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July 20, 2018

Second Funnel = Complete; Republicans choose new leaders in Senate

March 16, 2018
Volume XVI, Edition 10

The last procedural hurdle for the 2018 legislative session is today, known as the second funnel.  This deadline requires House bills that have passed the House, to pass a Senate committee, and vice versa. There was also a monumental shift of power due to Sen. Bill Dix’s resignation on Monday.  Sen. Dix had served as the Majority Leader and therefore controlled the fate of all legislation in the Senate. Moving forward, Senate Republicans chose Sen. Jack Whitver (R-Ankeny) as their new Majority Leader and Sen. Charles Schneider (R-West Des Moines) as the new Senate President. Additionally, Sen. Amy Sinclair (R-Allerton) was chosen as Majority Whip and Sen. Jake Chapman (R-Adel) is the newest assistant leader.  MBI congratulates all of these individuals on their new roles. With this change in leadership and presumably less than a month to go, anything can happen! Read the entire Legislative Focus here.

SAVE extension continues momentum; second funnel deadline next Friday

March 9, 2018
Volume XVI, Edition 9

We are approaching a rough deadline of about a month left in this legislative session, and the second funnel deadline is next Friday, March 16th. That means bills that have already passed the House must be passed through a Senate committee, and vice versa. Today’s Revenue Estimating Conference number will set the benchmark for most major budget decisions that are left to be made. On our priorities list, the 20-year SAVE extension made great progress by passing both the House and Senate Ways and Means subcommittees. As was pointed out in the House subcommittee, this would be the single largest investment in education in Iowa’s history.  MBI appreciates the bi-partisan work conducted in both the House and the Senate to advance the SAVE legislation! On the political front, Vice President Mike Pence was in Council Bluffs this week to talk tax reform and Gov. Kim Reynolds and Lt. Gov. Adam Gregg officially kicked off their bid for a full four year term on Wednesday evening in the governor’s hometown of Osceola.  Expect to see more announcements as next Friday, March 16 is the filing deadline for individuals interested in running for statewide or legislative office. 

Read the entire Legislative Focus here.

House Passes MBI Priority; up next week in Senate

March 2, 2018
Volume XVI, Edition 8

While last week was pretty civil, controversial topics including a fetal heartbeat bill, tax reform, gun control and mental health were on the docket this week. At the same time, a sense of pride was on everyone’s mind as the U.S. News and World Report ranked Iowa as the best state in the nation! There are a number of factors that went into the rankings, and I’ve highlighted that article below in the “Headlines” section. Also, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture Bill Northey was confirmed by the U.S. Senate to be the next USDA Under Secretary for Farm Production and Conservation.  Almost everyone agrees that this was long overdue.  And most importantly, we were also able to get our Mechanic’s Lien bill passed on the floor of the House, and have every indication that it will be on the floor of the Senate next week. By next week’s report, I hope to tell you that it’s on its way to the Governor’s desk for her signature!  Let’s get into it... 

Read the entire Legislative Focus here.

Floor Debate Begins in House and Senate; Senate releases tax reform bill

 February 23, 2018
Volume XVI, Edition 6

This week, floor debate began on an array of bills that were mostly non-controversial. Right after funnel is a time for knocking out business that doesn’t bog down legislators in contentious debate. They mostly save those for the weeks ahead. The Senate also dominated the headlines when they unveiled their comprehensive plan to address tax reform on Wednesday. The plan would cut more than $1 billion in taxes on an annual basis. The major difference between what the Senate wants to do and the governor’s plan is the Senate wants to address both the individual and corporate side. The governor’s plan only addresses the individual side and would cut $1.7 billion over the next several years. Details on the plans can both be found below. 

Read the entire Legislative Focus here. 

Bipartisanship working for MBI priorities

February 16, 2018
Volume XVI, Edition 5

While no bill is ever truly dead when legislators are in Des Moines, bills generally learn their fate by the end of today, with the exception of spending, oversight and/or tax bills.  Thankfully, most of MBI’s priorities have survived the funnel deadline with good bipartisan support.  MBI would like to thank legislators on both sides of the aisle who have worked diligently in a stressful environment to listen and advance pro-construction legislation that will positively influence the business climate in our state. There still is a lot of work to be done, but we are optimistic in wrapping up week 6. 

