In 2019 and again this year, NSCA’s legislative agenda was one of the top discussion items at this meeting. Even just a few years ago, we didn’t focus as much on legislation. Although we discussed it, the topic didn’t dominate our conversations like it does now. It’s no secret that times have changed.
For over a year now, we’ve been in the midst of a battle against new bills in many states and municipalities that threaten NSCA members’ rights to conduct business they’re qualified to conduct.
There’s good news, though: There’s something we can all do about that. NSCA’s online resource monitors legislation on a daily basis – and gives you the ability to do so as well, providing a way to track federal, state, and even local bills.
We think it’s important for our members to always know:
- The importance of legislative monitoring activity
- Why NSCA generates model legislation
- Why we go to hearings
- Why we look at the industry landscape and make sure we aren’t licensed out of completing certain types of work
- That it’s essential to understand the regulatory environment and code compliance
- There will be conflict with emerging technologies
Right now, the industry is under fire with Power over Ethernet (PoE) and LED lighting – and in other areas where there’s been an evolution that enables us to power more remote connected devices than ever before. Groups representing high-voltage electricians see these technology developments as allowing low-voltage integrators to creep into their space.
Low-voltage exemptions to electrical licenses, or the licenses that allow us to do that type of work, are under fire. The work we’ve long been authorized to do (and that we’re more than capable of doing) are being threatened by proposed laws. Adjacent industries are hoping they can regulate us out of doing that work – even though it’s the type of work we’ve been trained to do forever.
If we lose the ability to work with PoE, we’ve lost the ability to work with things like surveillance equipment, access control systems, videoconferencing cameras, paging systems, and phone systems. Almost every application within our scope of work is impacted by this legislation.
It’s important to pay attention to NSCA’s action alerts when we send them via email, join us at these hearings when you can, and be part of our grassroots efforts to make this environment better.
When you understand the key issues, you can be present and have a voice when it matters most. –Chuck Wilson, NSCA Executive Director