January 23, 2019

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


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.

Order Your RS Means at a Discount!

The Construction Update Network is currently in our 28th year as a retail outlet for the RS Means annual cost data publications.  RS Means books and CD-ROM’s are the most widely used cost data and estimating programs in the entire country and are relied upon by hundreds of thousands of construction companies.  The Construction Update Network is excited to announce that there is a 15% discount off of all RS Means retail prices!

CLICK HERE to view the 2018 RS Means Order Form!

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 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.

Construction Dive: Construction managers offer increased transparency and improve construction outcomes

Often a problem not only calls but screams for a solution. The field of Construction Management (CM) rose out of such a need. In an industry where lack of transparency is a frequent complaint, a view into real construction costs is beneficial to Owners, investors and the public. Construction Management provides such a view. You can’t put a value on public trust – so this is a win for the construction industry as a whole.

Safety Dividend Paying Insurance Program

We want to remind our members to speak to your insurance agent about the insurance program that is available through United Fire Group (UFG). UFG has written and issued over 140 policies to MBI members and Construction Update Network subscribers, with over $6,311,000 written premium in the program as of June 1, 2017.  Contractors insured in the program are eligible to earn a safety group dividend for their property and casualty lines of insurance (excluding workers compensation).

MBI’s Partner for Workers’ Comp Insurance

In 2013, MBI partnered with Midwest Builders’ Casualty Group (MWBC) to provide our members with access to their specialized workers’ compensation insurance program.  MWBC has focused on providing workers’ comp coverage to the commercial construction industry throughout the Midwest for over thirty years.  Their success has come from providing the highest level of service and knowledge because of their focused market.  They understand the construction industry and have built their program on fostering long-term partnerships by maintaining both competitive and stable pricing, while not overreacting when claims occur.  MWBC is also a dividend paying program that utilizes the most generous loss ratio for dividend qualification purposes in the industry.