for the purposes of scheduling a retention and recertification election (five years for most units) unless the employer subsequently submits a collective bargaining agreement that allows PERB to conduct an earlier election. Keep reading... 
 
Top News
Sukup Manufacturing Company announces Ames office (Sukup News) 
Sukup Manufacturing Co. announced today that it will open an office location in the Iowa State University Research Park in Ames, Iowa. The office will be open after September 1, 2017.
 
Students gain experience, business finds employees with DMACC, Accumold Partnership Program (WHO.tv)
From the White House to the State Capitol, leaders are trying to fill what are known as the middle skill jobs. "More than 60% of all Iowa jobs require more than  a high school degree, but no more than a one or two year education.  We call them middle skill jobs.  I call them great jobs," said DMACC President Rob Denson.
 
United Technologies makes bid for Rockwell (CBJ Morning Rush)
United Technologies Corp. has submitted an offer for Rockwell Collins, Reuters reports, setting the stage for what could be one of the industry's largest deals ever.
 
Iowa City's Peninsula gets a new neighborhood store (Corridor Business Journal) 
The Neighborhood Market is now open in Iowa City's Peninsula neighborhood, offering grocery and household items to residents of the distant development. 
 
Governor's Club Sponsors