Part three in our three-part series on one of CEDIA’s most important functions, Government Affairs.
Darren Reaman, CEDIA’s Director of Government Affairs, has dealt with electrical licensing more than any other issue when it comes to laws that could impact technology integrators.
“Our core issue has always been electrical licensing,” says Reaman. “Our position is that we’re not opposed to licensing. But at the same time, we don’t want to be licensed for something that we are not. Should an electrical licensing high-voltage bill be introduced [in a state legislature], we need to ensure that there’s a clear distinction between types of work that will be respected.”
And as technology marches forward, the language of law can struggle to stay current. Reaman’s keeping advances like PoE on his radar. “I think in the future, issues are going to entail low-voltage lighting and things like that — what type of license do you need to be able to do that type of thing? Because oftentimes, states define electrical contracting work as light, heat, power. Well, what about low- voltage? Where does low-voltage lighting fall?”
“But you’ve also got the convergence of technology, security, and that sort of thing,” Reaman notes. “Where’s that line drawn with security licensing?”
Beyond keeping a careful watch on what statehouses are doing when it comes to pending legislation, Reaman also has a word of caution regarding laws already on the books:
“As integrators are contracted for projects in other states or in bordering states, they need to be aware of those local laws. We always say check your municipal, county, and state license requirements ahead of the project, because even though you’re based in one state and doing a project in another, you need to be licensed where the project is being completed. Just make sure you’re aware of those, or any permit requirements prior to a project. Otherwise, again, an inspector could potentially hold up the project.” A call to Reaman’s office could make the installation work on that big client’s vacation home in ski or surf country much, much easier.
Although Reaman is focused on the state bodies, he keeps an eye on the Federal government, too. One example: Reaman’s part of a coalition helping to diminish patent trolling. But ultimately, Reaman and his army of integrators do most of their work protecting the CEDIA channel on the local level.
“We have what’s called the CEDIA Grassroots Legislative Network,” he explains. “I think I would encourage all members to take the time — your state and local legislators have town hall meetings, attend those. It’s vital that you introduce yourself out of session so they know who you are when the statehouse is in session.
“Think about all the bills that come across the desk of a legislature in a session. Hundreds, right?”
You can contact Darren Reaman at email@example.com or 800.669.5329.