March 28, 2019
One Week for Policy Bills to Stay Alive
Friday, April 5th marks the second funnel deadline when all policy bills must be passed out of one chamber and through a full committee in the other chamber to be eligible for consideration the remainder of session. Remember, appropriations and ways and means bills are excluded from the funnel deadline.

If you have not yet contacted your legislator about issues of concern to your company, such as  SF 459  and  HF 636 , now is the time to do so. The Iowa Senate has filed an amendment to SF 459, which mirrors the employer language in HF 636. When an amendment has been filed, this is typically a sign that a bill could be debated. Legislators need to hear from you about your concerns.

Additionally, if you are proactively advocating for legislation for your company, you should reach out to your legislator to let him or her know why the bill needs to pass. In next week’s newsletter you will see a full rundown of the bills still alive after the second funnel. For questions or more information about what you can do to help stop anti-business proposals, please contact  Nicole Crain  or  Brad Hartkopf .

Appropriations Bills Introduced – Future Ready Iowa Funding Included
The House and Senate have begun the budget process in earnest this week, with four of the 10 budget bills introduced on Tuesday and Wednesday. Each year, the House and Senate take turns starting the budget bills. So far, the following bills have been introduced:
  • HSB 248 – Education Appropriations – Includes $14.78 million for the last dollar scholar program and $1 million for the skilled workforce grant program, both components of the governor’s Future Ready Iowa initiative and ABI priorities. We expect to see the additional dollars allocated in other budget bills yet to be introduced this year.
  • HSB 249 – Administration and Regulation Appropriations – This budget funds many state agencies including the Department of Revenue, Department of Inspections and Appeals, Office of Drug Control Policy and the Employment Appeal Board that hears all appeals from Iowa Workforce Development on unemployment insurance decisions prior to district court.
  • SSB 1250 – Economic Development and Workforce Appropriations – Appropriates $1.2 million for the Employer Innovation Fund that ABI supports to help leverage private dollars and invest in workforce programs in regional areas. The legislation also includes language and resources to conduct a housing needs assessment. In addition to funding the Iowa Economic Development Authority and a key policy initiative ABI supports, the legislation also funds Iowa Workforce Development. The legislation allocates up to $2.8 million of interest off the unemployment insurance reserve fund to be used to pay for field offices.
  • SSB 1251 – Agriculture and Natural Resources Appropriations – Legislation appropriates $3 million for water quality from the General Fund and an additional $2.375 million out of the Environment First Fund. Both provisions have policy language to focus on high priority watersheds. $425,000 from the Environment First Fund for ambient air monitoring.
  • SF 600 – Transportation Appropriations – Bill allocates more than $250 million between the Road Use Tax Fund and the Primary Road Fund for highways. The legislation was approved without opposition through committee last week and is ready for floor debate.

Franchise Legislation Heads to Governor’s Desk
On Monday afternoon, the Senate approved  HF 327 , which is ABI-supported legislation that seeks to clarify the franchisor/franchisee relationship with regard to employment relationships. The bill, which passed the upper chamber 32-18, makes clear that a franchisor shall not be considered to be an employer of a franchisee or of an employee of a franchisee unless certain conditions apply. Read more .

Tax Cleanup Legislation Unveiled
Legislation to address changes made in the comprehensive tax reform bill of 2018 was introduced Tuesday.  SSB 1249  has 20 divisions and encompasses issues from research activities credit and changes to marketplace facilitators to changes in the definition of manufacturer and GILTI. ABI is still reviewing the legislation, but a few components that ABI members will be interested in are... Read more .

Fiscal Note on Pharmacy Bill Released
The Fiscal Services Division of the Legislative Services Agency released a  fiscal note  on HF 489.  HF 489  is a pharmacy benefit bill related to reporting for pharmacy benefit managers, but also includes a change in how rebates from pharmaceutical companies are issued. ABI members have provided feedback to policy staff with concerns this bill could increase premiums. The initial fiscal impact out on the bill is that it will increase the cost to the state by $6-$10 million. This does not include how it would impact private or self-insured employers or local governments.

