CSAA, AICC to push licensing reciprocity legislation

Thursday, January 22, 2004

January 22 , 2004

VIENNA, Va. - The Central Station Alarm Association and the Alarm Industry Communications Committee are lobbying Congress to pass a bill that would eliminate monitoring companies’ need to earn licenses in multiple states.

If passed, the Alarm Monitoring Licensing Standards and Reciprocity Act of 2004 would allow monitoring companies and their employees to meet federally defined minimum standards for licensure in their home states and then have those licenses recognized by other states in which they do business.

According to Steve Doyle, executive vice president of the CSAA, the bill has generated some early interest among members of both the Senate and the House of Representatives.

“ We’ve got a number of senators and representatives who have shown a real interest in sponsoring this act,” Doyle said. He added that he could not name those parties because nothing is official at this time.

At present, Doyle said, monitoring companies who do business in a number of states are spending a lot of time and money sending their employees to different places for certification or licensing.

“ It’s a heck of a problem,” Doyle said. “Right now, every podunk jurisdiction out there can have its own requirement and companies have to send their people all over the place, sometimes just to get fingerprinted.”

Doyle said he hopes the bill will be passed by the end of the year, but realizes that, especially in an election year, things don’t always move swiftly through Congress.

Talk of a reciprocity bill began several years ago, when the Security Industry Association’s Third Party Monitoring Group approached CSAA to gauge the possibility of licensing reciprocity between states. That led to the CSAA developing a licensing and reciprocity draft standard. The National Association of State Investigative Regulators, at the behest of state security licensing regulators, tried its hand at establishing reciprocal licensing arrangements between states. However, after three years, this initiative was unsuccessful, so AICC took over. Lobbyist Bill Signer of Chambers & Associates is representing AICC on Capitol Hill.

AICC has been working on this bill for nearly three years, according to Lou Fiore, AICC chairman. Fiore said crafting this bill with input from various industry sources was not as difficult as it might have been if it hadn’t centered solely on the monitoring aspect.

“ Had we delved into the waters of installation, I think we would have had a tremendous amount of problems,” Fiore said. “But because it’s on the monitoring side, I think we’re in pretty good accord.”

CSAA will kick off its campaign to get this bill passed at its upcoming North American Monitoring Technology Symposium & Exhibition to be held in Memphis, Tenn., from April 15-19. Those who are interested in helping with the planning to move the legislation forward will be able to participate in an open forum at NAMTSE, Doyle said.

For more information on this story, see the February issue of Security Systems News.