Most of the 50 state legislatures began their sessions for 2015 last month in state capitols across the country, and almost
immediately we began to see legislation being debated and voted on that in many cases could impact your business operation. Since the beginning of January, over 49,000 bills have been introduced in 50 states. This may seem to be an overwhelming number of bills to track and report on, but ESA uses sophisticated tracking tools that distill the number of bills we monitor to those that impact or could impact our members and the electronic security industry.
ESA's State Legislative Report is refined each day to survey subjects of interest to members, chapters and other stakeholders. Through this process, ESA has identified over 100 bills, thus far, in 27 states to more closely monitor. This list grows every day. Some of the more "popular" subjects of these reviews are legislation on alarm verification, automatic contract renewal, carbon monoxide detectors, copper replacement, recycling and e-waste, licensing, low voltage, nursing home surveillance, school safety and smart thermometers. New terms continue to expand our current legislative dictionary, such as "home automation systems", which provide for whole home automation of security, lighting, plumbing, HVAC and remote locking capacity. We continually identify new terms that must be included in our search parameters.
Many of the issues and bills ESA follows are introduced and move through their state legislature in a very rapid and quick manner. This can be very disturbing in an industry where thoughtful deliberation and collaboration is often needed in order for the industry to come to a consensus on specific legislation. This is why communication with Chartered Chapters and members is so important when specific measures are being deliberated in states. This can be illustrated in the area of licensing, where there are several bills pending that fail to properly exempt low-voltage and power limited installation, repair or maintenance, from master electrician training and certification requirements. It is very important that we communicate such bills to our members and that timely measures are taken to protect the interests of our industry in these states.
We also diligently monitoring bills related to copper retirement, school security measures, protecting nursing home patients and e-waste issues. We work with our Chartered Chapters and members who support elimination of sales taxation on monitored systems, streamlining permitting requirements and other provisions that will make your businesses more profitable and provide more affordable security systems for consumers.
ESA continues its vigilance for the membership in this daily review of hundreds of bills that could ultimately impact your bottom line. What we ask of you is: Be active, be aware and become involved when called in your state. Get to know your State Senators and Representatives. As you monitor or become aware of regulatory or legislative proposals that could impact your business, make sure your voice is heard. It does matter and it does work! Be vigilant!