July 16, 2020
Paulsen Confirmed as Tax Committee Guest Speaker
ABI is pleased to announce Iowa Department of Revenue Director Kraig Paulsen will be the guest speaker for our  Tax Committee meeting  on Thursday, August 20 at 11:30 a.m. Paulsen has been director of the department since he was appointed by Gov. Reynolds in February 2019. He previously served in the legislature for 14 years and was Speaker of the House from 2011 through 2015. During his tenure, he was endorsed by IIPAC as a Friend of Iowa Business numerous times. If you haven't yet,  register  today for any of our virtual public policy committee meetings in August.

2020 Regional Public Policy Meetings are in the Books
The ABI public policy staff held three virtual regional meetings this week where members learned about the results of the 2020 legislative session for the business community and also had the opportunity to ask questions and give feedback to staff. We had outstanding turnout for the meetings as over 100 members took part. JD Davis and Brad Hartkopf would like to thank all of the members who took time to attend and provide feedback as the first time in the member-driven 2021 policy development process.

ABI Signs on as a Partner for 2020 Employee Voter Registration Week
ABI has once again signed on as a partner for national Employee Voter Registration Week (EVRW). EVRW, which will be held September 21-25, is an effort to increase the number of registered eligible employee voters across the country. The initiative doesn’t tell individuals how to vote, but rather gives employers the information they need to encourage voter registration amongst their employees. The 2020 election is a little more than 100 days away. With many employees working remotely, it’s more important than ever to make sure you have an employee voter education plan in place early. View the EVRW website  to learn how to become a partner in this effort. As we near the election, follow IAVotes on Twitter and Facebook for resources and updates on how to engage your employees.   

Unemployment Numbers Similar to Last Week
Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) announced there were 10,369 initial unemployment claims filed by individuals for the week of July 5-11. That number is slightly higher than last week. There was approximately $33.3 million paid out of the state unemployment trust fund, which is about $1.4 million more than the week prior and does not include federal benefits paid. The number of continuing unemployment claims was 137,036, which is about 3,000 claims higher than last week. The aforementioned numbers reflect adjustments the U.S. Department of Labor implemented in the data released today. The top sectors that saw the most initial claims filed included manufacturing (4,471); those not identified by industry including the self-employed, independent contractors, etc. (1,128); and health care and social assistance (793). Read IWD's  news release .

Latest DOR Rules Unveiled This Week
This week, the Iowa Department of Revenue (DOR) filed a notice rule,  ARC 5077C,  that changes the department’s policy as it relates to affiliated corporations. This rule proposal came about after reviewing the petition for a declaratory order. 

In addition to the noticed rule, the department had two rules that are now adopted and filed. The first,  ARC 5098C , relates to the sales and use tax exemption for grain bins. The last rule adopted and filed is  ARC 5099C , which updated the definition of manufacturer that was included in the comprehensive 2019 tax clean-up bill . There were no changes from the notice rule to the filed rule for ARC 5098C. If you have any comments or concerns with the three rules, please send feedback to  JD Davis  or  Brad Hartkopf .

Federal Spotlight: Sen. Ernst Unveils ‘Back to Work Child Care Grants’ Legislation
On Tuesday, Sen. Joni Ernst released a proposal aimed at providing financial assistance to child care providers through grants. The grants could be used for a variety of purposes including covering the cost of operating expenses, safety measures, workforce and adapting services. The coronavirus has exacerbated the issue of child care not just for employers and employees, but also child care providers, who play an instrumental role in supporting working parents and their children. These challenges come as the economy continues to reopen and individuals head back to work. ABI appreciates the leadership Sen. Ernst has continued to display on this important issue. You can view the  bill text  and a one-page  summary of the bill .
Bid for Iowa's Best! See What's Up for Auction.
The ABI Foundation features the great people in and great products of our state. Our selection includes items and experiences that reflect the wide range of business and industry that make our state the #1 place to eat, work and play!  Bid from the convenience of wherever you are, in whatever you’re wearing, starting on Monday, July 20 at 7 a.m. The auction closes on Friday, July 24 at 1 p.m., and we invite you to end your week with us for the live virtual finale on Zoom that day from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.!  Dress to the nines or lunchbreak in loungewear with your beverage of choice in hand as our longtime auctioneer Nate Weaton and board member Lori Schaefer-Weaton host us to network, bid to the last second and raise a toast.
Opportunities Awareness Program is Accepting Applications for Aug. 10-13, Now Virtual
Leadership Iowa University offers a statewide perspective and personalized experience for participants to discover their next steps and move toward their goals–and it's going virtual on August 10-13! Help us connect emerging professionals and leaders in our state.   Nominate college students or interns  or  share the application .

