2019 Conference Recap

The Burglar Fire Alarm Association of Michigan (BFAAM) held its Annual Conference in Mid-October at their headquarters in Lansing. The sessions focused on regulatory changes coming from the state of Michigan, industry changes coming from the private sector and an update on the state budget situation here in our state.

Don’t Sleep on the Shutting Down of the 3G Network….

From 2007-2017, data traffic on AT&T’s wireless network has increased more than 360,000 percent. Because of this, AT&T intends to shut down its 3G network effective 2/2/22 in an attempt to reallocate capacity to their more advanced wireless networks. These are official deadlines however the industry has seen pockets where upgrades have already started.

Dean Belisle of Resideo presented to the conference attendees on this change and urged companies to get out in front of this deadline so they can negotiate bulk pricing from manufacturers, utilize the efficiency of their technical staff, and reduce the overall burden on operations.

“Some are seeing this change as a silver lining to engage clients and sell additional services,” Said Belisle. 

Mandatory Paid Sick Leave and Minimum Wage Increase Coming to Michigan. But in What Form?

Jennifer Fields from the Wage and Hour Division at the Michigan Department of Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) spoke to BFAAM membership about the changes coming for employers and employees as it relates to mandatory paid sick leave, or the “Paid Medical Leave Act” and the increase in the minimum wage, or “Improved Workforce Opportunity Wage Act.”

Both of these acts were passed by Michigan voters in the 2018 election. Following their passage, the Michigan legislature amended the new laws prior to their implementation. This led to a lawsuit that now sits in front of Michigan’s Supreme Court. Unless there is a ruling from the court, LEO will continue to regulate the acts as amended by the legislature.

For more information on how the acts are currently being enforced, contact BFAAM by calling 517-485-4832.

State Budget in Flux….Even Following the October 1st Deadline

In late September, Gov. Whitmer signed the state budget but not before line-item vetoing 147 funding projects for a total of nearly $1 billion. Frustration had been mounting for months between the Governor and Legislature over a lack of a long-term road funding solution and a breakdown in talks surrounding the budget.

Staff from Speaker of the House Lee Chatfield’s office were on hand at the conference to explain the budget process, discuss the vetoes and attempt to predict a path moving forward.

What Was Vetoed?

  • $375 million in additional road funding dollars
  • $171 million to hospitals across the state
  • $38 million in Michigan Tuition grants
  • $37.5 million out of Pure Michigan
  • $35 million in increases to the public school academies
  • $16 million in Career and Technical Education
  • $15.3 million payment in lieu of taxes
  • $13.074 from Secondary Road Patrol

Following the vetoes, Governor Whitmer directed the State Administrative Board to shift $625 million within state departments, a move that irked legislative leaders. She has since scheduled two meetings of the State Administrative Board presumably to rescind those transfers.

What’s Next?

The Michigan Senate (Democrats and Republicans) is working on several proposals for a “Supplemental Budget” prior to the end of 2019 that would restore several (if not all) of the cuts. Meanwhile leaders in both the House and Senate want assurances from the Governor that transfers aren’t going to become the “norm” for the appropriations process.

BFAAM Business

Tom Kramer, John Romano, Bruce Chapin and Brian Hanley were all re-elected to serve on the BFAAM Board of Directors (BOD) for another 3-year term. Positions within the board will be voted on at the December meeting.