Legislative News
First ABI legislative update call is TOMORROW!
The first legislative update call of the 2017 legislative session will be tomorrow morning (Friday, Jan. 20) at 8 a.m. If you would like to participate, please RSVP to Michelle Vollstedt, mvollstedt@iowaabi.org.

Regulatory reform hits the ground running at the Capitol
We are only two weeks into the legislative session and already seeing action concerning regulatory reform in both chambers. One bill under consideration,   Senate File 1 , requires a job impact statement from state agencies prior to approval of administrative rules. This may sound familiar. State agencies are required to do this now under an executive order issued by Gov. Terry Branstad. A subcommittee of the Senate Commerce Committee (chaired by Sen. Bill Anderson, R-Pierson) discussed the bill on Wednesday. ABI members have benefited from the governor's executive order, and ABI staff spoke in favor of the bill at the subcommittee. All three subcommittee members supported the bill. It now moves to the full Senate Commerce Committee. Keep reading...

Read More:  Iowa Senate seeks to track impact of regulations on jobs  (The Gazette)
Subcommittee discusses employee drug testing
Employee drug testing was discussed in a three-person subcommittee meeting this morning (Thursday). Currently, Iowa does not allow the use of hair for drug testing.   Senate File 32  seeks to expand the allowable methods to include hair. ABI staff attended the subcommittee meeting and spoke in favor of the legislation. Labor organizations and the ACLU are registered against the bill.

Federal spotlight: Supreme Court to take up NAM's WOTUS case
The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to take up a case brought forth by the National Association of Manufacturers challenging the Environmental Protection Agency's Waters of the U.S. (WOTUS) regulation.  The Washington Post reports that the court will not be considering the merits of the rule itself but will settle a dispute about the proper court in which challenges must be filed. NAM argued that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit, where multiple challenges had been consolidated, does not have the authority to hear such challenges and having them do so puts challengers in an "untenable position."  Click here to read more from NAM.

The Supreme Court also agreed to examine whether workers have the right to file class-action lawsuits against their employers. To read more on that case,  click here.

Federal spotlight: ABI joins letter urging regulatory accountability
ABI has signed onto a letter urging the U.S. Senate to consider and pass the Regulatory Accountability Act. The House passed   H.R. 5 the Regulatory Accountability Act (RAA), by a bipartisan vote of 238-183 and now the letter urges the Senate to do the same.

The letter states, "We believe that federal regulations should be narrowly tailored, supported by strong and credible data and evidence, and impose the least burden possible, while implementing congressional intent...The Senate has a unique chance to bring real structural reform to the way agencies adopt the most costly rules that fundamentally change our nation."

Postsecondary education report released
The Branstad/Reynolds administration this week unveiled a new state website that shows how prepared students are for success in postsecondary education and training upon graduation from public high schools in Iowa. Iowa's Postsecondary Readiness Report provides information and statistics on a number of important metrics, including:
  • student enrollment in college and career training
  • postsecondary remedial course-taking
  • postsecondary retention and completion
Click here to access the Postsecondary Readiness Report.
Specifically, the website provides the percentage of students who enroll in college or career training as well as remedial math and/or English courses at Iowa community colleges or public universities in the first year after high school graduation. Keep reading...
From the Desk of...
Small and Medium Sized Businesses Rapidly Adopting Cloud ERP Solutions

Tim Ernst
Partner, ERP Practice Group Leader 

According to a recent research report, small and medium sized companies will drive growth in the cloud enterprise resource planning (ERP) market over the next five years, focused around the banking, insurance and financial services sectors. Manufacturing will continue to hold a large portion of the cloud ERP market because of the process-driven nature of that industry.

Cloud-based ERP solutions offer small and medium sized businesses the same tools used by larger enterprises to monitor production, order processing and inventory management. It also allows for tracking resources like cash, raw materials, orders, and production capacity both within and outside a company's walls.
So often, businesses who grow rapidly end up with a hodgepodge of systems to handle their finances, inventory, online ordering and more internal functions like customer databases. Keep reading...
Top News
ABI Chair Lori Schaefer-Weaton shares hope for new presidency (Des Moines Register)
Schaefer-Weaton was one of three Iowans profiled for a story in the Des Moines Register and USA Today. 

Mediacom unveils 1 gig internet service in Iowa (KCCI)
Mediacom leaders said Wednesday the service in 300 cities across Iowa. Mediacom invested $1 billion to upgrade to the 1 gig service.

Attend Student and Parents Night at Kreg Tool on Jan. 26  (Kreg)
Kreg Tool, Elevate Advanced Manufacturing and Iowa Workforce Development are partnering to host a Student and Parents Night at Kreg Tool in Huxley, where attendees will learn about college planning, career opportunities in the manufacturing industry and tour Kreg Tool's facilities.

New video highlights manufacturing career opportunities in Clinton (Clinton Regional Development Corporation)
The Clinton Regional Development Corporation has created a new video to introduce students to careers offered in the Clinton region. The video highlights area manufacturers.

Registration opens for Iowa Employment Conference (Iowa Employment Conference)
The 2017 Spring Conference will take place April 5-6 in Altoona. The early bird registration rate runs through Feb. 28.

MidAmerican introduces BusinessAdvantage Bottom Line (MidAmerican Energy)
New MidAmerican program offers business customers customization and convenience.
Governor's Club Sponsors