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Weekly Update: April 27, 2017

   We had a great time at the 30th Annual Fort Dodge HBA steak fry last week.  They served over 400 steaks!  It’s a very well attended event.  2017 HBAI President Tim Ruth (on left), Associate National Director Mike Farr (second from left), and HBAI Executive Officer Jay Iverson joined the group for the evening’s festivities.  There will be a housing boom there as 2,000 new jobs come to the area.
2017 HBA Iowa Legislative Recap
The 2017 Iowa Legislative session closed Saturday, April 22 after an all-night marathon.  Big issues like water quality, cannabis, and budget issues were still being worked on as they tried to find common ground before calling the session’s end.  Early in the session, lawmakers shortened the session by ten days to save some money and the per diem ended April 18.
Everyone had hoped for a smooth and easy session with Republicans controlling the House, Senate, and Governor’s office – such was not the case and much lower than expected revenues further complicated things.  Overall it was a monumental undertaking – with issues like abortion, tax relief, mental health and education funding, collective bargaining, medical marijuana, etc.
It was a great session for members of the Home Builders …
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Weekly Update: April 20, 2017

The Iowa City Area Development Group brought together stakeholders to discuss worker shortages in the construction industry last week.  It was an excellent dialogue and panelists included Bryan May from BirdDog HR, IC HBA President Andy Martin of Martin Construction, Micah Loveless from Master Builders of Iowa, and Joe Greathouse of Kirkwood Community College.
First-Time Homebuyer Savings Account Heads to Governor’s Desk
The Iowa Association of Realtors has worked tirelessly for several years to pass a first time homebuyer savings account (SF505 and lots of variations in between).  It passed the House Tuesday evening 87-11.  HBAI was supportive of the bill and attended subcommittee hearings on the issue.  There was a fiscal impact that potentially could have killed it again.
After it’s signed by Governor Branstad, an individual (on or after January 1, 2018) may open an interest-bearing savings account for the purpose of financing the purchase of a single-family residence in Iowa.  It’s $2,000 per year for an individual or $4,000 for married taxpayers.  There is a ten year cap, so you can only do $20k/$40k.  A great job and a big thanks to everyone who helped get this passed.
Water Quality Rule Making – We Need Your Input on GP 1, 2 …
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