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ESA State Legislative Report – April 2016

Posted By Chris Heaton, Vice President Membership and Chapter Relations , Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Through April 30, 2016 ESA tagged 177 bills for monitoring.  As many state legislatures end their sessions, we noted a significant increase in the number of bills that failed to pass.  This year is notable for the number of carbon monoxide and smoke detector/alarm related bills filed.  Of the 52 bills related to fire and life safety, 34 specifically addressed carbon monoxide and/or smoke alarms or detectors.  To date, seven (7) of these bills passed to become law.  We also noted a continuation of the long-term care video monitoring bills with nine (9) such bills filed this year to date.  Other bills that moved or were filed in April include:

Louisiana SB 336 is a revision of the State Licensing Board for Contractors statute, but it adds a clause to the definition of “electrical contractor” that could envelope any form of electrical work done within a premise, including low voltage electrical work.  This addition to the current definition could be interpreted to require members to obtain an electrical contractors license who do low voltage work over a particular dollar threshold. 

Maryland HB 439 is a consumer protection bill aimed at door-to-door home improvement sales contracts.  The bill increased the number of days a consumer had to cancel a contract from three (3) to five (5) days and to ten (10) days for persons 65 years or older.  The problem was noted that the definition of “home improvement contractor” included smoke, heat and carbon monoxide detectors.  An amendment was added to exempt these devices from the definition and the bill then moved through the legislature and passed both houses.

Maryland HB 849 and SB 182 are two carbon monoxide bills that passed and were signed by the Governor on April 26, 2016.  Both bills require that carbon monoxide detectors be installed in specific circumstances and set forth requirements.

Maine SP 574 is a carbon monoxide bill that provides for an exemption from a 10-year battery if the detector uses low-power radio frequency wireless communication and has audible notification capability or is connected to a control panel.  This bill passed and was signed by the Governor.

New Jersey AB 3575 was filed on April 4, 2016 and provides for additional regulation on the installation, maintenance and repair of low-voltage alarm systems, provides for wireless alarm exemptions and caps local permitting fees at $40.

In North Carolina a bill was drafted to sunset the NC Alarm Systems Licensing Board among a number of other occupational boards, but the draft was not filed, pending further consideration and discussions. 

Pennsylvania HB 2017 was filed on April 22, 2016 and would incrementally increase the minimum wage up to $15 per hour in four (4) years.  There is a significant push from national labor unions affiliated with the AFL-CIO for a much higher minimum wage at the federal level and we expect we will see more such bills in state legislatures in the interim. 

South Carolina HB 5229 creates licensing requirements for locksmiths.  There is an exemption for alarm contractors in the bill, but we will obviously monitor this bill’s progress.


 Bill Summary*
Alarm  34
Apprenticeship  17
Call Center  2
CCTV Video Audio  10
Employer Liability  7
Environmental  12
Facility Security   5
 Fire Life Safety  52
Low Voltage  23
Regulatory  22
Taxation  8
Telecommunications  7
 *Some bills cover multiple subject areas

 

See a complete list of all bills tagged for monitoring in 2016 on our website at www.esaweb.org/slr. Please contact Chris Heaton at chris.heaton@esaweb.org or call 972.807.6815 if additional information is needed.

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