May 23, 2019
Empower Rural Iowa Signed into Law
The governor, surrounded by Lt. Gov. Gregg and several legislators, signed  HF 772  into law on Monday afternoon in Wilton. On hand were members of the Iowa Rural Development Council Executive Committee, including ABI Vice President Member Programs and Development Kathy Anderson and several ABI members. HF 772, also known as the Empower Rural Iowa Act, will increase investments for workforce housing in rural Iowa and makes changes to Iowa broadband policy to allow for additional deployment and investment in rural Iowa. ABI supported this bill as part of the workforce and competitive business climate priorities for 2019. Watch the bill signing ceremony .

Governor Signs Property Tax Transparency Legislation
Gov. Reynolds signed  SF 634  into law this morning. The legislation increases transparency and accountability of local governments when it comes to property taxation. The bill requires the local government to establish a maximum property tax amount. The local government is then required to show the citizens if assessments increase, what the levy rate would need to be reduced to in order to keep the taxes the same. Read more .

Regional Road Trip Concludes Next Week
ABI President Mike Ralston and the ABI public policy team traveled around Iowa this week to meet with members about the 2019 legislative session and receive feedback about issues affecting Iowa employers. We had great meetings hosted by ABI board members Drew Vogel (Diamond Vogel, Orange City) and Jack Hasken (Jackson Manufacturing, Dubuque), as well as Iowa Western Community College. The regional road trip tour concludes in Pella next Wednesday, May 29. Read more .

IWD Publishes Rules for Employer Innovation Fund
Iowa Workforce Development earlier this week formally noticed administrative rules to implement the Employer Innovation Fund policy that passed in the 2018 legislative session. The Legislature appropriated and the governor signed into law $1.2 million in funding that employers can apply to receive grant funding. You can read a draft of the rules . The public comment period is open until June 11. Read more .

ABI Meets with DNR; Environment Committee Meeting Next Week
In addition to ABI’s advocacy work at the State Capitol, the public policy team spends a lot of time working with state agencies. The agency that ABI works the most with is the Iowa Department of Natural Resources, specifically on air construction permitting and regulatory issues. This week, ABI participated in the Client Contact meeting that allows for an open discussion of Air Quality rules and regulations. Read more .

Last Chance for IIPAC Conference Recognition
The deadline to be acknowledged at ABI’s annual conference for  contributing to IIPAC  is tomorrow, May 24. The conference is set to be held in Ames in less than two weeks. Investments in IIPAC enable ABI to support individuals who favor a strong business climate for Iowa. Thank you to the more than 20 people who have responded to messages just in the last week and renewed your investment in IIPAC. If you haven’t, there’s still time to do so. Be sure to be recognized among your peers at conference by  making an investment in IIPAC  today.

Federal Spotlight: Trump Lifts Tariffs on Canada and Mexico
President Trump announced last Friday that the United States would be removing steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada and Mexico in an effort to help facilitate passage of the new United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA) trade accord. The U.S. levied tariffs of 25% on steel and 10% on aluminum nearly a year ago on the grounds of national security and as a means of gaining leverage during negotiations with our top two trading partners. Read more .   
ABI Conference Speaker Preview: Rowena Crosbie
At next month's Taking Care of Business Conference, speaker Rowena Crosbie with Tero International will look at three problems that keep ABI members awake at night and practical tools to solve them. Here’s a preview. The conference is June 4-6 in Ames. If you haven't registered yet, register now and join the 500+ Iowa business leaders who have already registered.
Maximize Your Employment Tax Credits and WOTC with These Tips
Natalie Hoffmann, CPA.CITP
Honkamp Krueger & Co., P.C.

Employment tax credits, particularly the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) program, can be extremely lucrative for employers who meet optimal criteria for these programs. Between state credits and WOTC, there are many opportunities for employers in a variety of industries to significantly improve their bottom lines through these credits.

However, applying for and recouping these credits can be an overwhelming process as deadlines are short to submit information. Additionally, identifying new hires who qualify can be difficult.

To improve your experience and maximize these credits to your advantage as an employer, it is key you identify if you qualify, understand your target groups, optimize parallel credits and find a provider partner to help streamline the process. Read more .
"The Journey to Your Vision" Seminar is June 7 in West Des Moines
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 one-day seminar to help stack the odds in your favor by understanding the stages of business growth, their unique challenges and methods to overcome them. Learn more about this seminar presented by Iowa Farm Bureau's Renew Rural Iowa.

"Attack the Hack: Rebounding from a Breach" is June 12 in Cedar Rapids
Join ACS, BrownWinick and Strategic America for an informative discussion on cyber incident response. Experts in data security, law and privacy issues, and communications will share valuable information and best practices to help prepare your business in the event of a data breach or cyberattack. The event is June 12, 3 p.m., at Lion Bridge Brewing in Cedar Rapids. Learn more and register .

CEC Acquires Select Sound Service Inc.
Communications Engineering Company (CEC), a nationally recognized technology systems integrator, has announced the acquisition of Select Sound Service Inc. Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wis., Select Sound Service has over 60 years of experience in deploying and integrating technology and sound solutions for hospitals, long-term care facilities and education systems. Read the full news release .
Monte Wyatt Named 2019 ExecutiveCOACH, ActionCOACH Partner of the Year
Leading business coaching firm ActionCOACH named Monte Wyatt of West Des Moines the winner of its ExecutiveCOACH of the Year award at its annual Business Excellence Forum Awards ceremony in South Carolina. This is the fifth time in the last seven years that Wyatt has been recognized for his impact as an executive coach. He was also recognized as the top ActionCOACH Partner in North America. Read the full news release .