ABI’s 2023 Legislative Priorities

January 16, 2023 | ABI to Build on Successes of 2022 Legislative Session Brad Hartkopf, Director of Public Policy, ABI, bhartkopf@iowaabi.org

Brad Hartkopf, Director of Public Policy

It’s January in Iowa which means lawmakers have convened in Des Moines to work on public policy matters and craft a state budget for the coming fiscal year. The Iowa Legislature kicked off the first session of the 90th General Assembly on Monday, January 9th. Given redistricting, retirements and November’s election results, there is an extraordinary number of new faces in the State House. In fact, in the graphic below are some interesting statistics regarding the newly elected officials. 

Given that over one third of the Legislature is newly elected or are now serving in the opposite chamber, ABI’s public policy team has been busy meeting and educating them on the issues that matter most to the Voice of Iowa Business. 

The election turned out well for candidates that ABI’s PAC, the Iowa Industry Political Action Committee (IIPAC) endorsed as Friends of Iowa Business. 67 out of the 70 candidates IIPAC backed won, which means we’re going on the offense when it comes to pro-business legislation next year. 

ABI’s Board of Directors established 4 legislative priorities for the association to accomplish in 2023. Here’s what we’ll be focused on. 

Workforce — It’s not a surprise that workforce is our top priority. Businesses are continuing to hire and look for folks who want to take advantage of great opportunities that exist within the state. We’ll be supporting innovative solutions and incentives to help businesses and employees overcome barriers to employment, such as childcare and adequate and available workforce housing. We’ll continue to support funding for Future Ready Iowa, work-based learning and apprenticeship programs. We’ll also be looking at drug and alcohol testing to ensure that employers can continue to maintain a zero tolerance policy while also creating a legal environment that is conducive to that goal. 

Tort Reform — Predictability and certainty is necessary when it comes to understanding costs related to liability and other factors that affect industry. We’re encouraging the Legislature to take a holistic review of current law and implement changes that will ultimately enhance our legal climate and make Iowa a better place to do business. 

Property Tax Reform and Reduction — Governor Reynolds and the Legislature have made tremendous strides to improve our individual and corporate income tax climates over the last few years. One area where we remain noncompetitive is property taxes. The latest round of assessments is forecasted to be significant for those affected. We’ll be asking the Legislature to provide relief to our members and ensure that any changes made are actually felt by taxpayers. 

Regulatory Reform — We’re always looking at ways that we can cut red tape for business and industry. We’ll be supporting efforts during the legislative session and outside of session that streamline rules to ensure that business can operate more efficiently and effectively. 

The public policy team will be working throughout the session to enact the priorities the Board of Directors has established for the association. If you have any questions, please contact JD Davis or Brad Hartkopf.