March 7, 2019
Empower Rural Iowa Legislation Advances
Members of a House Ways and Means subcommittee met Wednesday to discuss HSB 204. The legislation is a result of the governor’s Empower Rural Iowa initiative and recommendations from task force meetings throughout the state this fall. ABI spoke in favor of the legislation and provided examples as to the number of jobs in rural Iowa. The bill makes changes to the broadband policy in code, and also increases the amount of workforce housing tax credits available and makes the program competitive. Read more .

Funnel Week Complete – ABI Priorities Advance, as Do Job Crushers
Numerous committee meetings were held this week as the Legislature worked to advance bills through the process before the first self-imposed deadline of the session known as the funnel. Bills must have passed at least one full committee in either chamber to be eligible for further legislative consideration. Bills that are Appropriations, Ways and Means or Government Oversight are exempt from the funnel requirements. The funnel helps lawmakers narrow their focus on key policy issues and tax and spending policies for the balance of the legislative session. ABI is currently tracking nearly 300 bills. Below is the status of a few key bills the association is following.

The following bills made it through the funnel and are still ALIVE:
  • HSB 179 – Future Ready Iowa Funding. Legislation appropriates more than $20 million to several programs outlined in the 2018 Future Ready Iowa policy bill. Two areas of interest are the Employer Innovation Fund and the Last Dollar Scholar. The bill is currently in House Appropriations. The bill aligns well with ABI’s workforce priority. ABI position: Support.
  • HF 593/SF 507 – Idiopathic Falls in Workers’ Compensation. Legislation codifies that if an employee falls from a level surface onto the same level surface due to an idiopathic or unexplained fall because of the employee’s own medical condition, it is not compensable under workers’ compensation. This bill addresses the Bluml vs Dee Jay’s Inc. d/b/a/ Long John Silvers and Commerce & Industry Insurance Company Iowa Supreme Court decision from November 2018. The bill passed the House Commerce Committee with bipartisan support, while the Senate Commerce Committee approved the legislation on a party-line vote. ABI position: Support.
  • HF 636 – Employer Firearm Prohibition. Prohibits employers from preventing employees from bringing a firearm onto the employer’s parking lot. The bill also includes school district property and courthouses. Some liability protections were added. The bill passed House Public Safety and is ready for floor debate. Similar legislation, SF 459, passed the Senate Judiciary Committee and is also eligible for floor debate. ABI position: Against.
  • SF 516 – E-Verify. Legislation requires all public and private employers to use e-verify. Includes good faith language and that Iowa Workforce Development is the state agency that will ensure compliance. Substantial penalties exist if an employer does not comply with the legislation. The legislation as drafted also extends to subcontractors of a business. The legislation passed the Senate Judiciary Committee on a partisan vote, with all Republicans supporting.
  • Read more ALIVE bills.

The following bills didn't make it through the funnel and are likely DEAD.
The Legislature considered several policies that could increase the cost of doing business or add additional burden to employers. ABI worked to educate legislators about the business impact the legislation could have if passed. As a reminder, no bill is ever “dead” in the legislature, and many of these proposed bills could show up in amendments or budget bills.
  • HSB 169/SSB 1192 – Computer Software Verifications. Would require companies that have contracts with local and state governments to use specific software that would track and store specific data with a third-party company. Currently in House and Senate State Government. ABI position: Against.
  • HF 298 –Temporary Employment Agencies. Prohibits certain fees from being charged, increases reporting requirements and hinders ability for temporary employment agencies to operate in the nursing industry. ABI position: Against.   
  • SF 431 – Caucus Time Off. Legislation that would require employers to provide time off from work for an employee to participate in the caucuses. The legislation provides parameters around when time off can be denied. If an employer doesn’t comply, they are considered to have committed election misconduct, a simple misdemeanor.
  • Read more DEAD bills.

Iowa Business Day on Hill Event: Registration FULL
A record crowd is expected for Iowa Business Day on the Hill on Wednesday, March 13. If you are currently registered, but can no longer attend, please update your registration. At this time we are not able to accommodate any additional business members for the legislative briefing portion of the event. However, if you are an IIPAC supporter and have not yet RSVP'd for the private Business Day on the Hill Luncheon, please do so TODAY. We have limited space remaining for the lunch and want to make sure you have all the details! Email  Michelle Vollstedt  to RSVP for the Business Day on the Hill Luncheon.

