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January 8, 2021
Happy 2021 to all of you from IowaBio! You are subscribed to the IowaBio Bill Tracker Newsletter, and this is our first issue of the year. This newsletter--our weekly update on legislation our members care about--will hit your inbox every Friday during the Iowa legislative session. If you know someone else who should be signed up, please send them this link.

Session Kickoff

January 11, 2021 marks the beginning of the 2021 legislative session of the 89th General Assembly, the first year of a two-year legislative cycle. The session timetable can be found here, which contains all important deadlines for session (unless later modified by agreement of both chambers) including funnel deadlines. The session begins January 11, and runs 110 days, though it may be shorter or longer. Per diems for legislators end on April 30, the scheduled last day of session.

The first week will be marked by speeches from leadership and the Governor. The Condition of the State speech by Republican Governor Kim Reynolds will be held Tuesday, January 12 at 6:00 p.m. in the House Chamber. PBS will be providing a livestream online, and it can be watched on the Governor’s Facebook Page.  Both branches of the legislature, also lead by a Republican majority, will have agendas laid out by leadership in the first week’s speeches. Committees will also formally convene. To see committee lists for each chamber click here.

This week, Senate and House leadership issued a lengthy memo on COVID-19 protocols for the capitol and session procedures. The building is open to the public, but health checks are required and masks are encouraged. The first week Senate Calendar is here, and the House first week calendar is here.

IowaBio Update Calls

Because we are unable to hold an in-person kickoff reception and customary opening session Government Affairs Committee meeting due to COVID, IowaBio will hold an early session update call on Friday, January 22 at 10:15 via Zoom. Executive Director Jessica Hyland, IowaBio lobbyist Sara Allen, and Government Affairs Committee Chair Joe Hrdlicka, will provide background, details on session logistics (including COVID protocol), and a session update for Government Affairs Committee members and other IowaBio members who wish to join.

Subsequently at key points during session, IowaBio will hold a series of Legislative Update Zoom calls, open to the general IowaBio membership: 
  • Post First Funnel Update--March 5, 9:30-10:00 a.m.
  • Post Second Funnel Update--April 2, 9:30-10:00 a.m.
  • Session Wrap-Up Call--TBA
To sign up for these calls click here. Jessica will also send a calendar invite out to the Government Affairs Committee list for these meetings.

IowaBio Legislative Priorities

We look forward to providing you up-to-date information about the progress of our legislative priorities as established by our Government Affairs Committee, which can be found in downloadable format here. Please, feel free to share these with your legislators when you are speaking with them.

IowaBio’s 2021 Priorities include:
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Tax Credits and
Tax Policy
IowaBio’s diverse members, from startups to international industry leaders, positively impact the Iowa economy and provide high-paying jobs to Iowa workers. To continue to provide a business climate where companies in these fast-growing industries can thrive, our members overwhelmingly support tax policy that is competitive, growth-oriented, simple and straightforward, permanent, predictable, certain, fair, and responsible.

IowaBio will take a lead role in coalition and advocacy efforts to protect bioscience tax credit and economic development programs such as the research activities credit, the renewable biochemical tax credit, biofuels tax credits and angel investor credits. IowaBio also supports the Iowa Renewable Fuels Infrastructure Fund (RFIF). 
PHARMACEUTICALS AND PUBLIC HEALTH
Drug Pricing,
Vaccines, and
Patient Access
IowaBio member companies are some of the top innovators in the pharmaceutical development space. They provide invaluable impact on patient health and quality of life, as well as cutting-edge Research and Development and the ability to draw in public and private investment to Iowa.
  • IowaBio will closely evaluate any proposed legislation dealing with drug pricing and transparency.
  • IowaBio supports increasing the utilization of immunizations to protect public health, and opposes additional exemptions to the Iowa law requiring childhood vaccinations.
  • IowaBio will strive to be a resource to the legislature on Industry’s efforts on researching and developing innovative vaccines and treatments for COVID-19 and the pandemic, and on how the vaccine will be disseminated and its effectiveness and safety, once it is available for human use.
  • IowaBio will support non-medical switching/continuity of care legislation, and support legislation expanding infant testing panels in accordance with federal recommendations.
BIOSCIENCE TALENT PIPELINE
STEM Education and Workforce Initiatives
Over the last 20 years, IowaBio has contributed nearly $195,000 in student scholarships, teacher stipends and travel expenses to encourage and support STEM education. Our individual member companies care deeply about a robust talent pipeline and a strong workforce, particularly in STEM fields.

IowaBio will also support legislation that funds workforce attraction and retention programs such as Future Ready Iowa, STEM initiatives and appropriations, and Empower Rural Iowa programs.
INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
IP Rights and Innovation Protection
IowaBio will closely monitor any legislation affecting intellectual property rights, to ensure our member companies can continue to develop and protect their most important asset—their innovations.
We look forward to a successful 2021 legislative session, and as always if you have questions or would like to speak with me or Sara about an advocacy issue, please do not hesitate to reach out to me. Thank you for supporting IowaBio’s advocacy efforts!
Sincerely,
Jessica

Jessica Hyland, J.D.
Executive Director
Iowa Biotechnology Association
Cell: (515) 822-1315
Office: (515) 327-9156
Fax: (515) 327-1407
jessica@iowabio.org
www.iowabio.org
Copyright © 2021 Iowa Biotechnology Association, All rights reserved.


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