May 14, 2020
Legislature to Resume Session on June 3
Republican leaders announced yesterday the Legislature will return to Des Moines one day after the primary to wrap up the 2020 legislative session. The Legislative Council is expected to meet via teleconference later today and formally vote to make it official. Those who enter the Capitol will be expected to abide by safety guidelines and take extra precautions due to COVID-19. The ABI policy team will be working to ensure the association’s priority legislation is passed before the Legislature adjourns for the year. Read more from the  Des Moines Register .

Governor Announces More Restrictions Lifted Effective Tomorrow
On Wednesday during her daily press conference, Gov. Kim Reynolds declared she would ease restrictions in the 22 counties where COVID-19 activity has been more prevalent. Effective tomorrow, the restrictions previously lifted in 77 counties will apply to the other 22 counties. This means that restaurants, fitness centers, malls, salons other retail establishments will be allowed to operate under capacity, hygiene and safety guidance issued by the Iowa Department of Public Health. You can view her  full proclamation . Read more from  Radio Iowa .

Initial Unemployment Claims Soften, But Payments Continue to Climb
As more businesses begin to reopen their doors, initial unemployment claims for the week of May 3-9 dropped to a little under 17,000. That's down from the previous week of 24,693. $52.9 million was paid out of the trust fund for benefits, which means this is the third consecutive week over $50 million has been paid out of the state unemployment trust fund. The number of continuing weekly unemployment claims was 191,257. Sectors that saw the most claims filed included manufacturing (4,065); those who are not identified by industry including the self-employed, independent contractors, etc. (2,103); and health care and social assistance (1,865). Read the  news release .

Federal Spotlight: House Democrats Unveil Their Latest Coronavirus Relief Package
On Tuesday, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) released what would be the fifth bill in a series of legislative proposals aimed at providing coronavirus relief. The text of the Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions Act, or HEROES Act, is over 1,800 pages with a price tag of $3 trillion, making it the largest and most expensive coronavirus rescue package to date. Some of the key provisions include approximately $1 trillion for state and local governments, $200 billion for hazard pay for those on the frontlines fighting the coronavirus, an extension of the original $600 CARES Act unemployment benefits weekly payment through the end of the year, more direct payments to American and more. Read more .
Webinar: Expert Insight in the Wake of COVID-19 on Iowa’s Unemployment Compensation Policies
You have pressing questions about unemployment in the wake of COVID-19. ABI and ICCE are bringing together legal experts to answer them. Join us for a live webinar on May 20, 1-2 p.m., featuring Advisory Council member attorneys Beth Coonan from BrownWinick and Bridget R. Penick from Fredrikson & Byron, P.A. They will touch on topics from who qualifies and for how long to determining what policies you should have in place to protect your organization. Register now . Please email your questions for the speakers to Holly Mueggenberg by Monday, May 18.
COVID-19 Resources: Reopening Guidance, Webinars and More
As the COVID-19 challenges you face continue to evolve, so does ABI's coronavirus resources webpage . The page is updated daily, and recent additions include valuable information about reopening guidance and a list of upcoming webinars hosted by fellow members. As always, if you need answers to specific questions or help with an issue involving the government, please contact us .
Navigating Your Business Through COVID-19: A Guide for Business Owners
Alaina Riley
Marketing & Wellness Coordinator 
Focus OneSource

Thinking back to early March feels like a lifetime ago. Our world and way of life has been completely flipped upside down. Everything from how we go about our daily life to the way businesses operate has been altered from just a few short months ago. What have you learned during this period of change? What will you take with you when life gets back to ‘normal’? What will you do differently in the future because of this?

The end of March brought change at an unimaginable rate. Many businesses were forced to drastically alter their operations overnight to accommodate this rate of change. Often times it felt like we were being faced with more than we could comprehend–and in some ways, we were. But, on the bright side, many businesses have navigated their way through the first wave of change. Now that we have a better understanding of what is happening with the virus, it is time to plan for the future. Read more .
UnitedHealth Group Provides Over $1.5 Billion of Additional Support in Response to COVID-19 Challenges
UnitedHealth Group is taking additional action to directly support people affected by the COVID-19 pandemic by providing over $1.5 billion of additional support for its customers. These measures build upon the company’s ongoing efforts to address COVID-19 challenges by expanding coverage, supporting the health care system, protecting the health care workforce and assisting those most affected by the pandemic. Read the full news release .

R&R Developing Office Space Focused on Health
R&R Realty Group (R&R) announced yesterday the addition of several features designed to create a uniquely healthy environment inside its newest office building.  The Waterford Building , a 180,000-square-foot office development, is under construction at the intersection of 192nd Street and West Dodge Road in Omaha. The building is expected to be one of the first projects under development to respond to the current coronavirus pandemic and its impact on workplaces. R&R is focusing its efforts on four targeted areas: air quality, creating a touchless environment, germ-resistant materials and technology.

Upcoming Webinars Hosted by Members

What You Should Know About the Employee Retention Credit
Friday, May 15 | 12-1 p.m. | Eide Bailly |  Register

Insurance Expense Reduction and Cost Control Solutions
Friday, May 15 | 1 p.m. | LMC Insurance & Risk Management/AssuredPartners |  Register

Expert Insight in the Wake of COVID-19 on Iowa’s Unemployment Compensation Policies
Wednesday, May 20 | 1-2 p.m. | ABI and ICCE |  Register

Virtual Town Hall: Moving Forward in the COVID-19 Economy
Thursday, May 28 | 12-1 p.m. | Ames Chamber of Commerce |  Register