November 7, 2019
IIPAC Investors Meet with Majority Leader Windschitl
IIPAC contributors had the opportunity to meet with and hear from newly-elected House Majority Leader Matt Windschitl (R-Missouri Valley) on Wednesday at the ABI office. Majority Leader Windschitl talked about his background, shared thoughts on the 2020 legislative session and took questions from ABI members. He has been a strong and consistent proponent of the business community during his time in the House. He’s been endorsed as a Friend of Iowa Business since he was first elected in 2006. Thank you, Leader Windschitl, for taking the time to meet and discuss issues with ABI members.

Two New Chairmen Named in the House
Speaker-select Pat Grassley (R-New Hartford) recently announced committee leadership changes in the House for the 2020 legislative session. Rep. Gary Mohr (R-Bettendorf), who previously chaired the Transportation, Infrastructure and Capitals Budget Subcommittee, will lead the Appropriations Committee. Rep. Jacob Bossman (R-Sioux City) will now head the Transportation, Infrastructure and Capitals Budget Subcommittee. Both Mohr and Bossman were endorsed as Friends of Iowa Business in their 2018 races. 

Miller-Meeks Steps Down As Human Resources Chair
State Sen. Mariannette Miller-Meeks (R-Ottumwa) shared Tuesday that she would no longer be the Chair of the Human Resources Committee. The decision comes as she plans to focus more of her time on running for the Republican nomination in the 2nd Congressional District. Senate Majority Leader Jack Whitver (R-Ankeny) announced that Sen. Annette Sweeney (R-Alden) will chair that committee. Sweeney is also Vice Chair of the Agriculture Committee. Both Sweeney and Miller-Meeks have been previously endorsed as Friends of Iowa Business. Read the  full news release .

Waterloo Approves Final Amendments to Ban The Box Ordinance
On Monday, the Waterloo City Council passed the amended final reading of a local ban the box ordinance by a vote of 4-3. The  ordinance  goes into effect July 1, 2020. Multiple council members argued that this ordinance violates state law while another council member said it was for the citizens of Waterloo. Some key provisions of the ordinance include: discriminatory practice to include a criminal inquiry on any application, applies to all employers with one or more employees, penalties for employers between $750-$1,000 that the employer would have to pay directly to the complainant, and prevents employers from asking questions about criminal history in the middle of the hiring process. ABI will continue to oppose this ordinance and is currently exploring litigation options. Read more in The Courier:  Waterloo puts 'ban the box' on the books.

Board Recommends Removing THC Cap, Adding PTSD To Medical Conditions List
The Iowa Medical Cannabidiol Board recently met and signed off on recommendations that encourage the Legislature to eliminate the current 3% THC cap and impose a purchase limit when it comes to Iowa’s medical cannabidiol program. The board also approved adding post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and intellectual disability with aggression and/or self-injury to the list of medical conditions that qualify for use of the medical cannabis program. The latter recommendation moves to the Iowa Board of Medicine, and they will vote on it in the near future. The developments follow Gov. Reynolds' veto of HF 732 at the end of last session, which would have eliminated the THC cap and replaced that with a 25 grams of THC over a 90-day period. The board’s recommendation is 4.5 grams of THC over 90 days. ABI will continue to advocate for stronger employer protections regarding this subject in the 2020 legislative session.

Take Advantage of the IAVotes Caucus Toolkit
With the 2019 election behind us, Iowa voters have fully turned their attention to the Iowa caucuses, which will take place on Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2020. Voters who are registered as Republicans and Democrats will have the opportunity to support someone to lead their respective party heading into the general election next November. The  2020 IA Caucus Toolkit  has several features that employers can utilize including poster and caucus signs, tutorials on how to caucus as a Republican and Democrat, a caucus glossary and other employer tips. Outside of selecting a candidate for the party nomination, individuals can submit planks to the party platform and become elected as delegates by their peers. Iowa plays an instrumental role in the presidential nominating process as we’re the first state, so make sure you have your voice heard by attending the caucuses in February.

DOR Hosting Webinar on W-2s and 1099s
The Department of Revenue (DOR), in conjunction with the Center for Business Growth and Innovation at the University of Northern Iowa, will offer a free webinar about the new requirements for submitting W-2s and 1099s to DOR electronically. Topics that will be covered include what’s new for 2019, requirements for tax year 2019, submitting wage statements and information returns, and information resources. It will take place on Wednesday, Nov. 13 at noon.  Register here .

