Government Affairs: A Win in Maryland

Mar 20, 2017

As state legislatures across the nation began their 2017 sessions, the CEDIA® Government Affairs team got wind of a bill that was to be introduced in Maryland – one that could have had serious negative consequences for CEDIA members in that mid-Atlantic state.

On February 23, 2017, the following email was sent to members in “The Old Line State:”

Maryland Electrical Licensing Bill Hearing Scheduled for March 6

Maryland House Bill 1368 , a statewide electrical licensing bill that would require a technology integrator to be licensed and meet the requirements of a master electrician, has been introduced and is scheduled for a committee hearing.

It is scheduled to be heard by the House Economic Matters Committee on Monday, March 6 at 1:00 p.m.

CEDIA has several concerns with the legislation's broad definitions and will testify and provide written testimony at the committee hearing.

The legislation does not make a proper distinction between the work and training for technology integrators and master electricians. House Bill 1368 would unfairly restrict and decrease the number of technology integrators in Maryland.

Contact Darren Reaman, Director of Government Affairs, at 800.669.5329 ext. 144 or dreaman@cedia.org, with questions or if you can attend the committee hearing on March 6.

If your delegate serves on the Economic Matters Committee, your immediate feedback to them is especially important on this issue.

Long story short: the effort worked.

Mr. Reaman filed the following report:

On March 6, CEDIA member Chad Shapiro of Sterling Sound and Vision and Darren Reaman, Director of Government Affairs, testified before the Economic Matters committee on Maryland House Bill 1368, a statewide electrical licensing bill that would require technology integrators to meet the licensing requirements of master electricians. Following the committee hearing, amendments to the bill were proposed, but on March 15, the Economic Matters committee gave an unfavorable report for House Bill 1368. The issue is dead for this session.

Note the language: “The issue is dead for this session.” Working for CEDIA’s Government Affairs team requires constant vigilance.

1 Comment

  1. 1 Jerry Stuckle 21 Mar
      I would like to add some to the above.  Although I wasn't able to attend the meeting due to a prior engagement, I have been keeping up with the events.
    While there were a number of other organizations opposing the bill, including the Maryland Burglar and Fire Alarm Association, the Maryland Building Industry Association and the Maryland Association of Counties, CEDIA's involvement was the only organization I am aware of representing our industry.  In my opinion, their involvement was important in getting this shot down.
    The problem is not over, though.  Maryland law says ANY wiring carrying electric current installed by a contractor must be overseen by a licensed electrician.  This includes everything, including category cable and coax.  So if you're going to pull wire, your firm must be a licensed electrical contractor firm.  A few jurisdictions allow for a low voltage limited electrician license, but that requires the same 7-8 year apprenticeship that a regular electrician has to have.
    This is the other way CEDIA is helping.  Darren was able to suggest alternative text which would eliminate this requirement for low voltage work, and possibly substitute a more applicable certification.  While nothing on it will be done this year, the seed has been planted and hopefully we can get the law changed in a future session.
    Again, I would like to personally thank Darren and CEDIA for their hard work on the matter.  While the bill still may have been shot down without their involvement, it also might not have been.



CEDIA blog posts are intended to provide general information and should not be regarded as legal opinions or advice.

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