The New Markets Tax Credit Program

Just over ten years ago, Congress created the New Markets Tax Credit (NMTC) program to encourage economic development in low income communities and distressed areas. The NMTC program is not well known but has been used in several Iowa cities in recent years. Because familiarity and potential demand for the...
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Changes to Iowa's Open Meetings and Open Records Law

On May 12, 2011, Governor Branstad signed SF 289, an act relating to open records and public meetings. It is effective immediately. Several significant changes include: Public Notice -- Iowa Code section 21.4 now applies the notice requirement to reconvened meetings of the governmental body unless the meeting was reconvened...
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Supreme Court Issues Three Noteworthy Employment Law Decisions

Thus far in 2011, the Supreme Court has issued three noteworthy employment law decisions, holding: 1. Third-party retaliation claims are actionable under Title VII; 2. Employers can be liable for discrimination even if the ultimate decision maker was free from discriminatory animus; and 3. The Fair Labor Standards Act’s antiretaliation...
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EEOC Issues Final Regulations Under the ADAAA

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”) published final regulations implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (“ADAAA”) on March 25, 2011. The ADAAA became effective on January 1, 2009, but does not apply retroactively. The full text of the ADAAA is available online, as is the full text of...
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Former Iowa Supreme Court Justice Michael Streit Joins Ahlers & Cooney

Des Moines, Iowa (April 4, 2011) Former Iowa Supreme Court Justice Michael J. Streit has joined the law firm of Ahlers & Cooney, P.C. as Of Counsel in its Litigation, Dispute Resolution and Investigations practice area. "We look forward to working with Judge Streit at Ahlers & Cooney. Our clients...
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Employer Liability for Work-Related Cell Phone Use

Iowa's recent ban on text messaging while driving is a clear message that Iowa will not tolerate distracted driving. The new law states, "A person shall not use a hand-held electronic communication device to write, send, or read a text message while driving a motor vehicle unless the motor vehicle...
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