January 31, 2019
Employment Bills Receive Hearings
On Tuesday, several pieces of legislation affecting employers were discussed before House and Senate subcommittees. From franchisee/franchisor legislation to prohibiting employers from limiting employee political contributions, all the proposed bills moved forward.

  • HSB 5 – The bill would bring clarity and certainty to the franchisor/franchisee relationship by declaring they are not joint employers. Read more.
  • SF 34 – This proposal changes the amount of time to appeal an unemployment claim from 10 days after IWD mails the notice to 10 days after an employer receives notice. Read more.
  • SF 53 – This legislation would prevent employers from prohibiting employees from contributing to a committee, receiving approval for contributing or limiting the amount of contributions. Read more.

Keep reading to learn about additional proposed bills.

IEDA & IFA Director Durham Speaks to Economic Development Subcommittee
On Tuesday, Iowa Economic Development Authority and Iowa Finance Authority Director Debi Durham presented before the Economic Development Budget Subcommittee. She spoke about several initiatives IEDA is working on to make Iowa a more attractive place for people to visit, live and invest in. She talked about the need to reevaluate Iowa’s welcome centers and leverage “opportunity zones” to encourage more capital investment in low-income areas. She also mentioned the success of the Main Street Iowa program, Iowa Energy Plan, and how the state is solidifying its status as a leader in the bio industry.  

Iowa Senate Introduces Medical Marijuana Proposals
Members in the Iowa Senate have introduced legislation that would expand Iowa’s law as it relates to the use of cannabidiol. There are multiple proposals that do a variety of things, including increasing the THC allowed and expanding the conditions allowed to use medical marijuana. The first subcommittee on one of the proposals,  SF 77 , was held Wednesday with several interested parties in attendance. Read more .

Regulatory Reform Legislation Advances
SF 25  received a subcommittee hearing Monday afternoon. ABI spoke in favor of the legislation, as it would cut red tape for manufacturers of water filters. The bill would streamline Iowa’s water filter certification process by eliminating the Department of Public Health from having to certify third-party tests and puts Iowa in line with all other 49 states regarding certification by moving to a national standard. Sen. Chapman, who led the subcommittee, signed off on the bill and plans to move it expeditiously to the full Commerce Committee.  

Federal Spotlight: USMCA Trade Deal Needs Congressional Approval
According to the U.S. Chamber’s International Relations update, Trump administration officials are working to build support for congressional approval of the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA). U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer met with members of the House Ways and Means Committee to discuss the administration’s trade priorities, particularly USMCA. Read more .
Register for Iowa Business Day on the Hill 2019
Registration is now live for Iowa Business Day on the Hill. The March 13th event is open to all ABI, Iowa Chamber Alliance, NAWBO and NFIB members. Receive an update from each organization on current legislation specific to business issues at the Statehouse. Then head to the Capitol to visit with local legislators about legislative priorities and other items of interest to your organization. Register now .
Leadership Iowa is Accepting Location Nominations
Each year, the Leadership Iowa (LI) curriculum committee selects seven rural and urban communities across the state to host LI sessions. The communities selected benefit in a number of ways by welcoming 40 diverse leaders from across the state for two-day sessions. If you know a great Iowa community worthy of an LI visit, please  submit a nomination  and tell us why it should be considered. Nominations are accepted year-round, and locations not selected for the 2019-20 year will be considered in the future.
Scholarships Available for In-demand Manufacturing Training
ABI's Elevate Advanced Manufacturing is offering 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 made per college region. Applications are due March 1. Download the application form .
The Importance of Real Service
Andrea Olson

Companies that underestimate the customer experience do so at their own peril. Some 77% of U.S. adults say that valuing their time is the most important thing a company can do to provide them with good service, according to Forrester Research.

Customers need to be able to get the value they are looking for in as easy a way as possible. Making things easy is oftentimes about solving a bunch of tiny little pain points that individually might not seem like a big deal, but over a whole customer experience become a massive improvement. Read more .
CCDC Celebrates 50 Years of Community Commitment and Success
2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Clarke County Development Corporation (CCDC). In August 1969, the development corporation that has brought Osceola and Clarke County numerous business and economic successes including Jimmy Dean and Hormel, as well as the boon of the casino, all started from the passion of a few locals ready to push the community they loved toward a brighter future. Read the full story .

Midwest Growth Partners Announces Second Private Equity Fund
West Des Moines-based Midwest Growth Partners, a private equity fund founded in 2013 that makes investments in companies seeking succession planning liquidity and growth capital, has raised $113.5 million for its second fund, Midwest Growth Partners II LP. Read the full news release .

Additional Opportunities to Apply for Registered Apprenticeship Funding
Organizations have until 2 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 22 to submit proposals to Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) to receive funding to grow Registered Apprenticeship opportunities in Iowa. IWD was recently awarded an additional $1 million ApprenticeshipUSA State Expansion Grant from the U.S. Department of Labor to strengthen and grow Registered Apprenticeship opportunities in Iowa. Read the full news release .