Despite a spirited lobbying effort by the Burglar and Fire Alarm Association of Michigan (BFAAM) and others, the state’s licensing standards have been upended following the signing into law of two bills that created the Security Alarm Systems Act.
As I reported in the December issue, Michigan Senate Bill 1291 and SB 1292 had been vehemently opposed by security industry stakeholders, who argued the legislation would remove consumer protection aspects of an existing statute that regulated the electronic security industry and protected consumers from criminal activity within it.
Joining in opposition to the legislation, which was heavily supported by AT&T, was the Electronic Security Association (ESA), law enforcement and Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulation. Petitioning state lawmakers ended when the two bills were signed into law Jan. 2. However, state licensing battles are gearing up to be waged elsewhere across the nation where AT&T and other telecoms are spearheading similar lobbying efforts. In a nutshell, AT&T desires to establish a separate set of licensing requirements for installing IP-enabled security systems.
“Many safeguards were lost when these bills were signed into law, including effective and comprehensive criminal background checks, competency and qualification requirements, and provisions regarding uniform requirements, company name restrictions and advertising criteria,” John Chwat, ESA’s director of government relations, told me this week.
Chwat explained while this is not a comprehensive list of revisions to Michigan’s previous law, it does give a brief overview of the areas the new legislation will influence. “We believe that all states should be aware that AT&T intends to move into other states and to be on alert for this new legislation. ESA will continue to work with members and chapters to monitor the progression of this legislation in other states.”
Rodney Bosch | Managing Editor