Legislative Report June 2022
Here are highlights of legislative activity that could impact the electronic security and life safety industry from June.
Federal Legislative Report – June 2022
Congress managed to file several bills we can support during the month of June. Unfortunately, tragedy in Uvalde, TX prompted some of the legislation that will attempt to make schools safer with funding from the federal level.
H.R. 8008 and S. 4369, titled the “Safe Schools Act” would allow states and local education agencies to use remaining COVID-19 school emergency relief funds for school security measures, and would prohibit the Secretary of Education from preventing or discouraging any state or local agency from using these funds for school security measures. These measures include the acquisition and installation of technology for expedited notification of local law enforcement during an emergency, reinforcing classroom doors, locks or windows, installing surveillance systems and other security measures.
Another bill in Congress to watch is H.R. 8009, titled the “Student and Teacher Safety Act of 2022”. This bill amends the Elementary and Secondary Education Act by adding a section to support school safety and prevent violence against students or school personnel by providing funds through formula grants to states that will address safety infrastructure improvements including security doors, automatic locks, alarm systems, metal detectors, sensor systems, emergency communications systems, duress or panic systems and other physical security improvements.
We have concerns with H.R. 8152, the “American Data Privacy and Protection Act”, that ostensibly provides consumers with data privacy rights, stronger oversight, and meaningful enforcement, but some vague terms and ambiguous definitions of other terms create the possibility that the storage and legal transfer of biometric data held by electronic security companies and/or their customers could be thrown into legally questionable territory. We are working with aligned industry associations to address these concerns and hope to resolve these issues.
State Legislative Report – June 2022
As legislatures began to wind down their sessions in June, thirty-one (31) bills we tracked became public law. We urge you to review the report and click on the map in the member only report to look for bills in your state.
Some of the highlighted bills include New York S. 4104A, titled the “Digital Fair Repair Act”. ESA is currently working with the NYELSA on a grassroots campaign urging Governor Hochul to veto this bill, which could have very negative consequences for electronic security & life safety systems that could be more easily compromised when proprietary codes must be divulged to end-users and “independent” repair facilities. Members and others with an interest or business in New York should join the dozens of grassroots supporters that have sent letters to the Governor. Just click here to participate in this campaign.
Rhode Island HB 8318 is one of the first bills filed since the mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas that attempts to fund school security measures. It appropriates $1 million to strengthen school security including the establishment of an “emergency response committee”. This committee will be charged with creating and implementing a five (5) year plan to include securing primary access to all school buildings, surveillance and camera systems, access control, and alarm systems. Another Rhode Island bill, HB 8334 creates tangible school security measures including the use of video monitoring systems, access control measures and other requirements.
Delaware H.B. 487 removes the “buy-out” for contractors to avoid participating in apprentice programs by paying into the Apprenticeship and Training Fund created in 2021.
Michigan H.B. 6273 would require firearm dealers to have an electronic security system monitoring their place of business along with other measures to protect firearms.
New Jersey A.4388 and S.2897 establish a permissive program wherein an employer that provides full paid leave for employees, for up to two full workdays, to take time needed by the employee in connection with a child of the employee to attend a school-related conference, meeting, function, or other event, will be entitled to a tax credit for the amount of wages paid to an employee for the use of the leave.