Legislative News
Governor's Future Ready Iowa Legislation Introduced
The Iowa Senate on Thursday introduced SSB 3087 , the Governor's Future Ready Iowa legislation. Workforce is ABI's number one priority for 2018, and we look forward to working with the Legislature on this proposed bill.

Highlights of SSB 3087 include:
  • Establishes a Future Ready Iowa registered apprenticeship program to incentivize small- and medium-sized apprenticeship sponsors with 20 or fewer apprentices to establish new or additional eligible apprenticeable occupations in an existing apprenticeship sponsor's apprenticeship program
  • Establishes a volunteer mentoring program within the Commission on Volunteer Service to support implementation of the Future Ready Iowa goals
  • Establishes a pilot program for at-risk youth to provide summer internship opportunities geared toward exploration of and preparation for high-demand careers
  • Establishes the Iowa employer innovation program to expand opportunities for credit and noncredit education and training leading to high-demand jobs for the residents of Iowa. The program's goal is to encourage Iowa employers, community leaders and others to provide leadership and support for regional workforce talent pools throughout the state. The program also includes match funding opportunities, dependent upon general fund appropriations
  • Establishes a last dollar scholarship program and a skilled workforce grant program to financially support Iowans who need workforce training
Gov. Reynolds focused on workforce challenges--even before taking the oath of office. ABI members served on the Future Ready Iowa Alliance, and ABI joined then Lt. Gov. Reynolds at a press conference to speak about the need. The Alliance was instrumental in developing recommendations that shaped the Future Ready Iowa bill.

Water Quality Legislation Sent to Governor
Before session began, Gov. Reynolds said she hoped water quality would be the first bill she signed as Governor. Not only will it be her first to sign, it was also the first bill to be debated in the House. With the passage of SF 512, a priority of each chamber and the Governor was accomplished. Keep reading.

The Legislative Session is in Full Swing
The third week of the legislative session has concluded, and ABI's public policy team has been working hard representing members' interests at the Capitol. More than 300 bills have already been filed this session, and ABI attended over 20 subcommittee meetings this week. Read more about the bills ABI is tracking right now.

Iowa Caucuses to Be Held Monday, Feb. 5
Most of the excitement around the Iowa Caucuses occurs during a presidential election year. Iowa's first-in-the-nation status brings media and candidates to the state during the cold winter months. What many Iowans may not realize is caucuses are held every two years. Caucuses aren't merely a presidential straw poll, but an event where political parties nominate delegates to serve at its conventions and establish the party's policy platforms. Four years ago, Iowa Republicans in the 3rd District had the opportunity to see the caucus to convention play out when Congressman David Young was ultimately picked as the party's nominee by a vote of the delegates. There is a chance Iowa Democrats may be in the same situation this year if none of the gubernatorial candidates reach 35 percent in the primary. Keep reading.

ABI Members Invited to Waverly Legislative Roundtable
On Friday, March 2, ABI members are invited to have breakfast and hear from Sen. Craig Johnson, who represents Waverly in the Iowa Senate. Sen. Johnson is also the floor manager of the Governor's Future Ready Iowa legislation, which is focused on addressing the workforce challenges in Iowa. Rep. Sandy Salmon has also been invited. The event will be at United Equipment Accessories in Waverly. This event is open to ABI members, and there's no cost to attend. For more details about the event, click here . Please RSVP to  Michelle Vollstedt by Wednesday, Feb. 28. 

Registration Open: Business Day on the Hill
Registration for the 2018 Business Day on the Hill is now open. ABI is partnering with the Iowa Chamber Alliance, the National Association of Women Business Owners and the National Federation of Independent Business. The event will be held at ABI headquarters on Tuesday, March 13 and will begin at 8:30 a.m. The morning will start with a legislative update from the public policy teams of each organization and a guest speaker. After the briefings, transportation will be provided to take ABI members to and from the Capitol. Keep reading.

