A New Year
NCESA has changed its name and is now the North Carolina Security and Low Voltage Association (NCSLVA), effective January 1, 2021.
Legislative Report September 27, 2021
While the corner offices negotiate the budget and public hearings are being held across the state for Redistricting, legislative activity on Jones Street has been a bit slow over the past few weeks. Although there hasn’t been much bill movement, there is still a flurry of activity happening behind the scenes between budget negotiations and work on major pieces of legislation that lawmakers hope to pass before session comes to a close, like the Senate’s rumored new version of the House’s energy bill. Please see below for a run-down of what has happened at the General Assembly over the past few weeks.HOUSE BILL 103, Automatic Renewal of Contracts. Several changes were made to this bill on the Senate floor, and the bill as amended was approved by the full Senate. The House did not agree to the changes made in the Senate and a Conference Committee was appointed to work out a compromise version of the bill. The Conferees are: Rep. Sarah Stevens (Chair); Rep. John Szoka; Rep. Lee Zachary; Rep. Destin Hall; Sen. Chuck Edwards (Chair); Sen. Bill Rabon; Sen. Todd Johnson; and Sen. Paul Lowe. Read the full report.
Legislative Report September 9, 2021
We hope no one has made any vacation plans around the legislature's latest budget timeline, because an agreed upon budget by mid-September is looking less and less likely. The negotiations, which are still ongoing between the corner offices and behind closed doors, have hit a wall. "There are a number of things that we’re talking about that we have not resolved. I don’t think we have to resolve all of those things in order to begin making progress. But at this point I would say we’re not making really much progress," Senate leader Phil Berger said when asked about budget negotiations. Sen. Berger specifically noted that the chambers are going back and forth on the tax package, spending for the State Capital and Infrastructure Fund, and the amount of money in the rainy-day fund. Read the full report.Legislative Report August 27, 2021
HOUSE BUDGET PASSES HOUSE
After a long week of committee debate, amendments galore, and hours of fiery floor speeches on both Wednesday and Thursday last week, the House has passed their version of the budget, 72-41. Senate Bill 105, 2021 Appropriations Act, will now go over to the Senate where the bill will receive a nonconcurrence vote. From there, conferees from both chambers will be appointed and work on the final proposed budget will begin. Republican leadership has promised there will be trilateral negotiations in preparing the final version between the Republican-led House and Senate, and our Democratic Governor. This was in response to House Democrats, who were clear this week that they needed a seat at the table in crafting the budget if Republicans expect their support.
That said, nine Democrats did break with their caucus and voted in favor of the measure this week. Those Democrat ‘yes’ votes were: Reps. Cecil Brockman (Guilford), Brian Farkas (Pitt), Charles Graham (Robeson), Howard Hunter (Gates, Hertford, Pasquotank), Marvin Lucas (Cumberland), Garland Pierce (Hoke, Scotland), William Richardson (Cumberland), Shelly Willingham (Edgecombe, Martin), and Michael Wray (Halifax, Northampton). While the House budget passed with a veto-proof majority, there is no guarantee that this many Democrats, or any at all, will split from their caucus and vote to override if a final budget proposal is vetoed by Governor Cooper. That would be a first since the Governor has taken office, and there is immense pressure to pass a budget this year. The state has not had a comprehensive budget in over two fiscal years and would need one to spend billions of dollars in federal aid and an unprecedented state surplus of over $6.5 billion. Read the full report.
Legislative Report July 29, 2021
We are now almost one month past the start of the fiscal year for North Carolina and not only do we not have a budget – we do not even have a draft budget proposal from the House! The past three weeks have included some bills moving but everyone seems to be waiting on the House budget and both chambers seem to be slowing down bills as a way to “encourage” the other chamber to follow their bidding. This week both the House and Senate are not meeting (the House did have a session on Monday night briefly) so that the budget writers can finish their work and so that some members can attend a popular right leaning conference out of State. The House is expected to provide a timeline and move their budget proposal through committees in August. Of course, that only starts the negotiations with the Senate and the Governor. Read the full report.
Legislative Report July 1, 2021
Budget season is in full swing! Republican Senators held a press conference last week to announce their long-awaited budget proposal. Senate Leader Phil Berger explained that their proposal can be summed up in two ways: cutting taxes and constructing the state's post-pandemic future. In typical Senate speed they revealed their budget and moved it quickly through committees and onto the Senate floor where it was approved by a vote of 32 to 17. Read the full report.
