Legislative Summary, January 2021
Here are highlights of legislative activity that could impact the electronic security and life safety industry.
Federal Legislative Summary – January 2021
Congress is working on a $1.9 Trillion COVID-19 stimulus/relief package pushed by House and Senate Democrats, and it is not surprisingly more than twice the amount supported by most Republicans. While there is considerable pressure to use the budget reconciliation process, which would negate the filibuster option in the Senate, that is a complicated option that would likely leave some of the programs Democrats want excluded from consideration.
As for the bills in this report, only one had bill text available online as of the date of this writing. H.R. 447 is a re-write of the original National Apprenticeship Act, passed in 1937. It is styled as the “National Apprenticeship Act of 2021.” This 162-page bill provides numerous updates and self-described modernization of the apprenticeship system for “21st Century Grants.”
Other bills in this month’s report address different aspects of apprenticeship, and one bill, S. 45 would amend the Elementary and Secondary Education Act to strengthen school security. As soon as we can review bill text, we will provide details when the bill moves.
State Legislative Summary – January 2021
It is typical for the volume of introduced legislation in January to be rather high because this month marks the beginning for many legislative sessions (only 6 states have no bills in this report). What separates this year from the norm is COVID-19. This pandemic is still dominating state and federal legislative efforts over nine months after the first executive orders were issued. Of the 358 bills in this report, 88 address COVID-19 with some potential impact to electronic security and life safety businesses. Most provide state income tax relief from paycheck protection (PPP) loan proceeds. Others provide business interruption insurance coverage for pandemics in general, or COVID specifically. And many states are attempting to address business and personal liability protection from civil suits related to COVID.
With the volume of bills included in this report, it is a good time to remind members to focus on the states where you do business. The member only report provides a list of all bills in alphabetical order by state. If you wish to get more specific information on any bill, just hover and click your mouse cursor over the bill number, which is hyperlinked to a page that will provide full bill text.
With 18 issue areas covered, it would be impossible to summarize every issue of importance to every member, but we do have several examples below of the legislation members will see in this report.
Arizona HB 2191/SB 1580 would repeal the “right-to-work” statute in that state. Right to work laws provide freedom for companies and their employees to join or not join labor unions. Repealing this right would subject all trades to “closed shop” union rules and contracts.
Mississippi HB 219/SB 2030 would prohibit local governments from imposing penalties or fines on electronic security companies for false alarm dispatches.
New Jersey SB 2419 alters the regulation and definitions for regulated alarm systems and added electric-charged perimeter fencing to the definition of covered systems. This bill was enacted in January 2021.