by Chris Heaton - Vice President for Advocacy and Public Affairs
You may have noticed an email or two from ESA asking that you get engaged on a piece of legislation. If you are in Texas, we asked you to write your House and Senate members to oppose HB 1141 and SB 1004, which would put some of the low-voltage work you are licensed to do under one of two agencies in Texas into a third agency (anything involving more than 50 volts) that regulates electricians.
Not only would that create increased costs for consumers because an electrician would have to be called in to install or service certain components of their low-voltage system, it would create havoc for security and life safety companies that would be forced to add yet another licensing authority to the mix of regulatory entities to which they must adhere.
In North Dakota a bill (HB 1157) was drastically amended after it passed the House and creates a power limited electrician license that is confusing, contains contradictory language and provides for wide board authority to expand its control over the low-voltage industry.
And, on the federal level, we are very supportive of House and Senate bills (H.R. 1858 and S. 907) that will prohibit mandatory, union-driven, project labor agreements in public works projects.
All of these bills could have significant impact on electronic security and life safety businesses in the states where they were introduced, yet we find it very difficult to get a majority of members to actively engage.
Traditionally, trade associations will provide a letter and ask that members re-create that letter or email and individually send it to their representative, after identifying on their own who that may be. It is little wonder there is low response rates for this method of engagement.
But, ESA made getting engaged as simple as it can possibly be with our new advocacy tools that lay out the entire issue and allow you to email your elected officials with a completed explanation of our position with the simple click of a button. Our advocacy tool provides you with a summary of the issue and then offers a pre-filled email ready to be sent to your elected officials. All you do is complete your name and address and the system will automatically identify the appropriate elected official for your location.
ESA created a landing page www.esaweb.org/BeHeard with our current advocacy campaigns in one central location and I urge you to check this page regularly for anything that may be important to you or your business. Elected officials really do care about their constituent’s views, especially small businesses, which they know are the economic engine of this country. Help us help you by letting them know about issues that are important to you.