Legislative News
Workplace safety and economic development bills signed into law
Gov. Terry Branstad has 30 days to review the bills that were approved by the Legislature in the final days of the 2017 session. The governor must take action on all bills by April 22. Although the budget bills have yet to be signed into law, Gov. Branstad did sign several pieces of legislation this week, including a few that ABI supported.

  SF32:  This bill allows employers to use hair for pre-employment drug testing. There was bipartisan support for this bill in the Legislature and this gives employers another tool when it comes to keeping the workplace safe. ABI has advocated to allow employers this option for several years and hope companies who use hair testing in other states for prospective employees will be able to take advantage of this in Iowa now as well. The bill will go into effect July 1, 2017.

  HF607: This is the alcohol omnibus bill. It levels the playing field and allows distillers to sell their product by the glass on site. Breweries and wineries were already allowed to do this. The bill also allows more bottles to be sold to customers and increases the production cap. ABI has supported different versions of this bill for the last few years and are pleased to see its passage which will help keep jobs in Iowa and also encourage tourism in small to mid-sized communities around the state. This legislation will also go into effect July 1, 2017.

Read more: Craft distilleries toast new Iowa law   (Quad Cities Times)

Get ready for ABI's DC fly in
ABI's public policy team is busy planning a packed agenda for the fall D.C. fly in, a benefit exclusive to ABI members. The trip is planned for October 2-4 and will include congressional visits, networking and important updates from our national affiliates on federal policies that affect your business. We already have a great group signed up, but we still have room for you to join. Contact Nicole Crain at  ncrain@iowaabi.org  by  May 22  to sign up for this important trip.

ABI will host Regional Public Policy Meeting in Sioux City May 24
The ABI public policy team continued to travel across the state this week providing ABI members with a comprehensive overview of the 2017 legislative session and asking for input for 2018 policy issues. If you have not yet participated in a regional meeting, you have one more opportunity to do so. ABI will host a meeting at the Siouxland Chamber of Commerce offices on Wednesday, May 24. Lunch will be provided at this no-cost, high-value event, be we do ask that you register.  Click here to register.

Election Update: Iowa Democratic field for governor expands
With more than a year until the June 2018 primary, the Democratic field for the party's nomination for governor continues to expand. This week, Des Moines businessman Fred Hubbell announced he is exploring a run for the Democratic nomination for governor. He joins at least six other candidates in a crowded Democratic field to try to unseat current Lt. Gov. Kim Reynolds, who will be Iowa's first woman governor after Gov. Terry Branstad is confirmed as ambassador to China. 

An analysis of the gubernatorial field will be included in IIPAC's second quarter newsletter, which will be published next month. If you have not yet received IIPAC's first quarter newsletter, contact Nicole Crain,  ncrain@iowaabi.org , to find out who you can receive these valuable publications moving forward.

Time is running out to be recognized at ABI's annual conference
Many of you give generously year after year to ABI's political action committee, IIPAC. If you haven't had done so this year, now is the time to donate. ABI is hosting exclusive events for Gold and Platinum IIPAC investors at next month's ABI conference that you will not want to miss.

Contributions must be made by Friday, May 26 to be recognized at the conference, June 6-8 in Dubuque.  Donate now to make sure your influence is not only felt through IIPAC's support of pro-business candidates, but also recognized by hundreds of your fellow Iowa business colleagues.   Click here to donate.

Federal Spotlight: Foreign Relations Committee approves Branstad
In last week's  newsletter, you read about Gov. Terry Branstad's hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. This week, Gov. Branstad's nomination cleared the Senate Foreign Relations Committee by a voice vote on Tuesday. The governor cruised through his hearing last week and his nomination could be voted on by the full Senate as early as next week.
Read more: Branstad breezes through Senate committee on China post  
Don't miss out on early bird savings!
Time is running out to take advantage of the final early bird discount on registration to the ABI Taking Care of Business Conference, June 6-8 in Dubuque! Register by Friday, May 19 to save $100. Click here to sign up now and join us for unrivaled networking opportunities, world-class speakers and learning opportunities for your entire team!
From the Desk of...
Ransomware: Is your organization prepared?

Rob Griffith
Account Associate

Do you remember the movies or TV shows where someone was kidnapped and the kidnappers left a ransom note? Similar to this in the cyber world is a constantly evolving and growing threat called ransomware. Ransomware is a form of malware software that "kidnaps" access to your network, applications, or data until a certain amount of money is paid by the victim.
It does this by encrypting certain data, so you can't get to the information, or blocks access to systems and applications. Ransomware usually infects your computer or device with a Trojan virus from phishing emails or malicious programs on a website. Once it is installed, a ransom message usually pops up when the user restarts their device. Ransomware is the new virus, as hackers have primarily shifted away from servers and on to endpoints. In general, endpoint users are typically less technical and have different levels of trust.

All organizations, large and small, need to be prepared for ransomware attacks, and should have a comprehensive strategy to reduce their risk of being impacted. Keep reading...
Top News
Facebook breaks ground on biggest Altoona data center building yet  (Des Moines Register)
Facebook has broken ground on a 1 million-square-foot data center building in Altoona, the biggest yet at the company's central Iowa campus.

Vernon Co., family celebrate 115 years in business (Newton Daily News)
The Newton Daily News has a great feature on the history and evolution of the Vernon Co., which is celebrating its 115th anniversary.

Casey's pilot project adds more ethanol blends of gas at some stores (Radio Iowa)
Casey's General Stores has announced it will begin offering the higher ethanol blends of E15 and E85 at 17 sites in Iowa, Illinois and Kansas.
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