DNR EASY Air Application Update In Two Weeks
Stakeholders are invited to join the DNR Air Quality Bureau from 1 to 2 p.m. on Thursday, April 11, to learn the latest on the new online permitting system EASY Air. The system is set to expedite the air permitting process. On the agenda is a progress report on the development of the system, where the bureau is now concerning budget and timeline, testing opportunities, partnering to market EASY Air and more. Read more .

Federal Spotlight: ABI Signs on to Data Privacy Letter
ABI, along with 35 other business groups across the country, added our name to a coalition letter opposing the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which was signed into law last June. The open letter to elected state officials and economic development leaders highlights the CCPA's flaws and encourages state leaders to take a thoughtful and reasonable approach when looking at the issue of data privacy. Read more .

First Quarter IIPAC Newsletter Published
Earlier this week, ABI’s political action committee published its first newsletter of the 2019 calendar year. It included exclusive political content on issues ranging from state legislative updates to the 2020 Democratic presidential candidate field. To make sure you receive the next newsletter, all you need to do is contribute to IIPAC. You may  contribute online or by sending a check to: IIPAC, 400 East Court Ave., Suite 100, Des Moines, IA 50309. Read more .
Sign Up for Next Friday's ABI Legislative Update Call
Be sure to register for ABI’s next legislative update teleconference call, which takes place Friday, April 5 at 8 a.m. You won’t want to miss this call, as the public policy team will have all of the latest information on the issues at the Capitol that affect ABI members. April 5th also coincides with the all-important second funnel deadline, which means that most bills that aren’t appropriations or ways and means must be passed out of one chamber and through a full committee in the other chamber to be eligible for consideration. RSVP to  Michelle Vollstedt  if you haven’t RSVP'd for a previous call this year.
Nominate Students for Business Horizons and LIU, Adult Pros for LI
Leaders don’t create followers; they create more leaders. The importance has never been greater to engage Iowa’s talent. Recognize and nurture excellence in your company and community by nominating high school students, college students and adult professionals for ABI Foundation programs: Business Horizons Leadership Iowa University , and  Leadership Iowa .

Creating a legacy of homegrown leadership within our state takes only one individual to be that pivotal moment in the lives of others. Why not you? Simply visit the websites listed above, submit the individual’s name and contact information, and we’ll do the rest! Nominees will receive notification of your recommendation with information about the program and application process.
County Assessment and the Process to Protest
Fred Lock
Iowa Appraisal and Research Corporation

Each county in Iowa will notify property owners of real estate assessed values by April 1, 2019. The assessment represents the value of a particular property on January 1 of that year. Taxpayers may protest their assessments between April 2 and April 30. There is an informal and a formal process.

Filing a protest form for an informal hearing is not necessary. An informal hearing of the protest is available from April 2 to April 25. If an agreement is reached through the informal hearing process, the formal process is unnecessary. Read more .
Entrepreneurial Venture Competition to Award $100,000 in Cash Prizes
Applications for the John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Venture Competition are now being accepted. The statewide competition will award $100,000 in cash prizes. The goal is to support Iowa’s entrepreneurial ecosystem. Iowa businesses that have been in operation for four years or less or are not yet cash flow positive are eligible to apply. Learn more and apply .

Gov. Reynolds Announces Peggy A. Whitson as Keynote Speaker for 2019 Future Ready Iowa–STEM Summit
Gov. Kim Reynolds announced on Monday that Peggy A. Whitson, space and science consultant and former astronaut, will be the afternoon keynote speaker for the Governor’s 2019 Future Ready Iowa Summit titled “STEM Education + Workplace Partnerships.” 
The event, which is open to the public, will take place on April 30 at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines. Read the full news release .

"It's Never About Price" Sales Workshop is April 9 at ABI
Designed for owners, CEOs, presidents and selling professionals, learn how to change the "behavior dynamics" of your sales team and build a high performing sales culture within your company that will get results. The workshop, hosted by Sandler Sales Training and ABI, is April 9, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., at the ABI office. Admission is $29 and includes lunch. Learn more and register .