Legislative Summary, November 2020
Here are highlights of legislative activity that could impact the electronic security and life safety industry.
Federal Legislative Summary – November 2020
Congressional activity in November was relatively light due to the run-up for the election and post-election move to a lame-duck session. Pressure continues to mount for the House and Senate leadership to create and enact a stimulus, considering the spike in COVID-19 cases and executive action to further restrict businesses. Without immediate aid, many businesses — particularly service industries like restaurants, bars and hotels — will not survive, which will have a rippling effect on the greater economy.
Courts and legislatures are beginning to weigh-in on some of these executive orders. The Supreme Court recently struck down an order from the New York Governor that restricted religious service gatherings. In Ohio, Republican lawmakers recently filed Articles of Impeachment against their Republican Governor related to his executive actions. It is clear the election did not create a more harmonious political environment as it relates to public policy for COVID-19.
S.4927 was filed on November 30, 2020 and would exclude advanced amounts of Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) from the calculation of loan forgiveness under the Paycheck Protection Plan.
Another bill did manage to pass both chambers in November: H.R. 1668 was passed by the Senate on November 24th and presented to the President. According to the CBO report, this bill provides that “the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) would develop guidelines on the appropriate and secure use of Internet of Things (IoT) devices by federal agencies and develop minimum information security requirements for agencies to manage security vulnerabilities for those devices. In addition, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) would promulgate standards for federal IoT devices that are consistent with NIST’s standards and guidelines.”
State Legislative Summary – November 2020
November was a month for legislative beginnings and endings. Bills died in states where time ran out or were laid on the table for later. Pre-filing season began for new legislation in states like Texas, which started immediately after the election.
Only two bills we tracked were enacted in November. Louisiana SB30 will prohibit the purchase of audio/video surveillance equipment in public schools that is prohibited in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), section 889(a). It specifically excludes Chinese-made equipment from specific manufacturers. There is no exception for replacing equipment already in-service.
For members in Louisiana who install and service audio/video surveillance and/or telecommunications systems for schools, it will create significant issues if any of the banned manufacturers are in current use. The bill would not require pulling previously installed equipment, but it will prohibit replacing any equipment with devices manufactured by banned companies. (This would include telecommunications equipment produced by Huawei Technologies or ZTE Corporation. It also includes video surveillance and telecommunications equipment produced by Hytera Communications, Hangzhou Hikvision Digital Technology or Dahua Technology).
New York A3173 is a comprehensive, consumer protection bill that addresses automatic renewal and continuous service contracts. It outlines several practices that will be unlawful regarding these provisions and all members who are potentially impacted should review the language to ensure their contracts comport with this new law.