Weekly Update: April 6, 2017

   The Des Moines HBA Engagement Committee put together a legal advice breakfast with attorneys Chuck Becker and Jodie McDougal a few weeks ago.  It was well attended and great information was shared.


Another New Member Benefit – LegalShield

We are pleased to offer yet another member benefit – substantial discounts on subscriptions to LegalShield/IDShield.  Everyone deserves affordable legal and identity theft protection, including you. No matter how traumatic or trivial your situation, we are here to help. Unexpected legal and identity theft issues arise every day. With LegalShield on your side, you have the power to access legal and identity theft advice and services when you need them, all for one low monthly fee.  Here is a link to our HBAI plan, check it out.

Thanks to Everyone who Contacted Legislators on Mechanic’s Lien Bill

Our call to action last week on HF586 ended up being a fairly meaningless exercise – it made it through both chambers without a single dissenting vote.  As of this past Tuesday, it’s now on the Governor’s desk.  We spent time in meetings explaining why we didn’t think it was a good bill, with good conversation, but that train was rolling down the tracks with no stopping it.  It was changed because of the Standard Water vs. Jones case and attorney Jodie McDougal is planning to provide a synopsis of what it might mean to you.

Congress Rolls Back Volks Recordkeeping Rule

In a victory for our members and the small business community, Congress passed legislation in March that will force the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to reverse a recent recordkeeping rule that would harm small employers. President Trump is expected to sign the bill into law.

Tell Your Story for NAHB’s 75th Anniversary

2017 marks NAHB’s 75th anniversary, and it’s also a perfect opportunity to celebrate your contributions to the home building industry. Complete this simple form to tell us how your company or local home builders association has made history within the last 75 years. From epic achievements to smaller-scale accomplishments, make sure your story is part of NAHB’s anniversary.

Trump Signs Executive Order on Clean Power Plan

 NAHB applauded President Trump’s recent executive order directing the Environmental Protection Agency to rework the controversial Clean Power Plan rule. The executive order seeks to roll back regulations that could have resulted in the adoption of rigorous new building energy codes that would harm housing affordability while doing little to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.

Make Plans Now for the 2017 NAHB Legislative Conference

Builders looking to send a message to Congress that it needs to take action to keep housing and the economy moving forward should mark their calendar for the most important grassroots event of the year – the 2017 NAHB Legislative Conference. The day-long conference is on Wednesday, June 14, and coincides with the NAHB Midyear Board of Directors Meeting in Washington, D.C.
   Our largest student chapter, Iowa State, is now sporting new decals on the sides of their work trailer.  It looks great and will be seen by lots of people with their adventures.  It’s a great group.

National Green Building Standard Certifies 100,000th Home

The National Green Building Standard Green (NGBS) Certification Program has reached a major milestone with certification of the 100,000th home to meet its requirements. Located in the Peyton Stakes rental apartment community in Nashville, the home was built and developed by the Profitt Dixon partners and verified by Rachel Della Valle, an NGBS Green Master Verifier from Southern Energy Management.

Trump Budget Proposes Cuts to Energy Star Program

President Trump has released a proposed budget that includes cuts to a number of programs run by the Environmental Protection Agency – including the popular Energy Star certification program for new and remodeled homes and many home appliances.

4th Annual Doug Mayo Memorial Golf Tourney Registration Nearly Sold Out

We are within a few golfers of being sold out, so make plans to join us for the 4th Annual Doug Mayo Memorial Golf Tournament on Friday June 30th, 2017. Click here to register.  We still are in need of hole sponsors.

Squeal Award: Taxpayer Funded Portraits

Senator Ernst does a good job exposing bloated government in her Squeal Award.  This one is interesting – did you know that when a head of federal agency leaves their post, that agency typically has an oil painting portrait made in their honor? Did you also know that each of these portraits can cost taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars?  According to reports, since 2010, federal agencies have spent nearly half a million dollars on portraits that are displayed in parts of federal agency buildings that may not even be accessible to the public.
Recently, federal agencies have okayed excessive spending on portraits that cost anywhere from $19,000 to $50,000 per painting, such as:
  • The cost of the portrait for former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson came to $38,350.
  • Did you know the cost for the portraits of Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack and Department of Commerce Secretary John Bryson (who served just 8 months) came to $22,500 a piece?
  • And, the former Air Force Secretary, Michael B. Donley’s portrait rang up at $41,200.
At a time when we are nearly $20 trillion in debt, this costly use of taxpayer dollars is absurd and is why I am a co-sponsor of the Eliminating Government-funded Oil-painting Act, or the EGO Act.  This bill would prohibit the use of taxpayers’ dollars to pay for an oil-painted portrait of an officer or employee of the federal government.
Parting gifts like these only frustrate Iowans who are the ones left footing the bill. Because of this wasteful and unnecessary giveaway, I hereby present this month’s Squeal Award to taxpayer funded oil-painted portraits of members of the federal government.

Parody of NIMBY People

This is funnier if you’re trying to develop something in the highly populated left-leaning cities, but it’s still humorous wherever we are:

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