Iowa Senate completes action on significant workers compensation reform
Senate Republicans provided all 29 votes in favor of HF 518, a package of significant reforms in the state’s workers compensation system, on Monday night. As no amendments to the bill were approved, the measure now heads to the desk of Governor Branstad and he will most definitely sign it, as the measure was one of his highest 2017 Session priorities.
Proponents hailed its passage as the first significant reform of the system in nearly a century and as necessary, given the state’s move over the last 10 years from having some of the nation’s lowest cost workers compensation costs to the middle of the pack.
The bill was be signed Thursday at 4:50 pm in the Governor’s formal office.
CBI held it's first-ever Legislative Reception at the Iowa Taproom in downtown Des Moines on Wednesday. The reception brought together over 50 Iowa community bankers with over 30 Senators and Congresspeople in Iowa's General Assembly. Among those legislators attending were Speaker of the House Linda Upmeyer, Senate Majority Leader Bill Dix, Senators Michael Breitbach, Randy Feenstra, Tim Kraayenbrink, Tom Shipley, Jack Whitver, Brad Zaun, Charles Schneider, Craig Johnson, Dan Zumbach, Dennis Guth, and Bill Dotzler. Also in attendance were Representatives Brian Best, Chris Hall, Dave Maxwell, David Kerr, Gary Carlson, Jerry Kearns, John Landon, Louie Zumbach, Mike Sexton and Walt Rogers, as well as State Auditor Mary Mosiman.
Thank you to the following CBI Endorsed, Associate and Affiliate Members for sponsoring the event: SHAZAM, ICBA Securities/Vining Sparks, United Bankers' Bank, Midwest Independent Bank and Bankers' Bank.
March Survey Results at a Glance:
OMAHA, Neb. (March 16, 2017) – The Creighton University Rural Mainstreet Index remained weak with a reading below growth neutral for the 19th straight month, according to the monthly survey of bank CEOs in rural areas of a 10-state region dependent on agriculture and/or energy.
Overall: The index, which ranges between 0 and 100 slipped to 45.3 for March from 45.8 in February. The last time the overall index was at or above growth neutral was August 2015.
“Weak farm commodity prices continue to squeeze Rural Mainstreet economies. Over the last 12 months, livestock commodity prices have tumbled by 6.6 percent and grain commodity prices have slumped by 0.9 percent. Thus, year over year price changes remain negative, but are now less negative than several months ago,” said Ernie Goss, Jack A. MacAllister Chair in Regional Economics at Creighton University's Heider College of Business.
But there was a great deal of variability across the 10-state region. For example, Scott Tewksbury, president of Heartland State Bank in Edgeley, North Dakota reported, “Record 2016 crop yields have enabled most crop based farms to have a good economic year in our area, but concerns remain over projected profitability for 2017.
Rural Mainstreet Climbs to Highest Level Since September 2015: But Only 15 Percent Report Expanding Economy
February Survey Results at a Glance
OMAHA, Neb. (Feb. 16, 2017) – The Creighton University Rural Mainstreet Index remained weak with a reading below growth neutral for the 18th straight month, according to the monthly survey of bank CEOs in rural areas of a 10-state region dependent on agriculture and/or energy.
Overall: The index, which ranges between 0 and 100 advanced to 45.8 from 42.8 in January. This is the highest overall index since September 2015.
“Weak farm commodity prices continue to squeeze Rural Mainstreet economies. However, the negatives are getting less negative. Over the past 12 months, livestock commodity prices have tumbled by 9.4 percent and grain commodity prices have slumped by 6.3 percent, both an improvement over last month,” said Ernie Goss, Jack A. MacAllister Chair in Regional Economics at Creighton University's Heider College of Business.
Only 14.9 percent of bankers reported that their local economy was expanding. Approximately 34 percent indicated their local economy was in a recession with the remaining 51.1 percent indicating little or no economic growth.
According to Todd Douglas, CEO of the First National Bank in Pierre, South Dakota, “What we see in the agriculture industry is that farmers hurt the worst are those who farm small grain crops exclusively.” Douglas indicated operators that diversify in cattle, cattle feeding, hogs and other like type lines, are maintaining, or at least not experiencing as large a drop in net worth.
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