Looking Out for Lousy Legislation
A conversation with CEDIA Director of Government Affairs Darren Reaman about bills that could be harmful to your business—and what CEDIA is doing about them.
What are the biggest legislative threats to integrators right now?
The biggest legislative threats come from two sides. The first area of threat comes from statewide electrical licensing bills and defining the work of a low-voltage integrator under the licensing requirements of a master or journeyman electrician. This has been the core issue for CEDIA’s government affairs efforts for more than 10 years. The very powerful electrical unions usually put these bills forward. As you can imagine, the requirements for getting an electrician’s license can take some time and could put integrators out of business for a while.
The second area of threat for integrators is security licensing legislation that has home automation definitions. With the convergence of technology and security companies adding new services like home automation, they are trying to gain an advantage through legislation. If security-licensing legislation should pass without amendment, this would lead to greater operating costs, including higher insurance costs.
Have your voice be heard and support your industry’s legislative efforts by joining the CEDIA Grassroots Legislative Network (cedia.net/connect/ government-affairs/grassroots-leg- network). We need our integrators to be involved in the political sphere. Let your state legislators know you’re paying attention to what they’re doing.
Is the legislative climate getting better or worse for integrators? How so?
The legislative climate has become more of a challenge. With the convergence of technology, powerful telecom and security companies have started to offer home automation services. With these service offerings, they each put forward bills to define automation work as the work that their industry does—to give them a market edge over the others, who have to spend some time away from the game while they get their licensing in those other areas. In the process of these giants battling it out, our integrators—who have done this work for years and have expertise beyond what those telecom and security companies can match—are getting squeezed. Some of these bills would squeeze integrators out, and that is why we need our members to get involved. We need our industry’s voice heard throughout the legislative process.