January 10, 2019
2019 Legislative Briefing and Reception Preview
Watch this preview of next Wednesday’s ABI Legislative Briefing and Reception, including tips to make the most of the event. If you haven't already, register now.

88th General Assembly Begins Monday
The Iowa Legislature will gavel in on Monday, Jan. 14 for the first legislative session of the two-year General Assembly. The first order of business will be oaths of offices for all the legislators who were elected in November. The leadership in both chambers and both parties will also give opening speeches that will lay out the priorities of the caucuses for the 2019 session. Read more .

Federal Spotlight: Feenstra Announces Primary Challenge to King
State Senator Randy Feenstra (R-Hull) declared on Wednesday that he would take on Congressman Steve King (R-Kiron) in next June’s Republican primary. King represents Iowa’s 4th Congressional District, which is composed of 39 counties and covers all of northwest and most of north-central Iowa. Feenstra has served in the Iowa Senate since his first election in 2008. He is currently the ways and means chairman and serves as an assistant majority leader. He’s also a professor at Dordt College in Sioux County and was previously a county treasurer. Read more about this  development .

Tax Expenditure Committee Meets
The legislative tax expenditure committee met Tuesday, Jan. 8 to review specific tax credit programs and discuss potential legislative changes. During the meeting urban renewal areas/property tax increment financing, redevelopment tax credit, Endow Iowa tax credit, and child dependent care and early childhood development tax credits were reviewed. Read more .

Governor Announces Cabinet Appointments
Gov. Reynolds’ office issued a press release on Tuesday proclaiming the governor has appointed several individuals to cabinet posts. Some appointments of interest to ABI members include Debi Durham, who will remain head of the Iowa Economic Development Authority. She has served in this role since her initial appointment in 2011 by then Gov. Branstad. She will also be the director of the Iowa Finance Authority. Read more .

First Legislative Teleconference on Jan. 25
The first legislative teleconference will be held Friday, Jan. 25 at 8 a.m. The calls are open to ABI members and provide an in-depth look at key issues pending in the Legislature. To register for the calls, contact Michelle Vollstedt .

Federal Spotlight: WOTUS Hearing Postponed Due to Government Shutdown
The EPA and the Department of the Army announced on Monday that due to a lack of appropriations, a public hearing on the revised Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule has been postponed indefinitely. The hearing was originally scheduled to take place on Jan. 23 in Kansas City. The EPA and Army will notify the public of a revised date for the public hearing and other pertinent information as it becomes available. Read more .

ICYMI: Environment Committee Newsletter
Last week, members of ABI’s Environment Committee received an update on several items of interest from air quality budget meetings to protected water source rules and streamlining air construction permitting requirements. Periodically, the ABI public policy team publishes a newsletter to keep members of the Environment Committee updated on regulatory and policy items that affect ABI. Read the latest newsletter .
ABI Foundation Hires Marketing and Engagement Coordinator
McKenzie Kielman has joined the Iowa Association of Business and Industry (ABI) Foundation as marketing and engagement coordinator.

Kielman is responsible for generating community awareness and engagement for ABI Foundation programs, including Leadership Iowa, Leadership Iowa University and Business Horizons.

She graduated from Wartburg College in December 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in communications. Kielman grew up in Waverly. Read the full news release .
Is Process Killing the Customer Experience?
Andrea Olson

When a company decides to do something new, employees usually try several different ways of carrying out the activity. But once they have found a way that works particularly well, they have strong incentives to lock into the chosen process and stop searching for alternatives.

Ahlers & Cooney Law Firm Elects New Shareholders
Attorneys Aaron Hilligas, Rebecca Reif, Kristine Stone and Lindsay Vaught were recently elected shareholders at Ahlers & Cooney, P.C.

Hilligas is a member of the firm’s public law practice area. Reif is a member of the firm’s public and private law practice areas. Stone focuses her practice as part of the firm’s government law practice area. Vaught practices primarily in the areas of employment law and litigation.

Read the full news release .
Elevate Advanced Manufacturing Scholarships Available for H.S. Seniors
Elevate Advanced Manufacturing is giving away 15 $500 scholarships to Iowa high school seniors interested in studying a manufacturing-related career at one of Iowa's 15 community colleges. One award will be given per college region. Read more .

Midwest Growth Partners Announces Investment in Van Becelaere Machine Works
West Des Moines-based Midwest Growth Partners, a private equity fund, announced on Tuesday the close of an investment in Van Becelaere Machine Works based in Pittsburg, Kansas. Vince Van Becelaere and Joel Van Becelaere, president and vice president of Van Becelaere Machine Works, respectively, will remain as second generation family owners of the precision machining company. Read the full news release .

Elevate Advanced Manufacturing Seeks Events for Ambassadors to Participate In
There are over 180 Elevate Advanced Manufacturing ambassadors across Iowa that volunteer their time to educate K-12 students, educators, business leaders and parents about career opportunities in advanced manufacturing. 

Elevate Advanced Manufacturing is asking for prescheduled events and activities that your company, organization or community has available for its ambassadors to participate in. Events may include a presentation, vendor exhibitor, hands-on classroom activity, company tours, etc. See past ambassador event examples .

Please email the the event's name, date and description, and how ambassadors can participate, to Alex Monaghan at  amonaghan@measuredintentions.com . You may share events and activities with Elevate Advanced Manufacturing throughout the year.