November and December, typically quiet times of Capitol Hill, were busy in 2008, with economic stimulus and bailout debates. Busy as well, were security advocates on the Hill; John Chwat, the NBFAAÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s lobbyist, said he and his staff used the time to meet with the newly elected legislators who will begin their terms this month.
Chwat is laying the groundwork to get some new legislation introduced, talking to possible sponsors for legislation conceived by the NBFAA, tentatively called the Ã¢â‚¬Å“Local Government Video Surveillance Protection Act,Ã¢â‚¬Â which would provide funding to Ã¢â‚¬Å“local governments and small cities for the installation of surveillance equipment in certain locations, business districts, courthouses, city-owned property.Ã¢â‚¬Â HeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ll also be working on the reintroduction of federal criminal background check legislation, and a bill, sponsored by Sen. Klobuchar (D.-Minn.) that would impose stricter standards on CO detectors.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“WeÃ¢â‚¬â„¢re preparing to work on legislation that will come up early in the session on PERS systems, sponsored by Congressman Eschew of California Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ This is something our members have been active in Ã¢â‚¬Â¦ it will be part of a huge health or tele-health bill,Ã¢â‚¬Â he said.
Chwat said the NBFAA would be Ã¢â‚¬Å“very active in the coming year on the state level as well,Ã¢â‚¬Â paying particular attention to state licensing issues. The NBFAA held legislative meetings in three states, Virginia, Maryland and Vermont this fall, and plans to hold several more in 2009.