Advocating for the Industry: Highlights from ESA and SIA’s 2nd Annual Security Hill Day

ESA members completed 53 meetings on Capitol Hill with senators, representatives and their staffs during Security Hill Day.

More than 50 ESA and SIA representatives took to Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., on March 6 to represent and advocate on behalf of the security and life safety industry for the second annual Security Hill Day.

Kicking things off the night before was Congressman Jay Obernolte of California talking about how Congress is approaching the issue of artificial intelligence. This was followed by presentations by Congressmen August Pfluger of Texas and Dave Joyce of Ohio at the Capitol Hill Club.

Then the real work began!

Our members completed 53 meetings on Capitol Hill with senators, representatives and their staffs. They pressed for additional school security funding, the passing of the Freedom to Invest in Tomorrow’s Workforce bill, the tax cuts in the Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act of 2024 bill and much more.

Highlights of 2nd Annual Security Hill Day

The workforce development legislation along with tax relief were critical issues for this year’s Security Hill Day. Our members are worried about whether there will be enough technicians in the industry in the near future and many also rely on the tax relief found in the research and development tax credits.

ESA has launched grassroots campaigns to support both bills and members from around the country traveled to make sure Congress was working to address it.

The Freedom to Invest in Tomorrow’s Workforce Act is bipartisan legislation that would allow families, students, and workers to use their 529 savings plan funds on recognized skills training and credentials such as occupational licenses and professional certifications.

It would provide valuable tax-advantaged resources to those who want to pursue a career in our industry. The 529 savings plans were originally created to help people attend universities, but this legislation would expand it to support additional career options.

Send a personalized message to your legislators today urging them to support this effort!

The Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act of 2024 bill would restore and extend three essential pro-growth business tax policies: the deduction for domestic research and development expenses, 100% bonus depreciation and a cap on deducting business interest expenses that leads to earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA).

These provisions are essential to U.S. security firms, including startups, that are leading the way in technical innovation, as well as helping businesses of all sizes make investments in facilities and equipment that improve safety and security for their employees and patrons.

This legislation has already passed the U.S. House by a large bi-partisan vote of 357-70. Take a moment to tell your Senator to finish the job and get this legislation passed.

The meetings were found to be extremely positive and elected officials from both sides of the aisle were very supportive of our united stance. While concerns over funding of the federal government persist Members of Congress pledged to continue to work to support the industry.

“What we need to do now is follow up and continue to build on these important relationship,” says ESA chairman John Loud of 2023 SSI Installer of the Year LOUD Security Systems. “If we aren’t engaged in the process our elected officials don’t know what they need to do in support of the security and life safety industry.”

Members traveled in from as far away as Oregon and California and it was inspiring to see their dedication to advocacy.

When business owners take time away to travel and meet with their members of Congress, it means something. They know it isn’t easy for a business owner to do it and they want to help. I wish I had another 100 advocates around the country because of the impact it has to better the industry!

Jake Braunger is the vice president of advocacy and public affairs for the Electronic Security Association.

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