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ESA State Legislative Report – March 2016

Posted By Chris Heaton, Vice President, Membership and Chapter Relations, Tuesday, April 12, 2016

ESA State Legislative Report – March 2016

Through March 31, 2016 ESA tagged 158 bills for monitoring.  The following review will provide a brief summary of more closely watched bills.

Arizona SB 1162 was filed to change the fingerprint requirements through the Bureau of Technical Registration (BTR).  This legislation was supported by the Arizona Alarm Association and the BTR, however, it appears it will not move forward at this point before the legislative session ends.

In Florida a number of bills were monitored but only one, HB 535 passed.  This bill was a large construction industry bill that was concerned primarily with building code and swimming pool alarm requirements, but some provisions will have an impact on owners or occupants of alarm systems that require registration.  The bill also requires contractors to notify homeowners when such registration requirements exist.  The bill exempts alarm contractors and monitoring companies when occupants fail to register their systems as required.  All other monitored bills in Florida failed.

Georgia HB 593 was a low voltage continuing education bill that is supported by the ESA Chapter in Georgia that failed this session.  It will be filed again next year.

Illinois has several bills being monitored that are moving.  HB 4036 is a bill designed to require unpaid leave for victims of family violence, but it would make this benefit available to employees regardless of the size of the employer.  This would put small employers (one or more employees) in a position of having to hold positions for up to 12 weeks and could be devastating to their business.  The chapter is also opposed to HB 6025, which severely limits the use of biometric information in commercial settings. 

Kentucky HB 439 is the low voltage bill worked on with the Kentucky Department of Building, Housing and Construction (DHBC) and the low voltage industry to come up with licensing requirements that are reasonable and address the skill sets needed for different segments within the low voltage industry.  This bill will also likely fail this session, but the Kentucky ESA chapter will continue to work with the DHBC as it works with legislators to explain and facilitate passage of the legislation during the next session.

Maryland HB 439 is a bill that would extend the consumer right to cancel from three to five days or ten day (for consumers who are 65 years or older) for all home improvement door to door sales contracts.  This bill has potential impact because fire alarms are included in the definition of “home improvement” under Maryland law.  An amendment exempting fire alarm systems from this bill was filed on April 7.

Massachusetts HB 3846 was renumbered as HB 4129 and is supported as a bill that would create a stream lined permitting process for alarm systems.  This bill moved to the third reading in the House.

Missouri HB 2063/SB 773 would create an electrical licensing board in that state.  SB 773 contains industry supported low voltage exemption language; however, the filed version of HB 2063 contains flawed exemption language that could subject the low voltage industry to licensing requirements by this electrical board.  An amendment was added to the House bill that would exempt telecommunication service providers, but the flawed exemption language for low voltage work is still in the bill.  There is no movement noted on this bill since late February.

New Jersey AB 1972 updates the alarm licensing laws by adding definitions for access control, CCTV and other changes.  This bill is controversial in that its language may have the effect of pulling in low voltage work that is not related to monitored security systems into the security licensing statutes.  SB 1902 would cap local permit fees for work on alarm systems at $40 and waives the permitting requirement for wireless alarm systems.  This bill is pending in the assigned Senate committee as of 3/10/2016.

The following is a breakdown of broad categories of all bills being monitored by ESA.  Please do not hesitate to contact us at (972) 807-6815 if you have any questions about legislation in your state.

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