April 18, 2019
ABI Legislative Update Call Tomorrow
Although the Legislature has not adjourned, there have been many legislative developments since our last teleconference update, and we want to provide those who are interested with details on some pending issues. The call on Friday, April 19 will be at 8:30 a.m., which is 30 minutes later than our usual monthly calls. If you have already registered for a previous call, you do not need to RSVP again. If you have never participated in a call and wish to participate tomorrow, please send your contact information to  Michelle Vollstedt .

Tax Cleanup Bills Advance
The Iowa Senate and House have each advanced legislation that seeks to clean up some of the issues that arose from the passage of SF 2417, a comprehensive tax policy bill in the 2018 legislative session. During the Senate subcommittee meeting, ABI commented in favor of three provisions in the bill on behalf of ABI members. There are some key provisions that affect ABI members, some of which are still included in the legislation and others that have been removed. Read more .

Hearing Held on Senate Property Tax
The Senate on Tuesday introduced its proposed changes to property tax.  SSB 1260  is similar to the House bill in some ways, but some differences include: total amount of increase is 3%, lowers the threshold for a reverse referendum from 20% to 10%, places retirement contributions outside of the cap, establishes a property tax system advisory group that includes industrial representation but leaves out commercial, provides for a credit to help individuals older than 65 handle the burden of property tax increases, and states what appraisal manual should be used when making assessments. Read more .

Senate Ways and Means Advances Broadband Legislation
Senate Ways and Means Committee Chairman Randy Feenstra (R-Hull) moved a portion of Gov. Reynolds' Empower Rural Iowa Initiative through committee on Wednesday. SSB 1193 was amended to only address the broadband portion of the initiative in the legislation. The new bill,  SF 625 , provides specifics regarding the broadband grant application and what projects would qualify. ABI continues to support increased access to broadband, and we are advocating for the Senate to advance additional funding for workforce housing tax credits.

Legislature Continues Work on the Budget
The 2019 legislative session is moving closer to adjournment as the legislature just completed its 14th week. The House and Senate advanced several budget bills throughout the week. The only appropriations bill yet to be released is the standings legislation. Keep reading for a look at which budget bills saw action this week.

Air Quality Bureau to Hold Stakeholder Meeting
The DNR Air Quality Bureau will hold the next stakeholder meeting on Thursday, May 23, 1 p.m., in Conference Room 2N at the Wallace Building in Des Moines. There will also be a call-in option available for those who can’t attend. The number will be included in the final agenda, which will be unveiled approximately two weeks before the meeting. Proposed agenda items should include the name of the item... Read more .

Coming to a Community Near You: ABI Regional Meetings
ABI's public policy staff will be traveling across the state to meet with ABI members following the adjournment of the 2019 legislative session. The team will provide a comprehensive breakdown of the key issues discussed throughout the year and how those issues will affect the business community. Another key component to the meetings is receiving your feedback on legislative and regulatory issues that are a challenge to your business. Read more .

Conference Deadline for IIPAC Investments on May 17
With less than two months until the 2019 ABI Taking Care of Business Conference, we want to make sure past IIPAC investors are once again recognized at the annual conference. Did you know, in the 2018 election, more than 85% of IIPAC-endorsed candidates won their elections? If you have not yet contributed to IIPAC in 2019, make sure to  invest   before May 17, 2019! 

Federal Spotlight: EPA receives comments on WOTUS from Gov. Reynolds, Secretary Naig
Gov. Reynolds and Secretary of Agriculture Mike Naig, along with state agency directors, provided  comments  to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regarding the proposed Waters of the United States (WOTUS) Rule. This letter acknowledges the EPA’s revisions but requests several changes. They specifically stated the new definition provides more coherence, but they are seeking “revision and clarification” on eight different subsections. Read more .
ABI Conference: Boost Your Experience
Don't overlook one of the best parts of the Taking Care of Business Conference–the alternative activities. The golf outing offers invaluable networking with executives in a relaxed environment. And exclusive industry tours give you a rare insider's look at leading industries in the Ames area. Be sure to register for these activities, which happen on June 4 prior to the two days of programming.
The Importance of USMCA for Iowa
ABI strongly supports passage of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement as soon as possible to ensure manufacturers can grow with certainty with our most important commercial trading partners–Canada and Mexico. You're encouraged to review this fact sheet about the USMCA's impact on Iowa.

Key takeaways:

  • Over 25,000 manufacturing jobs in Iowa depend on exports to Canada and Mexico.
  • 1 in 4 manufacturers in Iowa sell to Canada and Mexico.
  • Iowa exported $5.5 billion in manufactured goods to Canada and Mexico in 2018.
  • Without a free trade agreement for North America, Iowa manufactured goods could face up to $324 million in extra tariffs.
It’s Not If But When Your Identity Will Be Stolen
Terry Ebke
Independent Associate – Senior Director

In these worrisome times with huge data breaches and identity theft affecting virtually every American from newborns to the elderly, do any of the following cause the mind to wonder—what if?

  • What if someone is using my name to take out something like a payday loan and they don’t do any pay back?
  • What if some identity thief gets access to my investment/retirement accounts?
  • What happens if an identity thief uses my name to rent an apartment or buy a house, trashes it and moves on without making payments?
  • What if there are registered sex offenders living in my area? Wouldn’t it be nice to know how close they are, even their addresses and have pictures to better identify them?
  • What are the many consequences that could hit me if my medical identity is stolen and used?
  • Which of these concerns could involve the need for legal assistance—maybe in other states? 

HealthPartners UnityPoint Health to Host Purchaser Symposiums
Join HealthPartners UnityPoint Health for the 2019 Purchaser Symposiums. Their staff enjoys bringing businesses and communities together with integrated care and coverage solutions that deliver a great experience at the lowest total cost. The Purchaser Symposiums will be held in Cedar Falls (April 23), Des Moines (April 25) and Sioux City (May 9).

McGowen Hurst Clark Smith to Host Shredding Event on May Day
McGowen Hurst Clark Smith (MHCS) invites you to its annual #ShredItOnMayDay event on May 1, 11 a.m.-4 p.m, at 1601 West Lakes Parkway in West Des Moines. This free event is open to the public. Securely shred documents, recycle electronics, donate blood in the LifeServe Blood Center mobile and enjoy a free ice cream treat from the Outside Scoop. Read the  full news release .

BrownWinick Offers Legal Seminar for Current and Future Women Business Owners
BrownWinick will present a half-day legal seminar designed specifically for women business owners on May 7 in Des Moines. Topics will include hiring and firing, appropriate company structure, data security and privacy, trademark selection and protection, trade secret strategies, succession planning and more–all with an eye toward the challenges faced by women business owners and managers. Learn more and register .

Sen. Cournoyer and Maquoketa Students Get Inside Look at LyondellBasell Clinton Complex
Education and industry were at the forefront of last Friday's visit of the LyondellBasell Clinton Complex from State Senator Chris Cournoyer (R-LeClaire). Sen. Cournoyer joined students from Maquoketa High School for her first visit to the facility. The featured topic was careers in industry and educational pathways in advanced manufacturing through the Elevate Advanced Manufacturing statewide program. Read the full news release .

AGP Contributes to Midwest Flood Relief Efforts
Ag Processing Inc. (AGP) announced on Monday its aiding in the recovery efforts from the recent floods that have affected parts of Nebraska, Iowa and Missouri. The aid consists of a $100,000 contribution split equally among four charities and relief organizations assisting recovery efforts in the region. Read the full news release .