What to Expect from ABI During the 2018 Legislative Session

January 12, 2018 | Top priorities: Business owners, legislators weigh in on 2018 session Nicole Crain, Senior Vice President, Public Policy, ABI, ncrain@iowaabi.org

The legislative session began Jan. 8. As you have read in this column before, ABI serves as the Iowa business community’s eyes and ears at the Capitol. The upcoming legislative session will be no different. I thought you might like to know what to expect from ABI during the session and also how you can be engaged in the policymaking process.

Three things to expect from ABI:

  1. Round-the-clock coverage at the Capitol – The ABI public policy team has followed this mantra for the last decade and will continue to do so: “As long as they are there, we are there.” ABI will be there for Iowa employers day and night. We will work to educate lawmakers about the impact various proposals will have on employees and employers statewide.
  2. Weekly updates – Each Thursday afternoon, ABI members will receive the Voice of Iowa Business e-newsletter. The newsletter will feature a summary of key issues ABI has engaged in on behalf of members during the week. The newsletter will be timely and in your email inbox before the end of the week.
  3. Monthly conference calls – ABI members also get up-to-date information on monthly conference calls, which are made possible by ABI member company support of the organization. These calls give specific information on bill status and provide members with an insiders’ look into the legislative process.

Three ways you can get engaged:

  1. Meet your local elected officials – Iowa legislators are extremely accessible. In addition to weekend forums, legislators are willing to come to businesses and meet with employees and other businesses from their districts. The best way to educate legislators is to help them understand what you do and why your business is important to the Iowa economy. Invite them to your office, plant or construction site. Get to know them.
  2. Attend Iowa Business Day on the Hill – In addition to the ABI Legislative Briefing and Reception that kicks off the legislative session, ABI also partners with business organizations for Iowa Business Day on the Hill. This year, the event will be held on March 13 at the ABI office. Check out www.iowaabi.org for more details.
  3. Make sure you receive ABI emails – I know you receive a lot of emails from organizations you’re a part of. However, if you want to stay up to date on the legislative happenings at ABI, make sure you read the Voice of Iowa Business newsletter on Thursdays. Also, when an email comes from Mike, Jessica, Brad or me, know it’s related to a pending public policy issue and that we need your support. Please help us and reach out to your legislators when requests come from ABI.

We are honored to represent you and the hundreds of thousands of employees you employ throughout the state each and every day. You can expect us to work hard every day for you and for a better business climate. If you have a question about public policy, please email or call us. Our job is to represent you and be responsive to your questions and concerns. Thank you for your commitment to ABI and Iowa’s business community!