Quick Poll: E-Verify
The Iowa Senate is currently considering legislation that would mandate all employers use the federal E-Verify system for employees. ABI is interested in your anonymous feedback.
Do you currently use E-Verify in your company?
Legislative Update Call is March 15
If you are located out-of-state or unable to join us for Iowa Business Day on the Hill since the event is full, make sure you register for the ABI legislative update call on Friday, March 15 at 8 a.m. Conference call participants will receive a list of key bills prior to the call, and the ABI public policy team will provide an in-depth analysis of specific legislative proposals. RSVP to Michelle Vollstedt if you haven’t RSVP'd for a previous call this year.
Using Technology to Improve Driving Behaviors
Juli Jenkins, SCLA
Client Service Executive
LMC Insurance and Risk Management

Every year, over 34,000 people die in road crashes, and that number is only rising, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. As technology has progressed over the years, so has the number of road crashes, showing an increase of 2,000 accidents per year.

While advances in technology allow us to communicate with the world around us more easily, they also come with unexpected hazards.
Individuals have become more attached to their phones, and as that attachment increases, so do the risks. It has become increasingly difficult for some to put down their phone, even while driving. This creates a significant safety hazard, increasing the risk of road crashes immensely.

Drivers who focus on their phones instead of the road significantly reduce their ability to react to changing conditions and hazards. Here are some helpful tips on how to reduce this risk, and drive safely! Read more .
Sandler Training Offers "It's Never About Price" Workshop on March 26
Join Sandler Training for a sobering discussion about the incredible cost of embedded sales mediocrity and the impact it can have on your bottom line. Designed for owners, CEOs and sales pros, 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 is March 26, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m., at the Urbandale Chamber of Commerce. Admission is free to ABI members and includes lunch. To register, call 515-699-8588 or email .

Focus OneSource to Host Medicare Basics Seminar on March 26
If you're turning 65 or currently receive Medicare benefits, you're encouraged to attend a free Medicare educational seminar hosted by Focus OneSource. Medicare Basics will provide information on Medicare Supplement and Medicare Advantage plans, what Medicare does and doesn't cover, upcoming changes in Medicare, a background on Medicare and how to protect your savings from out-of-pocket medical expenses. The seminar is March 26, 5 p.m., at Focus OneSource in West Des Moines. To RSVP, call 515-369-7550 or .

Iowa’s Internet of Things Experts to Speak at March TechTalk
The Internet of Things (IoT) is revolutionizing the way we live and work. From ag to advanced manufacturing, from infrastructure to healthcare, businesses are using the IoT to revolutionize industry and the customer experience. On March 29, three Iowa experts will discuss what businesses are doing with IoT, the applications and the possibilities, market implications and security implications. This free seminar will be held 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. at the North Iowa Regional Commerce Center in Mason City. Learn more .

Iowa Quality Center to Hold Performance Excellence Conference in May
Organizations of all types and sizes are looking for ways to grow, improve and achieve their goals and missions. Join the Iowa Quality Center, May 7-8 in Altoona, for the Iowa Performance Excellence (iPEX) Conference–the only conference in Iowa dedicated to performance excellence. Attendees are key decision-makers and influencers in all industries, such as healthcare, technology, manufacturing, education and manufacturing. Learn more .
Meet Our Newest ABI Members
Apache Inc./Apache Belt & Hose
Aspire Resources, Inc.
Baton Global
Brokers International Ltd
Charrette Venture Group
East Polk Innovation Collaborative/EPIC
eWay Corp
Foster Group
Henderson Products Inc.
ICE Technologies
I owa Career Connection
Jasper County Economic Development
JM Tax Advocates
Milkhouse Candle Co.
PC Matic
Price Electric
Sandler Sales Training
Schabel Solutions Inc.
ServiceMaster by Rice
Waddell & Reed Financial Advisors