No Design Legislation

Opposing interior design legislation everywhere

Tennessee Practice Act Withdrawn by Sponsor Due to Opposition!

From the Interior Design Protection Council:

SB 2078 is dead for this year!

<Members of the Tennessee design community:

Celebration is in order — the practice act will NOT threaten your livelihood this year! Your phone calls, emails, and visits to the Senators’ offices succeeded.

Rather than face the certain vote-down of his bill, the sponsor withdrew SB 2078 and put it into “General Sub[committee].” Here are the sponsor and TIDC lobbyist’s testimonial comments, along with our response.

“There are two groups opposed to this bill, the kitchen and bath designers and the architects.”
Omitted was the largest and most important group — the INTERIOR DESIGNERS who are opposed to regulation. Their presence on Capital Hill over the last few weeks was instrumental in defeating this bill. Whether Senator Ketron is unaware or in denial is unknown, but we are not going away. We will not sit by idly and allow a small group of industry insiders to dictate what kind of work we can do.
“They are seeking an ability to have licensing as identification for the time and money spent on education.”
The legislature should not regulate occupations for the sole purpose of providing state-sanctioned enhancement for one segment of a profession while placing the rest at an unfair competitive disadvantage. They should consider adoption of a new law only if the public health, safety or welfare compels it, which in this case, it clearly does not.
“This bill doesn’t affect kitchen and bath designers”
Sure, it doesn’t impact them as long as they voluntarily agree not to set foot in any of the restricted spaces (see list below).
“We do not want to put the burden on consumers who are in and out of public spaces to know whether or not the interior designer is qualified in egress, ingress, fire codes, etc.”
There has been no public outcry from consumers that they have been unfairly treated, physically harmed or that they are confused about interior design services. The public does not lack the ability to make informed choices about who they retain for design services; they are quite capable of reviewing portfolios and websites, interviewing potential designers, checking references and checking private certification credentials to determine what level of designer fits their project. They do not need a nanny state to dictate who they may or may not hire!
“The public safety IS affected by interior designers.”
There is not a shred of evidence which would warrant a conclusion that the unregulated practice of interior design places the public in any form of jeopardy. To the contrary, 12 government agencies have studied the need for interior design regulation and without exception, all recommended against licensure on the basis that it would add absolutely nothing to the protection of the public beyond that which is already in place (building inspectors, Certificate of Occupancy requirements, architects/engineers, fire marshals, construction code enforcement officials, consumer affairs actions, etc.).
“The MGM Grand hotel fire is a perfect example.”
Suggesting that this tragic incident had anything to do with unqualified interior design work is completely belied by a 2005 article in the Las Vegas Review Journal, which makes clear that the primary reason why the fire spread was a combination of: (a) inadequate sprinklers; (b) rampant code violations; and (c) the defective flammable adhesive used to attach ceiling tiles. Most of the victims died of smoke inhalation, but there has been no evidence presented that the quantity or lethality of the smoke was in any way enhanced by improper decorating or design choices.
“Request the Chairman to direct the groups to work out their differences so the bill can be brought back next year.”
What’s to work out? We will not allow TIDC to take away our use of a title (Interior Designer) which accurately describes our work or restrict our right to do interior design work (NOT interior architecture work) in whatever venues we desire. We cannot be forced into accepting a bill that we are philosophically opposed to and which will negative impact us.
Info about SB 2078 to remember for the future:

You will lose your ability to call and market yourself as “INTERIOR DESIGNER” and you will lose your current and/or future right to work in diversified applications.

Section 3 (a) says that unless you are registered (NCIDQ certified), you will not be allowed to perform services for:

  • any building more than 2 stories, including residences that may have 3rd floor lofts/home offices
  • any commercial design over 5,000 sq. ft. in a one or two story building
  • condos, in a building over 2 stories
  • common areas of condos, any size
  • hotel lobbies, any size
  • small offices in an office building over 2 stories
  • waiting rooms, any size
  • community centers, any size
  • any kind and size of meeting facilities
  • restaurants, cafes, bistros, etc., any size
  • auditoriums or theaters of any size
  • any space plans/furniture layouts for work in schools, hospitals, or other intentionally vague places of “assembly” unless they are for “communicating interior space requirements to a registered design professional” which essentially means it’s THEIR job, not YOURS, or you’d have to hire them to accomplish your design.
Are you going to just sit back and let this small handful of elitist insiders dictate what kind of jobs you can take, or are you going to join IDPC and fight for your right to earn a living at your chosen profession?

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May 11, 2009 - Posted by | ncidq certification licensing | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

1 Comment »

  1. […] 4. The proposed Tennessee practice act legislation was withdrawn due to opposition, and is thus no longer pending –… […]

    Pingback by IIDA Student Blog Censors Legislative Map Correction Post « No Design Legislation | June 5, 2009 | Reply

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