ESA’s Government Relations Committee has embarked on a review of state legislative priorities as the 2015 State
Sessions begin their deliberations. There are thousands of bills introduced and debated each year by the 50 state legislatures. ESA identifies and reports on bills that could have a direct impact on ESA member companies. Last year ESA’s State Legislative Report tracked over 484 key bills dealing with licensing, fire sprinklers/suppression systems, automatic contract renewals, fire alarms, CCTV in nursing homes, school security funding, taxes, thermostats, telecommunications/POTS, low voltage licensing as well as additional topics. This year, ESA anticipates a very active state legislative cycle. Already before the new year, bills have been introduced and pre-filed that relate to exemptions from licensing requirements in Montana for low (under 90) voltage work, bills in Michigan permitting security guards to reset alarms, and draft licensing bills in Vermont.
The ESA Government Relations Committee has created a subcommittee to review state legislative issues arising in 2014 so as to set priorities for activation and support this coming year. They are reviewing over 87 subject areas and dozens of bills in order to determine priority issues for ESA in 2015. They need your advice and input on what topics concern you for business preservation and expansion. Many issues relate to newer terms for our industry such as “home automation,” or “home entertainment” or all-encompassing integrated systems as well as the key areas in broadband/telecommunications, copper wiring and POTS. Some of the issues coming before the committee include requiring carbon monoxide detectors in residential buildings; opposing taxation on security services, targeting vertical markets such as schools, nursing homes and public facilities with security equipment and surveillance systems.
Kevin Lehan, executive director for the Illinois ESA, is leading an effort to recommend to the Committee the types of state issues that could receive priority focus in 2015. He has been asking for input from ESA members and chapters in major categories for this review. For example, he would like to know:
- Whether your business market is intra-state or across state lines.
Do you want professional licensing requirements in all 50 states, especially in neighboring states in which you have customers?
In the area of legislating alarm system requirements, he asks if carbon monoxide detector mandates would assist in growing your profits.
- Would requiring mass notification devices, video coverage at public gathering facilities be of interest?
- How about biometric access control and fire sprinkler mandates?
- He has asked for you to rank funding for each vertical market from 1-10 (1 being the most important for business). The markets include education, healthcare, nursing homes, stadiums, government, mass transit, public utility facilities and for you to add suggestions to the list.
- For business issues he wants to know your feeling on more or less restricted licensing, national background checks, and continuing education and contract renewals.
He plans to send a survey to ESA members in the future. Please let Kevin know your feelings on what should or should not be a priority. Feel free to contact him via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him at 773-725-0222 x 6917. We will be working with Kevin and the entire Committee to meet the challenges of the 2015 state legislative sessions.