Bill Summary for H 630 (2019-2020)

Summary date: 

May 29 2019

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2019-2020 Session
House Bill 630 (Public) Filed Monday, April 8, 2019
AN ACT TO MAKE VARIOUS CHANGES TO THE PRIVATE PROTECTIVE SERVICES ACT AND THE ALARM SYSTEMS LICENSING ACT, AND TO CREATE CERTAIN FEES.
Intro. by McNeill, Hardister, Faircloth.

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Bill summary

House committee substitute to the 2nd edition makes the following changes.

Adds organizational parts to the act.

Part I.

Places all previous provisions into Part I. Further amends GS Chapter 74C, Private Protective Services, making language gender-neutral throughout. 

Part II.

Retitles GS Chapter 74D, Electronic Security Systems (was Alarm Systems) and makes changes throughout the Chapter to refer to "electronic security systems" rather than "alarm systems." Amends the Chapter as follows. Makes the Chapter's language gender-neutral.

Defines electronic security system business to include any person, firm, association or corporation that, unless exempt, (1) sells or attempts to sell an electronic security system by engaging in any personal solicitation to advise, design, or consult on specific types and specific locations of electronic security system devices and/or (2) installs, services, monitors, or responds to electrical, wireless or hardwired electronic or mechanical alarm signal devices and security systems, and integrated automation of a residence or business that includes a security element, burglar alarms, monitored access control, or cameras used to detect or observe illegal activity. Eliminates the previous exclusion of locking devices that record entry and exit data and do not transmit the data in real time so long as the provider is licensed by the Locksmith Licensing Board; instead provides for this exemption from the Chapter's provisions in GS 74D-3. Defines a qualifying agent to mean an individual who is a full-time employee in a management position licensed under the Chapter and who is registered with the Electronic Security Systems Board (Board; previously did not specify full-time employment). Establishes that a business entity required to be licensed under the Chapter is subject to the specified requirements regarding a qualifying agent (previously subject upon engaging in the business). Allows the business entity to notify the Board by letter or using the Board's online form upon its qualifying agent ceasing to perform his or her duties (previously only specified notification be in writing). Adds a new provision authorizing the Director of the Board to extend the 90-day period by which the business entity must obtain a substitute qualifying agent for an additional 30 days for good cause upon written request. Prohibits any person (rather than licensee) from serving as the qualifying agent for more than one business entity without Board approval. Makes the qualifying agent responsible for maintaining current contact information with the Board. Adds minimum qualifications for qualifying agents in addition to age, experience, and character qualifications in existing law. Requires the applicant to have successfully completed or kept current the specified technician course offered by the Electronic Security System Associations and to have proof of how in-state activities of the licensee are to be monitored. Concerning the applicant character, includes a prayer for judgement continued, adjudication withheld, or an equivalent disposition within the meaning of conviction. Eliminates the authority of the Board to require an examination of applicants. Requires out-of-state monitoring companies not licensed in any state to be licensed by the Board and register their employees, but does not require out-of-state monitoring companies licensed in another state to register their employees upon receipt by the Board of a certificate of good standing from that state.

Regarding criminal background checks of applicants for licensure or registration, replaces references to the Department of Public Safety with the State Bureau of Investigation (SBI). Authorizes the SBI's Division of Criminal information Network to provide criminal record checks for applicants through the Board. Authorizes the SBI to charge applicants a fee for conducting the criminal history checks and specifies that the fee is to be collected by the Board and transmitted to the SBI. Makes an exception to the confidentiality provisions set forth for information obtained through an applicant's criminal history check, allowing such information to support the denial of an application or a disciplinary matter in a contested case. 

Modifies the Chapter's exemptions as follows. Exempts installation or service (was, installation only) of an electronic alarm system on property owned or leased to the installer. Eliminates the exemptions for out-of-state monitoring companies and persons or businesses providing services to a state agency or local government for five or more years. Makes organizational and clarifying changes. 

Renames the Alarm Systems Licensing Board the Electronic Security Systems Licensing Board (Board). Excepts the Secretary of Public Safety or a designee from the prohibition against a Board member serving more than two complete three-year consecutive terms. Makes further technical changes. 

