The year ahead in public policy

January 8, 2016 | Iowa Caucuses: Top issues facing businesses Nicole Crain, Senior Vice President, Public Policy, Iowa Association of Business and Industry,

The Iowa Legislature convenes Monday, which will officially kick off a busy political year for all Iowans, and especially for the Iowa Association of Business and Industry (ABI).

As you develop your New Year’s resolutions, we have a few we’d like you to consider. Each year provides new beginnings, and 2016 is an opportunity for ABI members to build upon the great work accomplished in the first half of the decade. Here are five ways for you to be involved with ABI’s public policy efforts:

  1. Attend the Legislative Reception and Day on the Hill: 
The annual legislative briefing and reception draws more than 400 members to an evening of networking with legislative and business leaders. This year, the event will take place at the Embassy Suites hotel in Des Moines on Wednesday, Jan. 13, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. If you would like to attend, please call 515-280-8000. 
The next major policy event will be on March 15 in Des Moines. ABI will again partner with the Iowa chapter of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB) to host Iowa Business Day on the Hill. The day will include a policy update and guest speakers, followed by a political lunch.
  2. Caucus for your candidate on Feb. 1: 
The Iowa caucuses are just three weeks away. To cut down on delays on caucus night, make sure you are registered to vote as a Democrat or Republican before attending. You may register that night, so don’t let that discourage you. Remember, ABI has all the resources you need to have a successful caucus experience:
  3. Attend a legislative coffee: 
Meet your local legislators when they are back in the district on the week- end. Legislators want to hear from you. They see lobbyists all week in Des Moines and want to visit with constituents back home. Attending a local coffee or meeting with them at your office is a great way to build relation- ships with your legislators.
  4. Sign up for a public policy committee: 
Interested in becoming more involved with ABI and receiving updated information on specific legislative proposals? If so, sign up for a public policy committee. The committees meet annually but receive emails and occasion- ally have conference calls during the legislative session to help the ABI public policy team with technical information about legislative proposals.
  5. Participate in legislative policy calls: 
The ABI public policy team hosts monthly calls during the legislative session 
to update members on happenings at the Statehouse. To receive the most up-to-date information on legislative issues pending at the Capitol, make sure you check the ABI website and sign up for the interactive legislative calls.