Read the entire Legislative Focus here

 

Coming Soon!

The furious pace of technological advancement can sometimes make it difficult to see just how amazing technology is. Who ever thought we would be able to touch a piece of glass and have access to the entire world right in the palm of our hands?

Well, amazing as it might be, Iowa’s construction industry will soon have access to the full complement of MBI resources through the newly re-designed, and soon to re-launch, MBI mobile application.

No floor debate this week, while committees and subcommittees moving full steam ahead

February 2, 2018
Volume XVI, Edition 4

The de-appropriations discussion continues into week four.  The discussion is being held behind closed doors between leaders of each body with the general thought that the final cut will be between $30-$50 million for the remainder of this fiscal year.  I anticipate that this will be taken care of next week.  Subcommittees and committees continued to work through a plethora of bills and keep the legislative process moving.      

Water Quality, De-Appropriations control discussion in Week 3

January 26, 2018
Volume XVI, Edition 3

After three years of discussion around how to address the state’s water quality, the House of Representatives unfortunately conceded on their own bipartisan plan from last year, and approved Senate File 512 by a vote of 59-41.  This bill was the preferred legislation to address water quality from the Iowa Farm Bureau, Secretary of Agriculture, and Governor’s office.  MBI has opposed this legislation since last year because of the eventual impact to the Rebuild Iowa Infrastructure Fund (RIIF).  Currently, $15 million a year is used from gambling revenues to pay back Vision Iowa bonds.  Once those bonds are retired in 2020, the $15 million will now go to water quality efforts rather than back in the RIIF to address critical infrastructure needs. 

Legislature Begins Subcommittee Work

Legislative Focus
January 19, 2018

Volume XVI, Edition 2

Various subcommittees have begun to meet on a broad range of issues that will continue the mantra of “kicking the door in” on the Capitol, as the Republican leader in the Senate has said.  In this regard, MBI has registered in favor of two specific bills that would provide benefits to construction companies.

#1:   House Study Bill 524:  an Act relating to mechanics’ liens, public construction liens, and the early release of retained funds.  This bill is accompanied by Senate Study Bill 3039 and mirror each other in the language.  This is our bill that we drafted and makes two changes to mechanic’s lien laws:

Legislature Convenes for Part 2 of the 87th General Assembly

Legislative Focus
January 12, 2018
Volume XVII, Edition 1

“In 2017, our agenda was big and bold.  In 2018, Senate Republicans will move an agenda that will again be big and bold because this state deserves big and bold. The changes we make will move our state forward in a positive direction, felt for many generations to come.” –Sen. Bill Dix

Gov. Kim Reynolds, along with Republican legislators, are going to try and do everything they can to advance a conservative agenda while they are in control.  No one can possibly predict what the 2018 elections will bring.  So Republicans have a sense of urgency to get done what they can, while they have control.  But there are significant challenges that loom including beginning session with a de-appropriation bill to the tune of $37 million out of an estimated $7.2 billion budget.  Republicans still control the Iowa Senate (29-20-1), the Iowa House (58-41; one open seat currently) and the Governor’s office.

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Thank You Annual MBI Regional Membership Meetings Sponsors!

The Annual MBI Regional Membership Meetings are luncheon meetings held annually in different locations around the state.  All 2017 membership meetings are scheduled from 12:00 – 1:00 pm, and include a presentation on a new field leadership initiative, workforce development efforts, 2018 legislative priorities and an introduction to MBI’s new Director of Public Affairs – Ben Hammes. 

Calling All Architects! Don’t Forget About IowaBidDate.com

IowaBidDate.com is a free website that has been designed to assist project owners and their representatives with selecting the most beneficial bid date possible. The Construction Update Network tracks more than 4,000 projects on an annual basis, and all of these are placed into a bid date calendar that gives an up to date outlook of all currently bidding projects.

What Are You Missing?

It is common knowledge that investing in anything comes with an inherent degree of risk. Sometimes that risk is large… sometimes small. Most would agree, however, that an investment decision is typically based on the potential for return.

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