Cities, Counties, and Small States Can Disrupt The Industry.
Growing up in Iowa, I was used to living in a smaller state that was relatively overlooked. I mean, in comparison to a state like California (which can sneeze and leave about 6 other states feeling the impact), we didn’t have much influence. However, as I began my career in Iowa, I quickly discovered that there are ways smaller states and cities can be influential. Iowa, for example, often begins the Presidential election process with the first in the nation caucuses. That is a lot of influence for a small state.
So why am I focusing on smaller governments this December? It is because that is where a lot of the action will be in 2024 and beyond.
In 2023 we saw an extremely narrowly divided Congress grind to a near standstill. Speaker Kevin McCarthy was removed from that position in early October. Our painfully slow-moving federal government is likely to worsen, not improve in 2024.
Therefore, outside of the federal government is where ESA and its allies will be operating even more.
In 2023, we tracked over 70 Right to Repair bills. While some were relatively harmless, nearly half would have caused major problems in the security and life safety industry. If one state, like Maine, can pass a Right to Repair bill and does not exempt our industry, there will be repercussions nationwide. This is because it will just take one state demanding access to diagnostics and back-end access of alarms and electronic devices could influence other states.
The city of Houston proposed building codes that would make it much more difficult for limited energy integrators to operate on Class 2 and Class 3 circuits. Houston is the fourth largest city in the country. In fact, it is larger than several states combined. That is why the issue of limiting work on Class 2 and Class 3 circuits is important to all ESA members even if they don’t operate in Houston themselves. As limited energy technology continues to evolve, we see great opportunities to expand our industry, but others will attempt to use regulations to capture that business.
This is not to worry you during the holiday season. Thanks to ESA members and our allies, we have been incredibly successful in defeating bad legislation nationwide in 2023. I simply want to make you aware that the battles for good legislation and against bad legislation will be taking place in locations that you might be less knowledgeable of in the future. These “smaller” governments might have more influence than ever before.
I for one, look forward to continuing the fight to advocate on behalf of our industry. So, I raise a glass of cheer to you and invite you to join our other activists who helped deliver so many victories in 2023. I hope to see your company’s name on many of our calls to action in 2024!