September 17, 2021
First Round of Legislative and
Congressional Maps Unveiled 
On Thursday, September 16, the nonpartisan Legislative Services Agency (LSA), the research and bill writing arm of the Iowa Legislature, released maps that define House and Senate districts for the Iowa General Assembly for the 2022-2030 elections. The new maps reflect population changes that have occurred since the last decennial census. The LSA also released new maps for Iowa’s four U.S. Congressional districts.

Here is an overview of the new maps, starting with Congress:

  • Congresswoman Ashley Hinson, who now represents northeast Iowa from her home in Linn County, would run for re-election in a district that would serve southeast Iowa.
  • Congresswoman Mariannette Miller-Meeks who currently serves southeast Iowa from her home in Ottumwa would run for reelection to serve in a district in northeast Iowa bordered by Minnesota and Wisconsin.
  • Congresswoman Cindy Axne, who has been representing central and southwestern Iowa to the Nebraska border, would run again to serve Polk and Dallas counties along with counties in southern-central Iowa to the Missouri border.
  • Congressman Randy Feenstra, now representing northwest Iowa, would see a large geographic expansion of the district at the next election. The new district would include the most northwestern and southwestern counties in Iowa and in the north would run along the Minnesota border to within 60 miles of the Wisconsin border.

The new House and Senate maps will take a bit of time to analyze but some information jumps out to illustrate how much change can accompany redistricting. 

  • Of the 150 sitting members of the legislature, 54 are now in districts with fellow incumbents.  
  • Of the 50 newly drawn Senate districts, 13 have no incumbent living within their boundaries.
  • Of the 9 new freshman GOP House members, 6 are now in districts with fellow incumbents.

ABI staff will monitor the reaction of various elected officials to the new maps as the October 5, 2021 special session for their consideration draws near. If you have questions about changes in your local districts, please email
Bousselot Wins Special Election in HD 37
On Tuesday, Republican Michael Bousselot, a former Director of the Department of Management, defeated Democrat Andrea Phillips in a special election in Iowa House District 37. This district covers most of Ankeny and northern parts of Polk County. Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds called the special election due to the recent passing of former State Rep. John Landon. Bousselot, endorsed by ABI’s political action committee IIPAC as a Friend of Iowa Business, won by a margin of 51.6% to 48.3% or 377 votes. With his victory, Republicans will maintain their 59-41 majority as they head into a special session, which begins on October 5. ABI’s public policy team looks forward to working with Bousselot in his new role.
Special Election Date Set for HD 29
Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds announced earlier this week that the special election to fill the term of former State Rep. Wes Breckenridge will take place on Tuesday, October 12th. Breckenridge, who was serving his third term in the Iowa House, recently resigned from the Legislature to take a position with the Iowa Law Enforcement Academy. Iowa House District 29, located in Jasper County, includes the cities of Newton and Colfax. Both parties will be actively seeking this seat, as the district is a toss-up. Democrats slightly outnumber Republicans 6,522 to 6,255, with 5,849 Independents. Both parties will hold special nominating conventions to select nominees for the race in the near future.
Workforce Roundtables Taking Place this Fall
Iowa Workforce Development (IWD) announced that more than 25 workforce roundtables will take place across the state in the fall as Iowa looks at addressing the workforce shortage businesses are currently facing. IWD will also lead a team to conduct workforce assessment needs for local employers onsite. The roundtables are set to begin later this month and go through November. IowaWORKS field offices and community colleges will host the meetings. You can view the schedule of events and register here. View IWD’s news release here.
SOS’s Office Announces Cybersecurity Webinar for October
Iowa Secretary of State (SOS) Paul Pate’s Office announced that the Secretary will lead a special webinar next month regarding cybersecurity awareness. The panelists for the webinar include:

  • Chief Information Officer for the SOS’s Office Kyle Phillips
  • Jeff Hudgens of information security firm Pratum
  • Special Agent Dean Neubauer of the FBI Cyber Task Force

The meeting will take place on Wednesday, October 13th at 11:00 a.m. via Microsoft Teams. If you would like to RSVP for the event, please contact Anthony Mooney.
Governor Announces Broadband Grant Awardees
On Tuesday, Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds unveiled the recipients of awards for the state’s broadband grant program. 39 applicants received a total of $97.5 million. The Office of the Chief Information Officer, which administers the broadband grant program, received 178 applications from broadband providers. You can see the award announcements here. Policymakers approved a robust broadband policy bill earlier this year, which will pave the way for higher broadband speeds to be implemented across the state. The General Assembly and the governor also approved $100 million in grants for providers to deploy broadband infrastructure. The State of Iowa is set to expedite a new grant program utilizing American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds. More information will be released in the future. Read the governor’s press release here.
Reconciliation Effort Ramps Up in Congress
The slim majorities Democrats hold in Congress have complicated their goals to advance their policy priorities. One challenge they face is in the Senate, where major measures need at least 60 votes in that chamber. 

The work-around is a process called budget reconciliation, which requires a simple majority in the Senate - 51 votes. The House and Senate are using that process now on a $3.5 trillion package. The Congressional Budget Act allows reconciliation for policies that change spending or revenues.

Committees play a significant role in the budget reconciliation process. Their work is “constrained” by a legislated cap on the assembled parts of the bill, which cost no more than $3.5 trillion. The tax committees in each chamber determine how the spending will take place -- the Senate Finance Committee and the House Ways and Means Committee. 

The House plan would establish a combined state and federal corporate tax rate in Iowa of 33.7%, making the corporate tax rate in Iowa the third highest in the nation behind New Jersey and Pennsylvania. See a U.S. map of these combined rates provided by the nonpartisan Tax Foundation here.
Less Than Two Weeks Left!
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  • State and Federal Tax Update and Potential Planning Opportunities or Pitfals
  • Taking a Deep Dive on Iowa’s Manufacturing 4.0 plan
  • ESOPs in Advanced Manufacturing
  • The Buying Journey
  • Marijuana Maze: Tips for Employers on Navigating the Changing Legal Landscape
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Iowa Workforce Development Podcast Featuring ABI President Mike Ralston
Last week, ABI President Mike Ralston joined Iowa Workforce Development on the September episode of the Mission: Employable Podcast to share strategies for helping employers find workforce solutions.

CLICK HERE to listen to the new episode.

Gifts to the ABI Foundation are now being matched up to $40,000 thanks to the generous support of the Dick & Judy Smith Family Foundation. CLICK HERE to learn how you can support the ABI Foundation.
An Update on Vaccine Incentives: Can Employers Raise Health Insurance Premiums for Unvaccinated Employees? 
By Jackson O'Brien and Cynthia Boyle Lande, BrownWinick Law Firm

Prior to last week’s announcement by President Biden, some employers such as Delta Air Lines had already announced they would now require unvaccinated employees to pay higher health insurance premiums. In other words, employers are differentiating health insurance premiums based on vaccination status: lower premiums for vaccinated employees and higher premiums for unvaccinated employees. This approach remains relevant for employers who are not subject to the anticipated OSHA regulations as well as those who choose to continue allowing regular testing as an alternative to vaccination.

CLICK HERE to read about what employers should think about when considering vaccine incentives in the workplace.
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