Where We Are and Where We Are Going
As of this writing, the Iowa Legislature is nearing adjournment and we expect the 2023 session to have adjourned by the time this article goes to print. Discussions are ongoing on the budget, property tax and other outstanding policy items. ABI, on behalf of it’s members has accomplished a number of key things related to our priorities.
We expect to be approved after appropriations and before for Future Ready Iowa and key programs within that initiative including the Employer Innovation Fund, the Last Dollar Scholarship Program and the Childcare Challenge Fund. Legislation has also been approved to set up an office of apprenticeships within Iowa Workforce Development that will help develop a talent pipeline and make it easier for Iowans to get enrolled in apprenticeship programs.
Governor Reynolds signed HF 161 earlier in the year. It imposes hard caps on noneconomic damages in cases of medical malpractice. This is an issue the business community has worked on for decades. The Legislature also approved SF 228, which is commercial motor vehicle tort reform. Like HF 161, SF 228 imposes hard caps on noneconomic damages for incidents involving those types of vehicles.
Property Tax Reduction and Reform
Both chambers came into the 2023 legislative session with property tax reduction and reform in mind. Both the House and Senate have passed competing versions of reform with overwhelming bipartisan support. The ABI public policy team has received assurances that any bill advanced will include commercial and industrial taxpayers.
Governor Reynolds signed SF 514 into law, which reorganizes state government for the first time in 40 years. The changes will streamline operations of state government, make it easier for Iowans and businesses to interact with agencies and save tax dollars.
Following the conclusion of the 2023 legislative session, ABI staff leadership will travel statewide to present the results of the session to our members. This is the beginning of ABI’s grassroots member driven policy process for 2024. Times and dates for meetings in Council Bluffs, Sioux Center, Des Moines and Cedar Rapids have been set. You can register for the meetings online at www.iowaabi.org/events.
The regional meetings provide an excellent opportunity for you to make your voice heard. Be sure to join us for these high-value meetings.