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November 15, 2018

Get More Involved in Your Industry – Join a Committee!

MBI is fortunate to have a significant number of individuals who are willing to devote their time, talent and expertise to the Association and give back to the industry in a productive and meaningful way.  The MBI committee system is the backbone of the Association and is responsible for generating the many services, new ideas and policies that reflect the desires and needs of an ever changing industry.  Committee members travel from all over the state to participate in meetings designed to inform and produce programs and services that reflect the needs of the membership.

10 Tips for Submitting Better Bids

As the commercial construction industry rolls into 2017, there is a very high likelihood that we will see more projects out for bid than any other year in the past decade. While estimators will be hard at work, any of them will tell you that there is always more than meets the eye when it comes to putting together a competitive bid.

PLA Prohibition Passes out of Subcommittee

Legislative Focus
February 24, 2017
Volume XVI, Edition 7

A Senate Labor and Business Relations subcommittee approved SSB 1145, which would:

  1. Prohibit a public owner from entering into a project labor agreement (PLA)
  2. Prohibit a public owner from creating any sort of ordinance or rule that would require an interested bidder, as a condition of bidding, to submit a questionnaire that would divulge proprietary and / or confidential information.

MBI has long pushed for a PLA prohibition that would codify Executive Order 69, which was signed by Governor Branstad on his inauguration day in January of 2011.  (If you recall, EO 69 prohibited the use of PLAs on any project in which state funding was provided.)  SSB 1145 is the culmination of legal battles and PR campaigns against the use of government mandated PLAs.   

House and Senate Pull Long Hours to Pass Collective Bargaining Reform

Legislative Focus
February 17, 2017
Volume XVI, Edition 6

A long week of contentious debate wound up on Thursday with both the Senate and House using a “time certain” motion to cut off debate.  Time certain basically cuts off all debate on any remaining amendments.  At a specific time, all amendments are voted on, one-by-one, with no debate.  Once all amendments are disposed of, a vote is made on final passage.  In my 21 year career at the Capitol, I recall having only seen this done on one other bill – the House’s consideration of the prevailing wage bill during the 2009 legislative session.  Only difference was that time certain was granted by unanimous consent, whereas, the one this week was a party-line vote.

Public Sector Collective Bargaining Bill Dominates Week at Capitol

Legislative Focus
February 10, 2017

Volume XVI, Edition 5

The House and Senate introduced companion bills that would reform Chapter 20 – Iowa’s public sector collective bargaining statute.  The bills – HSB 84 and SF 213 – would reform a 40 year old statute that outlines what are negotiable items and what are not negotiable items.  The bill basically maintains the existing format for those in public safety.  However, all others are scaled back to basically wages.

Senate Passes De-Appropriations Bill

Legislative Focus
January 27, 2017

Volume XVI, Edition 3

Due to revenue shortfalls, the Legislature must make cuts in order to sufficiently fund state government between now and the end of the fiscal year (June 30, 2017).  The Iowa Senate took first crack at the bill to do just that.  SF 130 would cut $118 million from the existing state budge with the burden of the cuts spread between state government and higher educational institutions.  However, K-12 funds were held harmless. 

Legislature Convenes with Republicans Running the Show

Legislative Focus
January 13, 2017

Volume XVI, Edition 1

After years of chasing the elusive trifecta, the Republicans now have it.  Voters put Republicans in charge of the House (59 to 41); the Senate (29-20-1) and the Governor’s office.  Now the challenge is to lead and govern.  With this being my 21st session, I have found that the trifecta is elusive, but once achieved, can be fleeting.  The Republicans will need to focus on growth and manage the expectations of numerous groups who have supported their efforts over the years.  The old adage of “dance with the one who brought you” applies here as the Republicans will be dancing with a bunch of partners these next few months. 

The Iowa General Assembly Starts Monday

Legislative Focus
January 6, 2017
Volume XVI, Special Edition

Elections have consequences and this fact becomes very apparent going into the 2017 Legislative Session.  With Republicans maintaining control of the Iowa House and now taking a majority in the Iowa Senate, new opportunities (and new challenges) are presented from a public policy perspective.  The Republicans now control the House (59-41), the Senate (29-20-1) and the governor’s office, which now makes MBI’s policy priorities take on a whole different perspective allowing us to now focus on issues that traditionally have not moved under a split control legislature.

MBI Board Identifies Policy Priorities for 2017 Legislative Session

Elections have consequences and this fact become very apparent going into the 2017 Legislative Session.  With Republicans maintaining control of the Iowa House and now taking a majority in the Iowa Senate, new opportunities (and new challenges) are presented from a public policy perspective.  The Republicans now control the House, the Senate and the governor’s office, which now makes MBI’s policy priorities take on a different perspective.  MBI can now focus on issues that traditionally have not moved under a split control legislature. 

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