Modifies and adds to the powers of the Board as follows. Authorizes the Board to determine minimum qualifications and establish minimum education, experience, and training standards for registrants in addition to applicants and licensees; and conduct investigations of alleged violations to determine if unlicensed individuals or entities are in violation of the Chapter in addition to investigating licensees' and registrants' compliance with the Chapter. Authorizes the Board to issue written cease and desist orders for violations with the concurrence of the Secretary of Public Safety. Allows the Board to take disciplinary action against registrants who fail to satisfy requirements of the Chapter or the Board. Additionally, grants the Board the power to acquire, rent, encumber, and deal with real property as a private person or corporation, subject to approval of the Governor and the Council of State. Limits collateral pledged by the Board for an encumbrance to the assets, income, and revenues of the Board. Deems the regulation of electronic security business exclusive to the Board, though permits local government to require registration and reporting of businesses operating within its jurisdiction and even require revocable permits when alarm usage involves automatic signal transmission to law enforcement, which was previously located in GS 74D-11.

Expands the investigative powers of the Secretary of Public Safety to include complaints, allegations, or suspicions of wrongdoing or violation of the Chapter involving unlicensed individuals in addition to licensed or to-be-licensed individuals. 

Amends GS 74D-6, now limiting the statute to grounds for denial for registration (was, licensure or registration). Modifies the grounds for the denial of registration to include conviction of any crime involving the illegal use, carrying, or possession of a firearm; felonious assault or an act of violence; felonious sexual offense; felonious larceny; or felonious fraud (was, conviction of any crime involving fraud only). Defines conviction. Now provides that the specified misdemeanors, if convictions within the previous 10 years, are prima facie evidence that the applicant lacks good moral character and temperate habits. Includes in the specified misdemeanor convictions crimes involving assault (was, felonious assault) and sexual offenses. Adds to the definition of conviction. Lastly, establishes registration as a sex offender in any state as grounds for denial of registration. 

Specifies that branch office certificates must be obtained by branch offices in the state with an electronic security systems business. Extends the period for temporary approval by the Director of the Board from 10 working days to 45 days.

Amends the requirements to be met by the licensee of an electronic security systems business when registering the licensee’s employees with the Board under GS 74D-8 as follows. Requires the licensee to submit two sets (was, one or multiple sets) of the employee’s fingerprints, two (was, one or multiple) recent color photos for identification, and the authorized fee. Adds a provision allowing a licensee to employ an applicant as a probationary employee for 20 consecutive days. In order to continue employment as a regular employee, requires registration of the employee within 30 days after the probationary employment ends unless the Director extends the time for good cause. Requires a probationary employee to complete training and requires a criminal record check before the probationary employee engages in services. Requires the licensee to give the Director a list of probationary employees monthly and specifies information that must be provided.

Amends GS 74D-8.1 by amending the requirements for an apprentice registration permit to no longer require applicants to be currently enrolled in high school or to have a valid driver's license. Makes a conforming deletion of the requirement that one of the applicant’s letters of recommendation be from an official at the applicant’s school.

Amends GS 74D-9 by increasing the required minimum amount of liability insurance to: (1) $250,000 (was, $50,000) because of bodily injury or death of one person as a result of the negligent act of the principal insured or his or her agents operating in the course and scope of employment and $500,000 (was, $100,000) because of bodily injury or death of two or more persons and (2) $100,000 (was, $20,000) because of injury to or destruction of property of others as a result of the negligent act of the principal insured or his or her agents operating in the course and scope of his or her agency.

Amends GS 74D-10 by amending instances in which the Board may suspend or revoke a license or registration as follows: (1) includes violations of any rule adopted (was, any rule promulgated) by the Board; (2) includes convictions of any felony in GS 74D-6(2) (conviction of a crime involving fraud, the illegal use, carrying, or possession of a firearm, felonious assault or an act of violence, felonious sexual offense, felonious larceny, or felonious fraud), or any crime involving moral turpitude under GS 74D-6(3) (lack of good moral character or temperate habits) (was, convictions of any crime involving moral turpitude or any other crime involving violence or the illegal use, carrying, or possession of a dangerous weapon only); (3) includes engaging in or permitting any employee to engage in any electronic security systems business without possessing a valid registration (was, a valid license); (4) clarifies that the instances include failure to maintain the required certificate of liability insurance; and (5) adds that engaging in conduct that constitutes dereliction of duty or deceiving, defrauding, or harming the public in the course of professional activities or services includes fraudulently claiming a change in business ownership, fraudulently claiming dissolution of a competing business, fraudulently claiming to be a representative of the consumers current service provider, misrepresentation of employer, or misrepresenting an upgrade of equipment as a sales tactic.

Deletes GS 74D-13, which is an outdated provision.

Amends GS 74D-30 by renaming the Alarm Systems Education Fund as the Electronic Security Systems Education Fund and makes additional technical and conforming changes. 

Makes conforming changes to the act's titles.

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