Early Trends in 2022 Legislation
ESA monitors 22 issue areas that potentially impact electronic security and life safety companies. From the use of biometrics to workforce development, we try to monitor every bill that touches on any of these issues. As the 2022 legislative sessions begin in states around the country, we are seeing early trends that give us an idea what to expect in the coming year. And, so far, it looks like legislators are highly interested paid family leave, labor, and wage & hour issues.
Florida has a bill that creates a “Florida Family & Medical Leave Act” and it has a bill that preempts local government wage mandates. Missouri has legislation to increase the minimum wage to $15 per hour, but another bill that allows for an “alternate” minimum wage for “probationary employees”. There are obvious differences in the priorities between the political parties but it is clear both are interested in employment-related issues.
In general, we expect legislatures will continue to grapple with the impact of inflationary pressures on the economy in 2022. The “Fed” Chairman Jerome Powell recently remarked it is probably time to retire the word “transitory” when speaking about inflation and the reasons are significant. This causes legislators at the state level to do what they think best about paid family leave insurance, wage & hour, labor issues, and conditions of employment.
On the labor front, we are also seeing significant efforts to push for more stringent labor union standards on public works projects and at least in New Jersey, on private residential projects as well.
At the federal level, we are closely watching wage & hour and labor issues that could impact public works projects at all levels because federal funds often flow down to the states and local governments with the same conditions. Public works projects that require or ‘strongly suggest’ that contractors enter into project labor agreements (PLA) undermine the free market in many parts of the country by shutting merit-based contractors out of these projects.
Many legislative threats to electronic security and life safety businesses lie ahead, but in some cases, some welcome relief in the form of workforce development or licensing reciprocity may be on the horizon.
As we approach 2022, we will do our best to monitor what lies ahead, keep you informed and when needed, encourage your engagement on these issues.
Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas.