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CEDIA Advocacy Update: Backing the Business

Around the clock and around the country, CEDIA’s advocacy efforts gain momentum.

Over the past several months and along with significant industry support, CEDIA’s advocacy efforts have been dynamic and extensive. In addition to regular monitoring of bills, regulations, and state legislative sessions, the government affairs department has orchestrated monumental initiatives in Washington, D.C., Oklahoma, Rhode Island, and Michigan, as well as before the FCC. These proactive measures have brought the professional smart home industry to the attention of numerous legislative leaders ahead of an especially important time in our country: 2024 election season.

CEDIA Smart Home Day on Capitol Hill
During the inaugural CEDIA Smart Home Day on Capitol Hill, board members, executives, and industry leaders engaged in pivotal discussions with U.S. political leaders to introduce CEDIA and advocate for critical issues facing the industry. Photo by Aileen Taylor.

CEDIA Smart Home Day on Capitol Hill

During the inaugural CEDIA Smart Home Day on Capitol Hill on March 6, board members, executives, and industry leaders engaged in pivotal discussions with U.S. political leaders to introduce CEDIA and advocate for critical issues facing the professional smart home industry. One of the key focal points was the endorsement of the “Freedom to Invest in Tomorrow’s Workforce Act” (H.R. 1477 / S.722), which would broaden the scope of tax-favorable 529 savings plans to include workforce training and credentialing programs. Additionally, CEDIA urged Congress to formally recognize “integrator” as a profession within the next Standard Occupational Classification (SOC) revision, highlighting integrators’ distinct and critical skillset from other trades.

Oklahoma Senate Bill 1572 Amended

Oklahoma Senate Bill 1572, as introduced at the start of the 2024 legislative session, added the word “alarm” to Class 2 and Class 3 circuits exemption within the Oklahoma Electrical License Act. CEDIA lobbied to include the Class 2 and Class 3 circuit exemption within the Oklahoma Electrical Act in 2018 and has worked since that time to protect the exemption for residential integrators. With the addition of the word “alarm,” integrators would have lost the ability to serve their customers without an electrical license. In Feb. 2024, Senate Bill 1572 was amended, and the word “alarm” has been removed from the Class 2 and Class 3 circuits exemption. Prior to this, CEDIA reached out to the bill sponsor with concerns and requested a meeting. The bill was removed from a committee hearing agenda and later amended. The Class 2 and Class 3 circuits exemption is back to its original intent, which allows for a proper distinction between the work of residential integrators and electricians. Senate Bill 1572 has been successfully amended and continues to move through the legislative process. The Oklahoma Legislature concludes its 2024 session at the end of May.

Related: Are You an Advocate? (Plus, How to Be a Good One)

Electrical Licensing Legislation Before the Rhode Island General Assembly

At the beginning of 2024, Rhode Island General Assembly session House Bill 7015 and Senate Bill 2120 were introduced. The bills are related to the businesses and professions of electricians. Both bills would specifically add to the Electrical License and Electrical Contractors License definitions with such broad terms of support systems, lighting, and control of electrical devices that, if enacted, residential integrators would be forced to become electricians to compete on most technology projects throughout Rhode Island. CEDIA provided written testimony opposing House Bill 7015 before the House Committee on Corporations and opposing Senate Bill 2120 before the Senate Labor Committee. Currently, the committees have recommended both bills be held for further study. The Rhode Island General Assembly session concludes at the end of June.

CEDIA Issues First Federal Filing With FCC

On March 14, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted to create a voluntary cybersecurity labeling program for wireless consumer Internet of Things (IoT) products. In an open call for comments, CEDIA expressed support for the concept of the U.S. Cyber Trust Mark, but also emphasized the importance of professional installation by qualified integrators as a necessary means of safeguarding homeowners. The association asserts that integrators are key in the mitigation of security risks because of their extensive knowledge on how to install, maintain, connect, and deploy technology systems in the home. The FCC cybersecurity labeling voluntary program builds on the significant public and private sector work already underway on IoT cybersecurity and labeling, emphasizing the importance of continued partnership so that consumers can enjoy the benefits of this technology with greater confidence and trust.

CEDIA Legislative Day at the Michigan State Capitol

CEDIA marked its first in-person lobby day in Michigan alongside local integrators and industry leaders on October 18, 2023. Michigan is one of 24 states that has neither licensing nor exemptions for Class 2 and Class 3 power limited circuits as defined by the National Electrical Code, causing ambiguity as to what an integrator is permitted to perform within the home environment. CEDIA’s primary goal was to introduce legislative leaders to the industry and the vital role of integrators in home environments. The event also emphasized the overall importance of supporting skilled trades industries.

With an eye on the future and a commitment to the present, CEDIA continues to lead the charge in bringing the professional smart home industry to the forefront of legislative discussions. From Capitol Hill to state legislatures, CEDIA’s proactive measures are shaping policies that recognize the unique contributions of integrators and ensure the continued growth and success of the industry.

For more information on how you can get involved, visit