August 22, 2019
USMCA Action Item – Sign Iowa Coalition Letter
ABI, along with our partner associations, continue our strong advocacy for the USMCA. Whether you are an Iowa business, a multi-state business with operations in Iowa or a state association, we hope you take the opportunity to add your company’s name to a Congressional letter in support of the new USMCA. Read the  letter .

The letter is an opportunity to show broad support for the new trade accord and to encourage our delegation to vote in favor of ratifying the deal should the USMCA come up for consideration by Congress. The deadline for signing the letter is September 5 at 5 p.m.

Please email  Daniel Heady  with the Iowa Farm Bureau Federation if you want to sign on. If you have questions about the letter or ABI’s support of USMCA, please contact  Nicole Crain .

Congressional Meetings Continue in Iowa
With both the U.S. House and Senate in recess until after the Labor Day holiday, members of Iowa’s Congressional delegation continue to hold meetings across the state to hear from constituents about issues that matter to them. Now is an excellent time to express concerns, ask questions or hear the latest updates from our federal representation in Washington. See the latest list of events scheduled throughout the state below.

ABI Attends Senate Small Business Field Hearing
Last Friday, ABI staff attended a field hearing of the U.S. Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee chaired by Sen. Ernst. The hearing included remarks by Sen. Ernst and a panel of leaders who understand workforce and had best practices to share with the senator.

Iowa’s Gov. Reynolds was the first individual to testify, and you can read more about her remarks in the article below. Rob Denson, president of ABI member DMACC, spoke about the programs at DMACC that get students trained quickly and into the workforce. He also highlighted how DMACC has the lowest tuition in the state and opportunities for training programs in correctional facilities.

ABI continues to focus on workforce as a priority of the organization through the Elevate Advanced Manufacturing initiative and in public policy initiatives. Read  testimonies  from the hearing.

Governor Advocates for More Federal Flexibility in Workforce Development
Gov. Reynolds testified last week at a field hearing of the U.S. Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, which was chaired by Sen. Ernst. The governor elaborated on Iowa’s workforce development efforts including Future Ready Iowa and requested more state flexibility when it comes to federal government programs aimed at self-sufficiency. She also commented in support of Sen. Ernst’s EMPOWERS Act and her Wind Workforce Modernization and Training Act. In 2019, the Iowa Legislature allocated $16 million toward the Future Ready Iowa Initiative, which ABI supported. Read the  full news release .

Hartkopf Testifies at Environmental Protection Commission
ABI’s Director, Public Policy Brad Hartkopf recently attended and commented at the Environmental Protection Commission (EPC) meeting on Tuesday. Hartkopf spoke in support of Agenda Item #8 –  Water Supply – Water Use & Allocation Annual Permit Fee . The DNR provided the commission with background on the fee and proposed to set it at $95 for FY20, which is $39 lower than what it was for FY18 and FY19.

The DNR is looking to create more stability in budgeting and less annual fluctuation in the fee. Its staff is also spending down some of the carryforward that currently exists within the program. The DNR hopes to set the annual fee at $95 for the next three years and to continue to chip away at the carryforward. Hartkopf’s comments echoed support for the DNR’s position on those fronts. The commission unanimously voted to approve the agenda item. 
Your Invitation to Innovation
Join us for the 2019 Advanced Manufacturing Conference, Oct. 2, at the Prairie Meadows Events Center in Altoona.

It's your opportunity to:
  • Connect with colleagues during networking breaks.
  • Engage with experts including the keynote and general session speakers.
  • Bring back valuable new ideas and best practices from wisdom-filled workshops.

Register now . And be sure to join us the night before for the Legends in Manufacturing Awards Dinner and just prior to the conference for Iowa Manufacturing Matchmaking .
4 Things You Might Not Know About the Buy ABI Program
Kathy Anderson
VP, Member Development and Programs
Iowa Association of Business and Industry

Most members know ABI for our effective public policy advocacy and impactful educational and networking events. So much so, some of our other just-as-valuable benefits can get overlooked.

One of those benefits is the  Buy ABI affinity program . It allows you to save hundreds—even thousands—of dollars on products and services you already buy for your business.  Read more .
BrownWinick Attorneys Named to 2020 Best Lawyers ® List
BrownWinick announced 24 lawyers have been included in the 2020 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America . In addition, Attorney Camille L. Urban (pictured) was recognized as the Best Lawyer of the Year – Trademark Law for Des Moines in 2020. Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence.
The Best Lawyers in America 2020 Recognizes 14 Ahlers & Cooney, P.C. Attorneys
Fourteen attorneys at Ahlers & Cooney, P.C., a Des Moines-based law firm, were recognized in respective practice areas by The Best Lawyers in America © 2020 edition for Des Moines. Attorney Randy Stefani was also recognized as Best Lawyer of the Year – Construction Law in Des Moines for 2020. Since it was first published in 1983, Best Lawyers has become universally regarded as the definitive guide to legal excellence. See the full news release .
Substance Abuse and Marijuana in the Workplace Conference is Sept. 25
As the substance abuse and marijuana issue evolves in Iowa and Illinois, employer focus must be to prepare and respond. Join the Iowa-Illinois Safety Council, Sept. 25 in Johnston, for this one-day conference. It's designed to give front-line supervisors, EHS professionals and human resources partners the most current information on changing laws, policy and real-life outcomes that will have consequences in the workplace, home and community. ABI's Nicole Crain will be one of the featured speakers. Learn more .