Legislative Report June 16, 2021
The weeks after the crossover deadline moved slowly as the House and Senate continued their behind the scenes battle about how much the State should spend (not the details, just the number). Things were going nowhere as the House was not moving Senate bills and the Senate was not moving House bills until the House made the bold move to go ahead with the budget process on their own. Speaker Moore made it clear that, with or without the Senate's proposed budget, the House would begin the budget process and would vote on a budget this session. This announcement seemed to get things moving again and the chambers resolved the final budget spending level so that the Senate can continue their proposed budget. We expect the Senate budget to be rolled out the week of June 21st and the House to roll out their proposal in July. Of course, the Governor still has a veto stamp, that he has shown he is more than willing to use, but probably wondered if he would even have a chance to use it with the Republicans battling themselves. Here are some of the other stories from the last two weeks. Read the full report.Legislative Report May 29, 2021
It has been a quiet two weeks at the General Assembly following many busy weeks at the legislative building for Crossover. With the gas shortage last week and the budget impasse this week, legislators had very light weeks with very few votes or even committee meetings. We now head into the long Memorial Day weekend, one which is especially loved by politicians of all stripes, as we celebrate the men and women in the armed services and the sacrifices they have made and continue to make for our country. Although it has been a difficult year and a half, many are welcoming getting back to some sense of normalcy and enjoying the long weekend. Read the full report.
Legislative Report May 21, 2021
Crossover 2021 has officially passed. This is the deadline for policy-related bills to cross from one chamber to the next in order to remain at play this session. The deadline always results in a flurry of activity and late nights at the building in the weeks leading up to Crossover, and this year was no exception. In the past two weeks, House Rules heard 195 bills in seven lengthy meetings. The House clerk estimated that the House heard approximately 180 bills, not counting all the bills that were keeping the Senate busy this week. Although it’s more of an uphill battle now for policy-related bills to be passed this biennium if they didn’t make the deadline, it’s not altogether unheard of and as we know strange things can happen at the General Assembly! Sometimes bill language from a “dead” bill can make its way into another piece of legislation that passed before the deadline or is otherwise exempt. That is why this time of year, it is especially important to keep a lookout for amendments and Proposed Committee Substitutes (PCS), because you never know what may end up in a bill! Read the full report.
Legislative Report May 12, 2021
With Crossover this Thursday, the General Assembly has been hard at work moving as many bills from one chamber to the next in order to keep them in play for this biennium. Last week was full of long voting sessions and late-night Rules Committee meetings, and we expect a lot of the same for this week leading into Crossover. It is a dangerous time as bills move quickly and with very little notice and public comment is restricted. Read the full report.Legislative Report May 5, 2021
Last week was exciting for North Carolina, with the huge announcement of Apple choosing North Carolina for its $1 billion-plus East Coast campus and engineering hub. The 1-million-sq-ft. building in the Research Triangle Park will employ over 3,000 people in areas related to machine learning, artificial intelligence, software engineering, and other cutting-edge industries. The jobs are expected to have a minimum starting salary of $133,520. Over time, the company expects the average minimum salary to be $187,001.
State political leaders on both sides of the aisle celebrated this opportunity for the state, and the great bipartisan effort it took to seal the deal and attract such businesses to the state. Gov. Roy Cooper, Senate Leader Phil Berger, Senate Minority Leader Dan Blue, House Speaker Tim Moore and House Democratic Leader Robert Reives issued a joint statement:
“Innovation has long been North Carolina’s calling card and Apple’s decision to build this new campus in the Research Triangle showcases the importance of our state’s favorable business climate, world-class universities, our tech-ready workforce, and the welcoming and diverse communities that make so many people want to call North Carolina home. This announcement will benefit communities across our state and we are proud to work together to continue to grow our economy and bring transformational industries and good paying jobs to North Carolina.” Read the full report.Legislative Report April 30, 2021
A disagreement over Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loans resulted in the longest-serving member of the North Carolina House being stripped of her chairmanship on the House Finance Committee last week. Speaker Tim Moore removed Representative Julia Howard from her position, saying in a statement that Representative Howard was removed because she failed to move the measure “expeditiously” through the Finance committee as desired by the House Republican Caucus. “While we respect different viewpoints, committee chairs must be willing to put personal agendas aside and move forward with the will of the caucus,” Moore, Speaker Pro Tempore Sarah Stevens and Majority Leader John Bell said in the statement. Read the full report.