Leadership Iowa University is accepting applications at www.LeadershipIowaUniversity.com  through July 24 or until the program is filled. College seniors, recent college graduates and interns in Iowa may apply for the 2020 program. The participant cost of the program is $75. Those interested may apply as individuals or representatives of their organizations; companies may encourage and support their intern(s) through the program. Capacity is limited between 20-30 participants to ensure a meaningful experience. Applicants will be notified of their status and accepted on a rolling admission basis. With questions, contact  foundation@iowaabi.org  or 515.280.8000.
Meet Our New Members
The Accel Group
Blue-9 Pet Products
Cedar Ridge Vineyards, LLC
Iowa Lakes Corridor Development Corp.
Iowa Premium LLC
Lennox Manufacturing Inc.
Marion County Development
Midwest Food Products Association
Nestle Purina Pet Care Company
Quality Machine of Iowa, Inc.
Red 5 Interactive
SAS Institute Inc.
Zoul Properties
How to "Sell" to Your Elected Officials
Kim Grzywacz
CIT Signature Transportation

We live in a great country. The First Amendment to our Constitution allows "the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances". As an elementary teacher, I had never taken advantage of this right. As part of the motorcoach industry, I have participated in three fly-ins in Washington D.C. To walk the halls so many have walked before me and sit with my elected officials to petition for my industry was an honor and a privilege. Through these most recent times, I have found this right to not just be a privilege, but a necessity. 

I am in sales. Therefore, for my industry, I created a five-part blog series on how to sell to your elected officials. I have found success in looking at the process this way. This article will summarize all five of those blogs into one. Links are provided to the original posts. Read more .
MVS Announces Retirement of Patricia A. Sweeney 
McKee, Voorhees & Sease, PLC has announced that long-time attorney, Patricia A. Sweeney (left) , will retire from the firm effective Dec. 31, 2020. Sweeney has the distinction of being the first female patent attorney in Iowa, beginning her practice at MVS in 1985. She has worked with clients ranging from small start-up companies to multinational corporations in the biological science field. Read the full news release .
Be Part of Content Marketing Initiative Encouraging Iowa Business Investment, Talent Recruitment and Relocation
The Iowa Economic Development Authority (IEDA) invites you to participate in a new initiative that will aid its efforts to promote Iowa as a place to live, work, invest and grow. The IEDA is partnering with Livability Media, a leader in the talent attraction space, on an aggressive print, digital and social content marketing program. The program will be an integral part of Iowa’s ongoing workforce recruitment efforts. Learn more

61.3% is New GreenAdvantage Renewable Energy Number
In 2019, MidAmerican Energy Company served 61.3% of its Iowa customers’ energy with clean, renewable energy, verified by the Iowa Utilities Board. What does that GreenAdvantage number mean for you? It means when you’re making a pitch, applying for a certification or courting a buyer, you can confidently say your business was powered with 61.3% renewable energy. Learn more about MidAmerican Energy's GreenAdvantage program.
Mid-Year Land Auction Results Indicate Lower Iowa Land Prices
According to statewide auction results tracked by Iowa Appraisal, data indicates Iowa land market prices have dipped slightly in the first six months of the year compared to 2019. Jim Rothermich, MAI, ARA (left), Iowa Appraisal’s farm appraisal expert, reports the statewide weighted average price for tillable farmland is $108 per CSR2 point for the period January 1 through June 30, 2020, down 2.7% from $111 in 2019. The statewide weighted average price for tillable farmland from January 1 to June 30, 2020 is $8,091 per acre. The data suggests the market has softened slightly, but Iowa Appraisal deems the market to be stable. Read the full news release .