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2012 Legislative News

June 7, 2012

Jun 7, 2012


Primary Elections

Tuesday’s primary elections for the Iowa statehouse proved predictable yet surprising at the same time. One of the old rules of politics held true - incumbents that faced primary challenges won 11 of 12 races. But at the same time, in races where incumbents were matched against each other, voters in eastern Iowa chose new blood over comfortable shoes while voters in north central Iowa stayed with brand loyalty. 


In two match-ups of incumbents, each featuring candidates with outstanding ABI voting records, Senator Shawn Hamerlinck (R-Dixon) defeated Senator Jim Hahn (R-Muscatine) 61% to 39%. Hamerlinck has served 4 years in the Senate and has never scored below 88% with ABI. Hahn, who has served 22 years at the statehouse (8 in Senate following 14 in the House) voted 100% with business in 3 of the past 5 years.


In the House, Representative Pat Grassley (R-New Hartford) was re-districted with Representative Annette Sweeney (R-Alden). Grassley, grandson of US Senator Chuck Grassley, won decidedly in an expensive contest 61% to 39%. Grassley has a 100% ABI voting record in 3 of the past 5 years. Sweeney has proudly scored 100% all 4 years she has served in the General Assembly. 


ABI is grateful to both Hahn and Sweeney for their support for Iowa’s business climate and their efforts to make Iowa the best state in the nation for business. Both will be missed. 


For Complete Election Results, Go the Iowa Secretary of State Website


2012 ABI Business Climate Campaign

I Invest

IIPAC Chair Kirk Tyler:   “We’re asking everyone associated with ABI to invest in the Iowa Industry Political Action Committee so business may continue to have a strong and unified voice,” says Tyler. Investors at $1,000, $500, $250 and $100 level receive special recognition at all major ABI events – including ABI Taking Care of Business Conference June 13-15. CLICK HERE for information and a secure link to make on online investment in the Iowa Industry PAC.  


Statewide Average Wage Adjusted

This week, Iowa Workforce Development announced that the statewide average weekly wage will increase nearly 3% over last year average of $38,949. The new figure will be used beginning July 1, 2012 to figure benefit payment schedules for unemployment and workers compensation benefits. Iowa’s unemployment rate dropped to 5.1% in April, and has dropped every month this year.


Letter to ABI Members from John Gilliland

Earlier this week I advised ABI President Mike Ralston of my decision to leave ABI to join my father in business at MorganStanley/SmithBarney.   This opportunity to join my dad in his 45-year old investment business was an easy decision. The choice to leave ABI, the members I admire, the business leaders I respect and my colleagues that I love, however, was a difficult one. 


With a background in law, politics, and business, I joined ABI in 2001 after finding a way to join those three passions. It has been an unbelievable experience working and learning from literally thousands of business leaders from across Iowa. It has been humbling to represent you before 12 different legislative sessions as well as 3 different gubernatorial administrations.


I have been privileged to work for ABI during tough times, transition periods as well as prosperous times; during pro-business legislative sessions and anti-business general assemblies. I’ve learned much from each of those challenges and successes.


I am grateful to ABI and the members on a number of fronts. I’ve been compensated beyond my worth; had affordable health insurance for my family; been allowed to try new ideas; and had my concerns heard. Above that, so many of you have shared with me your business philosophies, challenges, processes, strategies, and triumphs. 


You have also shown me the spirit of entrepreneurship and many of you have shared the joys of working with your family.   I am blessed with a great dad. He has always been a great mentor and guide for me. Becoming a partner with him at this stage of his and my career is a unique opportunity for our family. I could not take on this new challenge without the wisdom and experience gained by working at ABI with all of you.


I am forever grateful for the opportunity. Thank you.


John R. Gilliland

Senior Vice President, Government Relations

Iowa Association of Business and Industry