2024 – A Year of Future Unknowns?

2024 – A Year of Future Unknowns?
Electronic Security Association — February 22, 2024

In the last issue of Security Nation, I had mentioned that there will be a greater focus on smaller government (cities, counties, and small states) as there will be a greater likelihood of seeing important legislation pass there. This does not mean that all will be quiet at larger levels. For example, let’s take a quick look back at 2023.

In 2023, we tracked over 700 bills at the state and federal levels. This was filtered down from over 2,000 bills that came across our radar. Of these 700+ bills we were tracking, 76 were school security bills, 72 were right to repair bills, and 246 were bills that relate to commerce and the economy (automatic contract renewals, workforce development, and opportunities to grow our industry).

However, much of the legislation we were following at the federal level ground to a halt. A dozen school security bills were sent to committee and have had little mention of them since. This is because at the end of 2023 we saw the Republican Control of the House of Representatives, already extremely thin, become smaller. The Republicans also had a challenge in selecting a new Speaker of the House so it will be very difficult to get any major piece of legislation through.

In 2024, I expect there may be an increase in legislation, but as often is the case, there could be a slowdown in what passes. 2024 is a Presidential election year, which means even state legislators will be hurrying to wrap up their work so they can go campaign and try to cut through the noise with their own messages. Adding to this slowdown will be the nearly 40 members of Congress who won’t be seeking re-election. This will lead to a lot of new faces on Capitol Hill in 2025.

In March, ESA will join SIA again for the 2nd annual Security Hill Day. We hope to press lawmakers on the importance of workforce development, A.I., and school security; even in a major election year it is important to build and strengthen relationships with elected leaders. Additionally, with many members of Congress retiring, hopefully we can see some major inroads built. This relationship building will become increasingly critical, especially in years of great turnover such as this one, since those getting re-elected will be the ones most likely to rise to senior positions.

ESA will continue to remain engaged and will seize the opportunities that present themselves. Legislation will be more likely passed at the state and local level, but we will hear plenty of noise from the federal level. With the control of both houses of Congress, the White House, and many state legislatures up for grabs, I can only say it will be nothing if not an exciting year.