Planting Seeds for Improved Legislative Engagement in 2023

Planting Seeds for Improved Legislative Engagement in 2023
Jillian Bateman — August 9, 2022

For several years now ESA has collaborated on a number of key legislative issues with a consortium of connected technology associations and companies. This collaboration included issues we previously highlighted such as the proposed ordinance in Houston that would have eliminated the 50-volt exemption from electrical licensing requirements. And the proposed legislation in Maryland that would have placed all “low-voltage” installations, servicing, and maintenance under the statewide electrical licensing requirements (in both cases we were successful in getting key exemption language). These are two of the more prominent issues we engaged in, but they were just a small sampling of the many proposed bills and ordinances on which we collaborated over the last several years.

One purpose of this consortium is ensuring limited energy licensing match the skills for the work being done and protecting this technology from electrical licensing requirements.  Two other issues we collaborate on include workforce development and school security and in light of the most recent tragedy in Uvalde, TX, this was a heavy topic of conversation.

This year, the consortium decided to take its collaboration a step further and sponsor a booth at the National Conference of State Legislatures (NCSL) Legislative Summit in Denver, CO. NCSL is the largest bipartisan gathering of state legislators and their staff in the country. They discuss and work on myriad issues like workforce development and occupational licensing. It is this collaboration among legislators and their presence at one location that prompted us to sponsor a space and plant some seeds for our issues.

Meanwhile, several consortium partners also continue their work within the NCSL committee structure where they can have even more input on important issues. These relationships are key as legislative sessions convene and individual legislators hopefully seek guidance on “low-voltage” or limited energy issues.

The cumulate effect of individual conversations and collaboration on this event or others won’t be easily measured over the short-term. The biblical reference of the mustard seed comes to mind when I think about longer term outcomes. And this is why it is important that these targeted and effective conversations with policy makers continue.

The work of individual organizations and people within the connected technology industry consortium is ongoing, planting one seed at a time.