Legislative Report April 23, 2021
The legislature didn’t skip a beat getting back to work after returning from their “spring break.” Many committees had packed-full agendas, full of mostly noncontroversial bills and also local bills. One notable bill that quickly swept through the House was House Bill 334, Temporarily Align Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Treatment to Federal Treatment. Typically, loans are considered taxable income, but this bill would align North Carolina with 47 other states and the federal government by providing businesses a tax deduction for expenses they paid using forgiven PPP loans. This program was a part of the CARES Act last year and was aimed at helping struggling businesses continue to keep their employees on the payroll. The bill passed the House with a nearly unanimous vote of 111-2. Republican Reps. George Cleveland and Julia Howard were the only no votes. In an unusual twist, the long time Chair of the House Finance Committee, Rep. Julia Howard, publicly criticized the Speaker and other Republican Leadership in the House for supporting the bill if their businesses received PPP Loans. This despite a determination that it was not a conflict of interest and that many issues may impact legislators and their businesses, but as long as not targeted to them specifically generally there is no conflict. It will be interesting to see how this conflict plays out. Read the full report.
Legislative Report April 12, 2021
On the General Assembly’s last week before Spring Break (March 29 – April 2), legislators ran a busy schedule of committee meetings and sent numerous bills off to the Governor to sign into law. Most of the bills heard that week had bipartisan support; however, some did not. House Bill 264, Emergency Powers Accountability Act, passed through the House this week with a vote completely along party lines, with 69 Republicans voting in favor and 50 Democrats voting against. The bill would require the Governor to seek concurrence from other elected officials on the Council of State to continue a state of emergency beyond seven days, and again every 30 days following. Read the full report.
Legislative Report April 1, 2021
Gov. Cooper has proposed a $27.3 billion spending plan for North Carolina’s budget this biennium. The budget includes 10% raises over two years for teachers, increased education funding, and putting a $4.7 billion general obligation bond on voters’ ballots this fall. This bond would provide funds to public schools, the UNC system, the community college system, health and safety projects throughout state government, and parks, zoos, museums, and state historic sites. Notably, the contentious issue that has held up past budgets, Medicaid expansion, has not been included in the budget proposal. The Governor expressed an interest in that matter being heard, but said that it can be taken up at any point in session. Read the full report.
Legislative Report February 15, 2021
The state’s recently released revenue forecast shows that North Carolina has fared relatively well economically throughout the pandemic. The two-year forecast’s expected revenue collections surpass the expectations of May 2020’s forecast by $4.1 billion. The forecast explains this surplus was heavily impacted by an increase in sales tax collections and delayed tax payments; it also suggests that the economic state of North Carolina will continue to improve over the coming years. However, there are still segments of the state’s workforce who are underemployed or unemployed due to this pandemic. Gov. Cooper responded in a statement that “while state revenue is strong, people across our state are still hurting and we must use these funds to help them recover from this pandemic.” Read the full report.
Legislative Report February 9, 2021
The General Assembly got down to business this week, and as promised, legislators prioritized getting their first round of COVID-19 relief funding off to the Governor’s desk. Other bills began to gain traction at the legislature this week, including a bill to reopen schools and a bill to give bar owners a reprieve on their ABC permits. See below for an update on this week at the legislature. Read the full report.
Legislative Report February 1, 2021
Legislators returned to Raleigh on January 27th to officially get started with the 2021 "long" session. Wednesday marked the first day bills were allowed to be filed in either chambers, and thus far a total of 35 bills have been filed in the House and 28 in the Senate. During the previous biennium session, the chambers saw 1,236 and 873 bills filed, respectively. This session's bills are beginning to be referred to policy committees as well, another sign things are truly getting underway. Despite the uptick in action, don’t expect too many floor votes on bills just yet. Speaker Moore doesn’t expect to hold any voting sessions until Wednesday and Thursday of next week. On those days, leadership anticipates mostly taking up time-sensitive, priority legislation, such as a COVID-19 technical funding bill. Read the full report.
Alarm Systems Licensing Board Emergency Rule Amendment
An Emergency rule amendment was adopted by the Alarm Systems Licensing Board at its May 21, 2020 meeting to address the concerns of license applicants in light of the various Executive Orders issued by the Governor and certain counties in response to the current COVID-19 Crisis. The intent is to ease a restriction on applications for licensure and is effective June 9, 2020.
In order to make this amendment a permanent change to its administrative rules the Board is simultaneously starting the Temporary rulemaking process. In keeping with that statutory procedure, there is a 15-day Public Comment period which begins runs through June 30 , 2020. You may contact Director Paul Sherwin at the Board’s office with any written public comment. The Board will adopt this rule amendment as a Temporary rule at its July 16, 2020 Board meeting. Read the full report
IMPORTANT REMINDER RE: North Carolina deadline for transition to 10-Digit Dialing October 24, 2021 in the 910 area code
This is a reminder of changes that may need to be made by Burglar and Fire Alarm companies in preparation for the nationwide implementation of 988 as the 3-digit abbreviated dialing code for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline are completed by October 24, 2021.
