September 12, 2019
ABI Board of Directors Sets 2020 Priorities
The ABI Board of Directors met yesterday in Cedar Rapids to establish the 2020 ABI priorities and policies. The board considered the recommendations made by the policy committees and legislative committee. The priorities for the 2020 legislative session are workforce, competitive business climate and regulatory reform. Read the  priority document . More than 200 members participated in ABI’s grassroots policy development process. The full policy document will be available online later this fall. Thank you to all ABI members who were involved in formulating our 2020 priorities and policies. 

USMCA Iowa Letter
Earlier this week, the Iowa Association of Business and Industry, as well as key allies the Greater Des Moines Partnership and Iowa Farm Bureau, delivered a  letter  to Iowa’s Congressional delegation urging passage of the USMCA. The letter, signed by 78 other businesses, individuals and organizations statewide, reflects the support of Iowans for the USMCA. Read the  full news release .

Select media coverage:

Administrative Rules Review Committee 
The Administrative Rules Review Committee met Tuesday to consider several agencies' proposed rules. Highlights include a  notice rule  that clarifies the identity verification process used when claims for unemployment insurance benefits are filed, and a  notice rule  containing confidentiality provisions when it comes to food safety complaints. The ARRC also approved filed rules related to the Future Ready Iowa's  Last Dollar Scholarship Program  and the  Skilled Workforce Grant Program . ABI Director, Public Policy Brad Hartkopf attended the meeting on behalf of ABI. 

IIPAC Fall Support
Ten years ago ABI was in a battle to maintain Iowa’s Right to Work status and employer direction of care for workers’ compensation insurance. Thanks to the personal investment in pro-jobs candidates (Democrats and Republicans) and the investment in IIPAC, ABI was successful in maintaining and electing candidates who would preserve a pro-business environment. Although the last few years have been successful, we cannot rest. We need your support going into 2020. With a presidential, U.S. Senate and several congressional races on the ballot, resources will be tight. Fundraising has already started in earnest for those races. We need your support to help elect pro-business state legislative candidates. All of ABI’s PAC resources are invested in Iowa legislators.  Donate  $100 today. 

SOS Creates Award to Boost High School Voter Registration
Secretary of State Paul Pate announced on Tuesday a new initiative aimed at increasing the number of Iowa high schoolers registered to vote. Every Iowa school that registers at least 90% of their eligible students to vote will receive the Carrie Chapman Catt Award, named after the Iowan who was a national leader in the women’s suffrage movement. The 19th amendment, which granted women the right to vote, was passed by Congress 100 years ago and ratified by at least ¾ of the states in 1920. The SOS is partnering with organizations to organize and conduct voter registration drives. Learn more about  Iowa High School voter registration signup  and read the  full news release .

Federal Spotlight: EPA Set to Repeal WOTUS Rule
It is expected that Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler will announce today the EPA is going to fully repeal the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. The announcement is likely to come this afternoon at the National Association of Manufacturers according to multiple news outlets. WOTUS was initially enacted under the Obama administration in 2015 and vastly expanded the definition of navigable waters under the Clean Water Act, which gave the federal government much more jurisdiction over waterways. The business and agriculture communities have argued this rule was an overreach and courts have put an injunction on the rule in numerous states across the country. The new definition for the regulation will likely be much more narrow in scope and published near the end of this year.  Read more .
Coming Soon: Legends in Manufacturing Awards Dinner
Honor the past, present and future of advanced manufacturing at the Legends in Manufacturing Awards Dinner on October 1. The fifth annual event will be held at the Prairie Meadow Events Center in Altoona. The agenda includes a networking reception at 4:30 p.m., dinner at 6 p.m., program at 6:30 p.m., and award ceremony from 7-7:45 p.m.

Register now . And be sure to join us the next morning for Iowa Manufacturing Matchmaking and the Advanced Manufacturing Conference . Both events are also at the Prairie Meadow Events Center.
Tech Infrastructure is Key for Manufacturing
Steve Simpson
Account Executive

For businesses, success often comes from several factors. Infrastructure, particularly communications and internet services, has been rated as a top priority for successful operations, and this is especially true in manufacturing.

The  Small Business Index for Q1 2019  reports that 64% of business owners say high-speed internet is “very important” to their success. For 83% of the manufacturing and resources sector, transportation is the only infrastructure system that ranks higher than high-speed internet.

Iowa Roots Run Deep … and Fast
Across Iowa and the Midwest, the Aureon Fiber Optic Network consists of more than 3,800 miles of fiber delivering industry-leading performance. To ensure the next generation of internet and cloud-based services are available to businesses and manufacturers across Iowa, Aureon has taken strategic steps to make our network stronger, more secure and resilient. This includes a $60 million investment in infrastructure, fiber and network equipment, making it the largest fiber installation in Iowa. Keep reading .
Focus OneSource to Host "Tax Savings Tips for Business" Seminar
Attend this free session presented by Angela Reed, CPA on Sept. 18, 5-6 p.m., at Focus OneSource's training facility, 2929 Westown Parkway, in West Des Moines. A broad range of small business tax issues will be discussed including ways to maximize small business insurance options available, how to prepare for retirement by exploring savings options, top tax savings tips from experts, and more. Register now .

Spindustry to Offer SharePoint and eCommerce Webinars
Join Spindustry for two webinars this month:
  • SharePoint Roadmap: Tales from the 2019 Conference on Sept. 19 from 11:30-12:30 p.m. Jarrod Edge will provide some great insights from the 2019 SharePoint Conference. Register now.
  • The Perfect Ingredients for eCommerce on Sept. 25 from 11:30-12:30 p.m. Michael Bird will take a deeper look at data, on-site search and product taxonomy. Register now.