The National Association for Security Companies (NASCO), the largest trade organization representing advocating the interests of contract security firms recently announced its federal and state legislative agenda for 2007.
NASCO has retained legislative counsel to support its initiatives in:
* Mississippi to introduce legislation to implement state licensing of security companies, registration of security officers and training requirements. MS is only one of the ten (10) states without any licensing or regulatory requirements
* New Jersey to repeal the recently enacted 7% sales tax on security services
NASCO’s proposed 2007 budget includes dedicated federal lobbying resources. Among the issues for NASCO are the following:
* NASCO will continue to monitor and encourage the Department of Justice’s progress in the full implementation of the Private Security Officer Employment Authorization Act of 2004. At the same time, NASCO’s outreach to states not presently authorized to process security officers’ fingerprints through the FBI’s criminal history record database will continue as an educational effort.
* Although NASCO successfully lobbied to extend contract security services for a two-year period through the Department of Defense Authorization Act of 2007, efforts to make the authorization permanent will need to begin once the election changes are clear and nay shifts in control have settled. The authorization also included a reduction in the total amount of contracting at the rate of 10% annually, NASCO is committed to investigating the intent of this reduced force language.
* In the event that H.R. 5893, the “Private Security Officer Employment Enhancement Act”, is re-introduced, NASCO will follow its path and become involved if legislative action ensues.
NASCO is also closely following developments in several other states and anticipates additional state legislation and regulatory issues in 2007. While resources have not been specifically committed to these states, NASCO members may choose to take a more aggressive stance on any of these issues involving retained counsel in the state.
* Arizona – Legislation to regulate proprietary security officers is under consideration for the 2007 session.
* District of Columbia –The “Enhanced Professional Security Amendment Act” has a projected effective date of February 23, 2007. It calls for a new training program totaling 40 hours. DC budget issues may affect the implementation date, as may the inauguration of a new mayor.
* New York – New York and other states will continue to see labor-initiated legislative proposals regarding healthcare, training, displaced workers and advisory panels. NASCO is also considering several options to create a sustained lobbying presence in New York and addressing sales tax on security services.
* Ohio – Mandatory training requirements are being considered by the Department of Homeland Security.
* Pennsylvania – Several bills to amend the Pennsylvania regulatory law are pending this year.
* Utah – An increase in training requirements (currently a total of 24 hours for all regulated security officers) are under consideration.
* Virginia – Virginia’s administrative rules are undergoing a routinely scheduled review currently. When the proposed changes are posted for comment, it is expected that a fee increase and other changes will be included.
The agenda focuses on issues that address NASCO’s core objectives and missions:
* Advocate the best interest of contract security firms
* Promote and sustain professional integrity and competence throughout every aspect of the private security business
* Proactively participate in creating new markets and maintaining competitive access to existing commercial and government markets for contract security services
* Promote higher standards, consistent regulations and ethical conduct for private security businesses
* Increase awareness and understanding among consumers of contract security services, policy-makers, the media and the general public regarding the importance of the private security industry to America’s strength and freedom
* Assure the continued strength of the contract security industry