It is imperative that alarm companies in the NORTH CAROLINA 910 area code reprogram alarm panels in customers’ premises if they currently are programed to dial out 7-digits to reach the alarm monitoring bureau. If they are dialing out 7-digits now, they must be reprogramed to dial out a 10-digit (or 1+10-digit) number which includes the area code plus telephone number. Such updates or reprogramming must occur between April 24, 2021, and October 24, 2021 (the permissive dialing period). Any required changes must be completed by October 24, 2021.
No change is needed if the alarm panels are currently dialing out 10-digits (or 1+10-digits), or if they are dialing out a toll free number (800, 888, 844, etc.) to reach the alarm monitoring bureau.
Additional information about this transition on the NANPA website.
We know this is an extraordinary time for your family and business and we hope that you are healthy and doing well. The North Carolina Security and Low Voltage Association continues to work for you and the other members of the Association by providing training, working at the legislature to make sure your business is not taxed or burdened unnecessarily, and providing a voice for the industry to the Alarm Systems Licensing Board and other regulatory agencies.
But your help is needed. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the North Carolina Security and Low Voltage Association is unable to have our annual convention (our most significant funding source), and attendance for our training events is also down significantly. This pandemic has had a substantial impact on our cash flow as we continue to work on our members behalf. While we have worked for our members and helped to lessen regulation and save money on your bottom line, we now need help from you as members.
We ask that you contribute to NCSLVA to help us make up this year’s shortfall. If you have not renewed your membership please do so now! Your contribution and/or membership will help us to continue to advance the electronic security profession in North Carolina. Please consider making a minimum contribution of $500 or more as you are able. Anything you can contribute will help ensure NCSLVA's future viability and will be greatly appreciated
Or contact email@example.com for an invoice
Charlie Atkinson, NCSLVA President
Alan Yancey, NCSLVA Past President
Charlie Atkinson, ACE-HTI, NCESA Past President
George Bish, Ring Protect Inc., NCESA Past President
Courtney Brown, Security Central, NCESA Past President
Don Childers, Security Central, NCESA Past President
Dom D’Ascoli, SMS Integration, NCESA Past President
Dick Harpster, Central Security Systems, NCESA Past President
Dean Harris, Carolina Phone and Alarms, NCESA Past President
Ron Jackson, Holmes Security Systems, NCESA Past President
James Lee, Alarmguard Security, NCESA Past President
Chris Lohr, Protection Systems, NCESA Past President
EJ Mashburn, Asheville Security Systems, NCESA Past President
Roger Parks, Select Security, NCESA Past President
Jay Stone, ACE-HTI, NCESA Past President
Stephen Wheeler, Holmes Electric Security Systems, NCESA Past President
NCSLVA is committed to representing your interests during this challenging time. The rapid government response through executive action, regulatory changes, and legislation at the local, state, and federal levels to the COVID-19 virus is unprecedented. NCESA stands together with other industry associations to assure all members, consumers, and other stakeholders that this industry will continue to remain on the front lines as a vital partner in public safety.
Recently published guidelines from the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) and Department of Homeland Security (DHS) provide strategic guidance to state and local jurisdictions toward the unified effort to maintain the Nation’s critical infrastructure during COVID-19 response. The list of “Essential Critical Infrastructure Workers” identified by the CISA pamphlet and important to you include:
This is a template of a letter you may customize for use by your essential employees. In addition to a letter, we also recommend that employees carry their professional state licenses and an employee ID.
Thank you for the work you do to protect property and lives. NCSLVA is here to help you, your company, and the essential critical infrastructure services you provide.
Now, more than ever, membership in NCSLVA is a valuable tool for your business
As a business leader in North Carolina’s electronic security industry, membership in the North Carolina Security and Low Voltage Association (NCSLVA)* just makes sense. NCSLVA provides you with current legislative updates, COVID-19 preparedness information, technician training, and connections in the industry. Join NOW!
The return on your investment in NCSLVA membership includes:
NCSLVA is dedicated to representing, promoting, and supporting you and your business.
*Please note that the Electronic Security Association (ESA) has elected to sunset its chapter program. Beginning in 2020, NCESA and ESA memberships will be independent of one another and dues payments will be collected separately by each organization.