The Illinois Electronic Security Association (IESA) held a
state legislative dinner along with its annual meeting and vendor showcase on
Nov. 14, at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare in Rosemont, Ill. The vendor showcase drew
42 exhibitors, and the event attracted more than 100 alarm contractors.
IESA Executive Director Kevin Lehan was pleased with the
turnout of the event, which was attended by a number of ESA leaders and staff members,
including Executive Director and CEO Merlin Guilbeau, Treasurer David Koenig,
Vice President Roy Pollack and Member Services Representative/Retention Tami
Cook. Security America Risk Retention Group (SARRG) President Michael Keegan
was a speaker, along with Guilbeau and Koenig.
"We had a number of industry leaders at the event, and we
were very excited to have ESA people coming in from all over the country,”
Lehan said. "Their support was a great sign to the attendees and our members
that Illinois is on the national radar. Without their support, the event
wouldn’t have been nearly as successful.”
Koenig spoke to attendees about ESA’s legislative efforts at
the national level, including the federal background check legislation
currently winding its way through Congress, while IESA lobbyist Dick Lockhart
addressed such state-oriented issues as upcoming efforts towards rewriting licensure
legislation, which occurs every 10 years in Illinois. Lehan talked about
politics on the local level, including municipalities that are attempting to
charge registration fees despite the industry’s "home rule” exemption, which
specifies that it will be regulated at the state level only.
"The provision of home rule is essential for alarm dealers,”
Lehan said. "They may have customers in a number of communities, and if they
have to pay a fee to each individual community they deal with, that’s going to
have a tremendously negative effect.” IESA is fighting back by contacting the
municipalities with a letter developed with the assistance of IESA’s legal
counsel, Edward Williams, advising them of the home rule exemption.
The event was sponsored by ESA and SARRG, along
with Interlogix, ESA’s Diamond Executive Strategic Partner; Honeywell, ESA’s
Platinum Executive Strategic Partner; and Gold ESPs Telguard and Tri-Ed/Northern