Government Affairs Work Group February 2022 Update

Chief Alan PerduePosted on February 24, 2021

Richard Roberts – Chair
Jason Davila – Vice Chair 
Alan Perdue - Sponsor

The Safer Buildings Coalition Government Affairs Work Group met on Thursday, February 17th 2022. Updates were given on several issues, in addition to updates Safer Buildings Coalition leadership team, and the introduction of new members Mark Crosby of EWA. During the January meeting it was also reported that SBC submitted an official public comment to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) that recommends numerous steps that will enable greater public safety use of the 4.9 GHz band, including leveraging this band for improved and expanded in-building wireless coverage for public safety, while protecting public safety communications from harmful interference.

2022 Florida Legislative Session Updates: Two bills have been filed (SB-1190 and HB-785) that seek to exempt apartment buildings that are 75 feet or less in height from complying with the minimum emergency responder radio strength requirements in 633.202(18) of the Florida Statute. On 1/18/2022 Chief Alan Perdue provided opposition testimony to SB-1190 during the Senate Community Affairs Committee hearing. Regrettably, the Senate Committee favorably reported the bill with a vote of 5 to 2. On 2/2/2022, the House Insurance and Banking Subcommittee passed the attached amendment to HB-785. The house amendment did not delete or reduce exemption for apartment buildings 75 feet or less in height and it provides a stipulation the building must have exterior components constructed of wood.

On 2/15/2022, the Senate Rules Committee passed the attached amendment to SB-1190 with a vote of 15 to 2. The Senate amendment is identical to House amendment. Unfortunately, both amendments did not delete, or reduce 75’ exemption. However, they provide a stipulation that the building must have exterior components constructed of wood, which lessens the impact of the bill. Alan Perdue and Jon Pasqualone provided opposition testimony to the bills. A key senator has mentioned they are open to discussions to amend the bill further and mentioned exterior means of egress as a possibility. 

SBC continues to have discussions with legislators and like-minded stakeholders to make further amendments that seek to protect emergency responders and apartment building occupants. 

Michigan Legislative Updates: A bill was introduced in November of 2021 that seeks to require ERCES to be installed in all K-12 schools, but it has not moved since being introduced. HERE is a link to a bill that has been filed. SBC supports the intent of the bill, however, the current version has a legal flaw which requires ERCES to be installed where they are not needed. SBC sent a letter supporting the intent of the bill and provides a clear message that the Coalition advocates:

  1. For ERCES to be installed only where needed 
  2. Reducing noise/interference problems by requiring such systems to comply with FCC federal rules