Commercial Integrator + Security Sales Nov/Dec 2023 - 8

Legislative Issues to Watch in 2024
AV AS A BUSINESS
These looming, regulation-related topics can potentially impact your
integration company in 2024. By Chuck Wilson, NSCA CEO
NSCA IS MONITORING more than 400 bills on your
behalf! For our relatively small industry, it seems like a
lot. But stop and think about everything integrators do; our
scope of work touches many diff erent mission-critical solutions
in more than a dozen markets.
Take, for example, the networks that we install and the digital
endpoints that sense activity and gather data. That data is oſt en
stored in the cloud, and the information is essential to the operations
of a facility. Not surprisingly, as these systems become
more connected, we become more regulated.
Bearing that in mind, we must do a few key things on a regular
basis within our organizations. Let's explore them.
1. We must monitor our licenses. In some states, we carry
individual licenses; in others, we have a company license.
It starts with whom the license holder is and, oſt en, they
need to be a majority owner in the business. We can no
longer assume that we can bid on a project in a state where
there is no reciprocity and expect to simply hire a licensed
integrator as a subcontractor. Several states are requiring
our companies to be listed as prime and use either full-time
employees or preapproved outside labor resources.
2. We must build the cost of licensure, registrations and
permits into our projects. It's shocking at times to see what
certain municipalities are requiring for pulling a permit.
That price must be determined upfront and passed through
as a cost of doing business. It's no diff erent from knowing
about prevailing wages prior to bidding.
3. We must consider cybersecurity provisions and insurance.
These have become more regulated as the price of ransomware
and data theſt has escalated. NSCA reminds our members
to be properly insured for the type of work you do and
to fi ll out the applications carefully and in the most honest
way possible. One false statement on the checklist can result
in you being on your own for a claim against your company.
In light of all the bills we're seeing in statehouses and at the
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federal level, I would keep a close eye on the following:
■ Mandated apprenticeship programs led by a pro-labor
legislature. We see this pendulum swing from pro-business
to pro-labor on occasion. Currently, we are seeing workforce-development
programs and eff orts to fi x talent shortages
come down to bills that require entry-level workers to
register in an apprenticeship program.
■ Opportunities and challenges with artifi cial intelligence.
Nothing is more elusive to lawmakers than trying to fi gure
out if we want to slow this artifi cial-intelligence train
down or speed it up. At Pivot to Profi t 2023, this topic took
centerstage, giving the industry an opportunity to learn and
determine the path forward.
■ Turf wars involving PoE (Power over Ethernet) systems.
The growth in PoE LED lighting systems, in particular, has
created a turf battle between the electrical industry and
the systems integration industry. State lawmakers - even
municipalities - are being lobbied by various trade groups
to enact regulations or licensing provisions that would
make it a requirement for those doing low-voltage work to
have a full-time master electrician on staff to be able to pull
a permit to install a project.
The outcome of the 2024 elections will likely give us an indication
of the overall climate as it relates to regulations. We will
continue to monitor these outcomes on behalf of our members
and keep the legislative tracking system as updated as possible.
It would be great if you could help us monitor the states that you
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do business in and read a few of the bills we are tracking. If you
see something positive or negative, we can do an action alert and
let your fellow NSCA members know what to monitor, as well. CI
8 Commercial Integrator+Security Sales & Integration | Nov/Dec 2023
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Commercial Integrator + Security Sales Nov/Dec 2023

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