NSCA is your voice – but what does that mean? We are your advocate, working year-round to support members’ businesses through government affairs and our Engage programs.
We expect this to be a very interesting, exciting year in terms of legislation that impacts integrators. NSCA’s major public policy and government affairs efforts will focus on the following state and federal issues in 2017 …
Once again, we’re working to maintain and reinforce the need for a unique U.S. Department of Labor standard occupational classification (SOC) title. The O*NET code establishes those definitions. We are meeting with other leading industry associations to determine the best overall terminology, as well as which titles best characterize the work you do.
We expect the new U.S. Department of Labor overtime rule to be stopped permanently – or at least rewritten to allow for a more gradual threshold.
We expect to see a major overhaul in the National Labor Relations Board. The pro-business influence of the new administration will likely begin the process of unraveling longstanding project labor agreements and perhaps a repeal of the Davis Bacon Act.
We also expect to see individual states pass legislation that excludes private and state-funded projects from federal prevailing wage laws. There are dozens of these bills being prepared to be sent to legislators for vote this session.
We’ve been promised a major overhaul in the corporate tax structure. The new administration and the GOP tax plans vary, but both have significant reductions in sole proprietor and pass-through rates at around 25%. Many predict a 20% flat tax.
The GOP house bill suggests that AMT (alternative minimum tax) is sure to be abolished. This will be a “first 100 days” priority and a major initiative for congress to stimulate the economy. All proposals must clear the legislative tax scoring models prior to a vote in either chamber.
In every industry, including ours, it is the new administration’s priority to eliminate or reduce regulations that impede business growth. We’ve already seen energy-saving measures that impacted our technology (in the idle state) being left to the industry to regulate rather than ill-informed lawmakers.
I suspect that lobbyists who represent special-interest groups that put forth unnecessary restrictions will fade away for a few years due to the job creation and growth focus we will have this year.
Programs like the new NSCA IGNITE workforce development initiative will be huge in 2017. Our goal is to make the industry known to students and highly skilled workers as early as possible in their career planning. This will involve efforts with STEM programs and other educational outreach efforts.
We currently have 78 IGNITE Ambassadors through North America who are helping build awareness and fill the void. ESPA (Electronic Systems Professional Alliance) is also working with technical schools and career centers to develop a career-ready, skilled workforce. There are currently 600 students enrolled in ESPA’s C-EST program; these students will be looking for jobs in the near future.
Defining our occupations, along with the anticipated shortage of workers to fill these positions, ties into our need to unify SOC titles.
R&D Tax Credits
Perhaps the best news of all is that the R&D tax credit program has been made permanent.
This, combined with the AMT turnoff, will be huge for NSCA members. In 2016, we found more than $14 million in tax credits for NSCA members. That number will likely double in 2017.
Nearly nine years ago, NSCA had the perfect answer for lowering members’ healthcare insurance costs (SystemsPlus); unfortunately, the program was forced to shut down with the passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The new administration has vowed to repeal and replace the ACA with programs that can transfer across state lines, be on the open market and offered by multiple sources, provide small-business pooling, and provide organization-supported plans.
This year won’t bring about changes that will impact your business, but it will certainly be worth watching and reporting on in preparation for future years. We are optimistic at this point, but not expecting lower costs for any 2017 renewals.
Federal, state, and local agencies generate significant funding by issuing permits and professional licensure.
We don’t expect any changes here due to the revenue model. If anything, more licensure will be required. We’re especially concerned about companies that do managed services and remote monitoring across state lines. Several states (like Florida) are now proposing laws where the company’s monitoring systems would need to remotely carry the low-voltage license of the state in which the system is located.
And, yes, that is regardless of whether a licensed third party does the service or installation. We’re watching this closely for you.
This will be a big year with the change in political climate. We will do our very best to stay on top of the issues that impact our members and be a strong voice for the many small business owners in our membership.
Let us know if you need more information or help planning for the changes mentioned above. Have a great 2017. -Chuck Wilson, NSCA Executive Director
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