Federal Spotlight: Notable Election Results From Across The Country
2019 is an off-year for most states regarding elections, but some states held contests this past Tuesday where the balance of power changed in a very consequential way. In the Commonwealth of Kentucky, first-term GOP Governor Matt Bevin appears to have been upset by Democrat Attorney General Andy Beshear. The margin is within a single point, and Bevin has requested a recanvass of the election results. The GOP swept all other statewide offices in the Bluegrass State including electing the first Republican as attorney general since 1948, who is also the first African-American to win a race for that office. Read more .
Register Now: Legislative Briefing and Reception
Registration is now open for ABI's second largest annual event, the Legislative Briefing and Reception. The 2020 event is Jan. 15 at the Iowa Events Center in downtown Des Moines.

The briefing, which is open only to members, will feature an update from the public policy team on ABI's legislative priorities. That will be followed by the reception, where you'll have the opportunity to visit with legislators from across the state about the most pressing issues facing business and industry.

More than 500 people attend each year, and nearly 150 have already registered. Register now and enjoy an early bird discount. Event sponsors include Arconic, Cargill, CIPCO, Hormel Foods, International Paper and Tyson.
ABI Names Nicole Crain as EVP, Hires J.D. Davis as VP of Public Policy
ABI is pleased to announce a new role and a new employee.

Nicole Crain is now executive vice president. She was previously senior vice president of public policy. Crain will manage ABI’s accounting, finance and administrative functions. She will also provide strategic support to ABI’s public policy team.

“Nicole is a proven leader and has played a pivotal role in ABI’s successful public policy efforts,” said ABI President Mike Ralston. “Now, she’ll continue to do that, as well as provide even more vision and leadership for ABI members.”

J.D. Davis joins ABI as vice president of public policy. He has 22 years of experience as a governmental affairs professional. Davis previously worked for MidAmerican Energy Company.

“J.D. brings a wealth of public policy experience to ABI,” said Ralston. “He is well respected by state legislators on both sides of the aisle. J.D. has been an advocate for pro-growth policies for Iowa businesses, and we are excited to have him lead ABI’s policy efforts at the Statehouse.”
Meet Our Newest ABI Members

Cedar Rapids Bank & Trust
Computer Aided Technology
Curated Growth LLC
Garman Partners
Iowa Fluid Power
Midwest Precast Concrete Enterprises, Inc.
Ryan Companies US, Inc.
Studio Iowa
The Elevate Co.
United Parcel Service/UPS
Western Union Business Solutions
The State of the Association is Strong
Mike Ralston
Iowa Association of Business and Industry

This week, as ABI prepares for a series of upcoming meetings and events, the state of the association is strong. Award-winning public policy activity continues, the ABI Foundation's programs are maintaining their strong start to the foundation's fiscal year, and our membership work is solid and growing. Financially, ABI's balance sheet has never looked better for this time of the year.

All that is important only because it allows us to serve you, ABI members, with the tools and resources necessary to add to your bottom line. And that is itself important because it helps ABI members provide our state with some of the best jobs, with the best compensation and benefits, found anywhere in Iowa. Read more .
BrownWinick Law Firm Ranked in U.S. News – Best Lawyers® 2020 “Best Law Firms” List
BrownWinick has been included in the U.S. News – Best Lawyers ® 2020 "Best Law Firms" rankings. The tenth edition of the U.S. News & World Report and Best Lawyers®  released the 2020 "Best Law Firms" rankings on November 1, 2019. Firms included in the 2020 "Best Law Firms" list are recognized for professional excellence with persistently impressive ratings from clients and peers. Achieving a tiered ranking signals a unique combination of quality law practice and breadth of legal expertise. Read the full news release .

Global DSM: Tapping International Student Talent Event is Nov. 19
International students play an important role in our economy. They gravitate towards the fields of science, technology, engineering and math, producing many patents and gaining skills that help our employers innovate and compete. Nationally recognized immigration attorney Lori Chesser will present on different visa categories, their renewals and existing hire programs that can help you tap into this large pool of highly qualified talent. The event is Nov. 19, 1:30-3 p.m., at the Greater Des Moines Partnership. Register now .