Week Four Concludes; ABI Priorities Taking Shape
February 4, 2021
Several of the policy priorities identified by ABI members during the past summer and fall are on the move. Drug testing, worker housing initiatives, high-speed broadband deployment and the first initiative on continued tax reform have all been introduced, and some are ready for committee approval. A list of the mentioned initiatives is below. For an in-depth understanding of the status of the legislation, please join ABI public policy staff every other Friday during session via Zoom. The next update is Friday, Feb. 12, at 8 a.m. You can sign up by emailing Michelle Vollstedt.
- SSB 1055 – Drug testing – A substantive bill related to drug testing causation was introduced in the Senate Labor Committee. The bill changes the burden of proof in Iowa’s drug testing law. The proposal requires employees who bring drug testing lawsuits against employers to prove their case rather than placing the burden on the business to disprove the claims of the lawsuit. The bill was heard in subcommittee this week and is now eligible for full Labor Committee consideration. Thanks to Senate Labor Chair Zach Whiting for managing this bill for ABI. ABI position: For.
- HSB 133/SSB 1089 – Governor’s broadband bill – The legislation provides increased incentives to those who install broadband at certain speeds in targeted service areas. ABI supports the legislation as it fulfills the 2021 ABI infrastructure priority. A Senate subcommittee has been held on the bill, and this issue is a shared bipartisan priority in the legislature. ABI position: For.
- SSB 1142/HSB 178 – Governor’s housing initiatives – This week the governor’s initiatives to create additional affordable, available worker housing were introduced in the House and Senate, with the Senate scheduling an initial subcommittee today. Like the broadband legislation, there is bipartisan support for the initiative. Organized under Iowa Finance Authority Director Debi Durham, several tax credit programs would receive increased capacity and a new credit for developers constructing affordable workforce housing is created. The legislation fulfills a key workforce policy goal of ABI. ABI position: For.
- SSB 1145/HSB 174 – Governor’s tax initiatives – Among other smaller changes, the governor’s initiative would eliminate conditional revenue and growth triggers that must be met to trigger reductions in income tax rates. The bill would also eliminate any state taxation on state and federal grant program dollars received to cope with the effects of the coronavirus pandemic. The elimination of the triggers would provide certainty in tax planning and could lead to increased economic growth. ABI position: For.