No Design Legislation

Opposing interior design legislation everywhere

Urgent – MA HB262 Hearing May 19 – Inconsistent Bill Will Demote You to 2nd Class Status

How perfect that the sponsor of this bill’s name is actually Kafka, given the very Kafkaesque nature of all attempts to impose legislation on interior designers.

From IDPC:

==============================================================================================
Interior Design Protection Council
Protect your future!

HB 262 demotes you to second class status!Month Year

Hearing set for May 19, 2009

NEWS ALERT!
HB 262 – a title act to certify interior designers, promoted by the Massachusetts Interior Design Coalition (MIDC)and sponsored by Rep. Louis Kafka, has been scheduled for hearing next Tuesday, May 19th at 10:00 a.m. in Room B-1 at the State House in Boston.

HB 262 is:

1. ANTI-COMPETITIVE. This bill will ONLY benefit a very small minority of interior designers who will be able to market themselves as “State Certified” and unless you have passed the NCIDQ exam, YOU WILL NOT. If you do not have an approved formal college degree, and have not worked for 2 to 4 years under another licensed designer (a.k.a “indentured servitude), you are not even eligible to sit for the NCIDQ.

2. IMMATERIAL. The only legitimate reason to impose regulation on an entire profession is to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public. Not a shred of evidence has ever been presented which would warrant a conclusion that the unregulated practice of interior design places the public in any form of jeopardy.

3. INCONSISTENT. Another bill, HB 2999 has also been introduced by Rep. Kafka which appears to allow ALL interior designers to bid on state projects (we’re still checking that one out). However, in direct contrast, this bill — HB 262 — includes language to amend the bidding law so that only interior designers that “hold a valid certificate indicating that they are a Certified Interior Designer” would be able to bid on state projects. Why would Rep. Kafka introduce two different amendments to the same existing law (Chapter 7 Public Building Construction)? At best, this is sloppy legislation writing. At worst (and we believe this to be the case), this is a classic example of the duplicity and the under-the-radar efforts that unfortunately are a hallmark of the pro-regulation camp.

4. ANTI-CONSUMER. This bill would give consumers a false sense of security that “registered” designers are offering addition protection beyond the measures already in place, which is untrue. Instead, the effect on consumers will be to artificially inflate prices. The Federal Trade Commission has recommend against regulation of interior designers.

5. UNNECESSARY. This is an exercise in wasting taxpayer money, government time and state resources. The bill serves absolutely no public purpose, and merely duplicates what is already available through private organizations.

6. INCREMENTAL. It has been well-documented that seemingly innocuous title acts are used by proponents to get a foot in the door, only to come back in a few years and attempt to expand the law into a full blown practice law that would put you out of business. MIDC has tried repeatedly to pass practice act legislation and failed, so they are trying this alternative approach.

In today’s difficult economic climate, state government should enact no new laws which would make it more difficult for Massachusetts entrepreneurs to earn an honest living unless there is compelling statistical and/or empirical evidence that the public is placed in jeopardy without such regulation. Clearly, there is absolutely no such evidence.

TAKE ACTION!

1. NOW:

Time is of the essence!

HB 262 is scheduled for hearing before the Joint Committee on Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure next week. Your immediate action is needed, so please take a few minutes to call or write to the Committee members today.

Click here for Committee contact information

Click here to read HB 262 – Certification of Interior Designers

http://www.mass.gov/legis/bills/house/186/ht02pdf/ht02999.pdf to read HB 2999 – Recognizing interior designers to bid on state contracts

It is best to write your own letter, but if you need help, you can use the bullet points above, or you may cut-and-paste the sample letter below, all or in part. Faxing is preferred, if possible, because it gives legislators a visual “stack” of opposition letters.

If possible, do all three: FAX, EMAIL AND CALL each member of the Committee

WHAT ABOUT FAMILY, FRIENDS AND CLIENTS?

Yes! Please have them write to the committe. Click here for a sample letter for clients which can also be adapted for other consumers.

NEW HAMPSHIRE, RHODE ISLAND VERMONT, CONNECTICUT and NEW YORK DESIGNERS:

If you practice in Massachusetts [or would like to in the future], please also take a few minutes to write to the Committee and express your opposition to HB 262.

2. NEXT WEEK:

Attend the hearing! A large turnout of opposition is crucial to defeat this bill! Please contact pmorrow@IDPCinfo.org if you plan to attend so that we can present IDPC supporters as a large, organized group.

May 19th
10:00 a.m.
Room B-1
State House, Boston (Beacon Street at Park Street)

DON’T THINK THAT OTHERS WILL DO THIS FOR YOU!

YOUR COMPLACENCY NOW WILL DESTROY YOUR COMPETITIVENESS LATER.

YOUR FUTURE IS IN YOUR HANDS.

Forward this email to all colleagues in the design community!

[Your Letterhead]

May 14, 2009

Re: Vote NO to HB 262 – Certification of Interior Designers

Dear [Senator or Representative Name]:

I am writing to respectfully request that you please VOTE NO on HB 262. Such a law is completely unnecessary, confusing to the public, and will have a negative impact upon my business by making it more difficult for me to compete in this very difficult economic climate.

The majority of Massachusetts designers, of which I am one, oppose granting this small group a state-sanctioned certification that they will then use to gain an unfair economic advantage over my business. It is not the role of our state government to assist in the marketing efforts of one segment of the design community over another.

Consumers are certainly capable of distinguishing between the qualifications of the various design professionals. There are numerous websites and private organizations that market their members’ services and educate the public as to the various qualifications of designers. In addition to the NCIDQ exam which is specified in the proposed amendment, there are nearly a dozen additional certification programs that allow the public to evaluate the qualifications of design professionals, if they so desire. A state-sanctioned certification would only duplicate this process and for no reason other than to benefit a very small minority of designers and grant them a competitive marketing edge over their competitors.

That the public has no difficulty in this regard is made clear by the fact that this bill is not promoted by the public or any consumer advocacy group but rather, by a small special interest group who seek to make it more difficult for their competitors to compete for the jobs that are still available given the economy today.
In today’s difficult economic climate, state government should enact no new laws which would make it more difficult for Massachusetts entrepreneurs to earn an honest living unless there is compelling evidence that the public is placed in jeopardy without such regulation. There is absolutely no evidence to suggest that unregulated interior design harms the public.

Please vote “NO” on this unnecessary and protectionist bill and allow me to continue to work and compete fairly on the merits of my skill and expertise in the state of Massachusetts.

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter and understand my concerns.

[Your Name]
[Your Address]

Massachusetts colleagues,

IDPC is the only national organization solely dedicated to protecting your livelihood and right to practice.

Please join our crusade and become a member.

Patti Morrow
Executive Director
Interior Design Protection Council
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May 18, 2009 - Posted by | Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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