ABI Advocates for You All Year Long

October 13, 2017 | Manufacturing remains strong in Iowa Nicole Crain, Senior Vice President, Public Policy, ncrain@iowaabi.org

If you’re an ABI member, you know ABI has a full policy and political program that operates year-round. You know ABI has a political action committee, as well as a grassroots action tool for ABI members and employees to stay engaged and educated in the political process.

However, when I talk with family, friends and neighbors, I’m often asked, “So what do you do when the Legislature isn’t in session?” People tend to think I play a lot of golf and drink a lot of coffee. The coffee part is true, but only because as a member of the ABI public policy team we have some intense rules and regulations that we analyze and comment on before the Administrative Rules Review Commi ee (ARRC).

The ARRC is the body that reviews all state agency rules that need to be implemented due to legislative or state policy changes. The committee, which is made up of Republican and Democratic legislators, meets once a month and asks many questions of each state agency about the rules. The public also has the opportunity to speak and provide comments at the meeting and to the agencies proposing the rules. This is where the ABI policy team spends quite a bit of time speaking up for members.

The association has commented on many proposed rules this summer, including the Iowa Workforce Development rules that implement legislation from the 2017 session. These rules strengthen the unemployment trust fund and fix an Iowa Supreme Court case. ABI also reviewed Department of Revenue rules that implement changes to the Property Assessment Appeals Board and extend the W-2 online reporting requirement for small businesses.

In addition to formal comments ABI submits to agencies, members of the public policy team spend many hours meeting with state agency officials talking about issues that affect Iowa companies. For example, ABI participated in a months-long stakeholder process with the Department of Natural Resources Air Quality Bureau to look at efficiencies and funding challenges. ABI also works with individual member companies to address regulatory challenges they are facing in their business and to help connect them with the right agency or individual who can help them work through the difficulties.

As employers, we know you’re busy running your business and you don’t have the time to review rules and legislation to make certain it won’t negatively affect your bottom line or your employees. At ABI, we’re honored to have the opportunity to represent you and be the voice of job creators in Iowa’s 99 counties. If you want to learn more about the rules ABI is tracking on your behalf, check out the ABI website or give me a call. I look forward to hearing from you and seeing if we can help with any challenges you may be facing.