Legal Eye: CEDIA Reports on Legislation Impacting Your Business
CEDIA representatives actively lobby for the association’s membership on state legislative issues related to the residential electronic systems industry, primarily engaging in bills concerning statewide electrical and security licensing that seek to regulate home technology professionals.
During the 2014 state legislative sessions, CEDIA tracked more than 300 legislative bills from 42 states. The states where CEDIA was most active in the legislative process last year are:
• Georgia—CEDIA monitored legislation related to a change in the low-voltage electrical contractor licensing requirements that would have allowed anyone licensed as an electrical contractor to be issued a statewide low-voltage contractor’s license without examination. The legislation did not pass.
• Hawaii—CEDIA lobbied on two legislative measures this past session. Both bills would have required that electronic systems contractors possess, at a minimum, a journey worker specialty electrician license requiring the completion of an apprenticeship program.
• Iowa—CEDIA continues to monitor Iowa Electrical Examining Board meetings for potential changes to the statewide electrical licensing regulations, which could impact home technology professionals.
• Maryland—Bills were introduced that would have phased out all licensing at the county and municipal level, and require anyone working in the electrical trade—including low-voltage contractors—to either be a master electrician or have one on-site at all times. CEDIA led a coalition of national low-voltage associations to ensure the legislation was amended so low-voltage contractors and technicians would not have to be licensed as high-voltage master electricians. The legislation did not pass by the conclusion of the session.
• Massachusetts—CEDIA monitored legislation relating to telecommunications systems licensing of contractors and
• Missouri—CEDIA monitored a trio of bills related to the issue of statewide electrical licensing. CEDIA worked with several coalition partners to update the low-voltage exemption language and better reflect the current convergence of technology. The low-voltage exemption language was updated and inserted into the legislation, but the legislation did not complete the legislative process.
• New Jersey—Legislation was introduced requiring anyone who designs, sells, installs, services or maintains home automation systems, access control systems, intercom systems or closed circuit television systems to get an alarm license. The sweeping definitions within the legislation are problematic. Anyone who installs video cameras, IP cameras or monitors would be forced to get an alarm license, which requires the completion of a four-year apprenticeship program.
• Pennsylvania—CEDIA continues to monitor legislation providing for licensure of electricians and establishing the State Board of Licensed Electricians. The bill has been referred to the House Professional Licensure committee.
• Vermont—Electrical licensing legislation was introduced, which would have eliminated the low-voltage exemption and required an electrical license for all low-voltage work. CEDIA worked with coalition partners on the legislation, which was amended with the low-voltage exemption once again included. The bill did not complete the legislative process.
For state licensing resources and more information on CEDIA’s government affairs activities, go to www.cedia.net/public_