Legislative News
Computer Science Recommendations Released
A group that included legislators, community colleges, college professors, school administrators, teachers, representatives of school boards and technology companies recently released a series of recommendations aimed at enhancing computer science education in school districts across Iowa. The group was formed as a result of the passage of SF 274 during the 2017 legislative session. The new law encourages school districts to expand computer science education at all grade levels. ABI supported this legislation, which establishes computer science standards and sets up a professional development fund to help with the costs of implementing the measure. As the economy continues to move forward in this technological era, the group envisions computer science will eventually become a high school requirement for all students. Read the full report with their recommendations.
 
Apprenticeship Week is Next Week
Registered Apprenticeship Appreciation and Awareness Week will be Nov. 13-17. Gov. Kim Reynolds signed a proclamation on Nov. 2 to highlight the importance of registered apprenticeship training. Iowa is recognized as a leader when it comes to apprenticeship programs in the country with 846 active registered apprenticeship programs and 8,720 registered apprentices as of Nov. 2. Growth in apprenticeship programs is another way for employers to work to close the skills gap. Read the full news release.

Federal Spotlight -- Tax Reform Moves Forward
The House Ways & Means Committee began marking up the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act this week. The contents of the bill were released last week and set a frenzy of lobbying on Capitol Hill as interest groups seek to have their provisions protected during the markup of the legislation. Ways & Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-TX) released a new amendment to the bill on Monday that follows the changes Brady made to the bill last Friday. Read more about the amendment. According to estimates by the Tax Foundation , Iowa stands to gain 10,589 jobs over 10 years, and after-tax income for middle-income families is expected to climb $2,600 over 10 years if the bill becomes law. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act is expected to pass the Ways & Means Committee as early as this week, and a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives is expected next week. The Senate is expected to release their version of tax reform today, and some details have been leaked to the press.
 
ABI's Hyland Speaks at Fairfield Conference
ABI Director of Public Policy Jessica Hyland speaks today in Fairfield on a panel regarding economic development and water quality. Former Des Moines State Senator Jack Hatch and Joseph Bohlke from the Iowa Economic Development Authority on Clean Water-Livable Communities will join Hyland, an attorney with experience in water law. Hyland will also depart next week for the American Tort Reform Association (ATRA) national conference in Austin. ATRA is a national partner of ABI, and we work closely with the association on legislative initiatives that minimize frivolous lawsuits.
Webinar on Workforce
"Supporting Family Caregivers in the Workplace" Webinar is Nov. 14
AARP Iowa is collaborating with ABI to help employers understand and support employees who also serve as unpaid family caregivers. You're invited to join a webinar, "Supporting Family Caregivers in the Workplace," on Nov. 14 from 12-1 p.m. The webinar's goal is to identify practical tips and resources for employers to create a caregiving-friendly culture. Presenters will include Polly Heinen, assistant director of benefits at the Principal Financial Group, and Stephanie Gott, vice president of human resources at the Kreg Tool Company.  Learn more.
From the Desk of...
The State of the Association is Strong

Mike Ralston

This week, as ABI prepares for a series of meetings and events coming over the course of the next few weeks, the state of the association is strong. The association's award-winning public policy programs are enjoying incredible success, ABI Foundation programs are maintaining their strong start to the foundation's fiscal year and our membership work is solid and growing. Financially, ABI's balance sheet has never looked better for this time of the year.

All that is important only because it allows us to serve you, ABI members, with the tools and resources necessary to add to your bottom line. And that is itself important because it helps ABI members provide our state with some of the best jobs, with the best compensation and benefits, found anywhere in Iowa.  Keep reading...
Top News
Iowa ESGR to Host Civic Leader Event on Nov. 16
Business and community leaders are invited to attend a Civic Leader Event, Nov. 16, 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m., at the Iowa Army National Guard's Camp Dodge Joint Maneuver Training Center. Attendees will learn about the training capabilities at Camp Dodge, tour the facilities and experience military simulation training. Refreshments and lunch will be provided. Learn more and register.

CIRAS "The Future of Leadership Summit" is Nov. 16
Ever wonder how smart leaders make things happen? This executive briefing will explore the human dynamics of how change is made inside organizations. Participants will explore the role senior leaders play in any major transition and the patterns of success that are demonstrated when leaders are able to bring their strategies to full fruition. The summit is Nov. 16, 9 a.m.-4 p.m., at Prairie Meadows in Altoona.
Learn more .
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