During the 2013 legislative sessions, a wave of state security licensing bills rolled across U.S. state legislatures. As written, much of this legislation had the potential to require home technology professionals to get security licensing for 100 percent of the work they do.
CEDIA invested many hours monitoring and lobbying on this legislative activity
, all with the goal of protecting our members from potentially harmful legislation.
This past year’s activity seemed to be just the beginning. As the low-voltage and electronic security spaces converge, we expect that the legislative battles to define these industries and the licensing requirements for the companies and individuals working within them will continue.
A productive recent meeting between many of the key players involved in this issue gave us cause for considerable optimism. On October 29, CEDIA participated in a state legislative summit at the Electronic Security Association’s (ESA) headquarters in Dallas. The meeting brought together the major players impacted by security licensing legislation, including organizations in the home automation and security spaces, to discuss the legislative outlook in light of the continued convergence of these technologies.
The goals of the summit were to build awareness of the issue, establish key relationships, and see how the interested parties can work collectively. In attendance were a number of major service providers and trade groups, including:
- Associated Locksmiths of America (ALOA)
- AT&T Digital Life
- Cox Communications
- Protection 1
- Security Industry Alarm Coalition (SIAC)
- Time Warner Cable
At the meeting, CEDIA outlined our state legislative involvement in 2013, including our response to state security and home automation licensing legislation. We also voiced our position on how this legislation could affect our members. While we understand the goal of targeted security licensing legislation, our interest is in ensuring that our members are not required to obtain a security license for 100 percent of the work they do.
Terms like “home management,” “home monitoring,” and “home automation” have appeared in the text of legislation describing the type of work that could require security licensing. It is clear that without close collaboration and a strong legislative response, CEDIA members will be impacted by these additional licensing regulations.
The meeting ended with an action plan that included a series of position papers the participating organizations will work together to draft. The position paper CEDIA will spearhead, for example, focuses on introducing the industry, identifying the major players, discussing converging technologies, and identifying a possible line of demarcation between the low-voltage and security industries.
In all, it was a highly successful initial meeting between these key organizations, as it underscored the participants’ common interest in defining the playing field and outlining our plans for the 2014 legislative sessions. We look forward to meeting with this group again at ESA’s Leadership Summit in January as the 2014 state legislative sessions kick off.
The 2014 legislative season has the potential to be very active, so we encourage members to sign up for CEDIA’s Grassroots Legislative Network
, enabling you to be the first to know when we need your participation to help respond to potentially harmful legislation. If you have any questions about CEDIA’s public policy initiatives, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org
About Darren Reaman
Darren Reaman is CEDIA's Director of Public Policy. He can be reached at email@example.com.