Federal Spotlight: Government Shutdown Ends After Three Days
The federal government, which partially shut down early Saturday morning, has been reopened after a compromise was reached between Senate Democrats and Republicans. The three-day impasse occurred as Democrats in the Senate insisted on attaching Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) legislation to any type of continuing resolution moving forward. The Senate voted 81-19 to approve a short-term CR through Feb. 8. The House voted 260-155. President Trump signed the measure Monday evening. Keep reading.

Federal Spotlight: High Court Remands WOTUS to District Court
The United States Supreme Court ruled earlier this week that district courts have jurisdiction versus appellate courts when it comes to legal challenges in regards to the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. The ruling, which was unanimous, is a big win for business as a new definition of the rule is being contemplated by the current Environmental Protection Agency. WOTUS was established in 2015 during President Obama's second term. It vastly expanded the definition of navigable waters, which included anything from drainage ditches to lakes and rivers. 

Deputy Ag Secretary Mike Naig Confirmed for NAFTA Event Feb. 9
In addition to U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst, we're excited to announce Iowa's Deputy Secretary for Agriculture, Mike Naig, will speak at the NAFTA event on Friday, Feb. 9. This event--co-hosted by ABI, the Greater Des Moines Partnership, Iowa Farm Bureau and U.S. Chamber--is a great opportunity to hear from elected officials and Iowa business leaders about the importance of NAFTA to Iowa's economy. The forum will begin at 10 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 9 at the ABI office and goes until noon. Click here for the full agenda. Be sure to RSVP for this can't-miss event by contacting Michelle Vollstedt.
From the Desk of...
Helping Injured Employees Return to Work

Juli Jenkins, SCLA

As an employer, you're focused on the needs of your business. So when an employee becomes injured and unable to work, you make adjustments to ensure that employee's job responsibilities are being handled. It's understandable and necessary, but have you also considered the needs of the injured employee?

Many employees struggle while recovering from an injury and the subsequent return-to-work process.  The good news is there are things employers can do to help. Keep reading.
Top News
Scholarships Available for Iowa High School Seniors Interested in Manufacturing Careers
Elevate Advanced Manufacturing is offering 15 $500 scholarships to Iowa high school seniors interesting in studying a manufacturing-related career at one of Iowa's 15 community colleges. One award will be made per college region. The application deadline is March 2.  Download the application .

"The Journey to Your Vision" Seminar for Top Decision-makers to Be Held March 9 in Pella
Iowa Farm Bureau's Renew Rural Iowa will present "The Journey to Your Vision" seminar on March 9 in Pella. Every business faces peaks and valleys as it progresses through stages of growth. Do you know what stage your business is in and how you can reach the next level? Attend this valuable seminar to stack the odds in your favor by understanding the stages of business growth, their unique challenges and methods to overcome them. The seminar is complimentary, but pre-registration is required. Visit  http://bit.ly/2DDDyX7 for more information and to register.

Complimentary Tax Review Available to ABI Members
Every business in the country will be impacted by tax reform in one way or another, and some of the new provisions are creating more questions than answers. Proactive accounting and tax planning will be essential as we move through 2018 and beyond. Manufacturers who are still unsure or have been putting off thinking about how tax reform will affect them can get some answers now with Honkamp Krueger's TaxGap Review. In this review, HK considers your current situation and the impact tax reform could have and seeks to uncover any hidden opportunities. It's a no-obligation, complimentary review. ABI board member Jack Hasken of Jackson Mfg., Inc. recently went through the review; read about his experience and get more information.

Agri-Industrial Plastics: Seventh Co-extrusion Blow Molding Machine Begins Production
Agri-Industrial Plastics Co.'s new six-layer, continuous co-extrusion (coex) blow molding machine is officially up and running. The Kautex KBSmart120 machine will manufacture low-perm multilayer gas tanks, adding to the current production capabilities of Agri-Industrial's existing KB240, KBSmart120 and KBSmart61 machines. Read the news release .
Governor's Club Sponsors