No Design Legislation

Opposing interior design legislation everywhere

Designed to Exclude Minorities and Career-Changers & Increase Consumer Costs

A new study by economics professors David E. Harrington and Jaret Treber of Kenyon College entitled “Designed to Exclude: How Interior Design Insiders Use Government Power to Exclude Minorities & Burden Consumers” reveals some shocking information.

Not only is interior design legislation anticompetitive in general, but it specifically disproportionately excludes blacks, Hispanics, and midlife career-changers.

Yes, these laws are inherently discriminatory against minorities and older people.

Since minorities are 30% less likely to have college degrees than whites, they are also that much more likely to be shut out of the field.  Likewise, older designers are 12% less likely to have degrees in regulated states, so they too are more likely to be prevented from starting an interior design career later in life.

Such legislation has also been shown to result in significantly higher prices for consumers, as the lower-priced competition is simply legislated out of existence.  Design firms in regulated states have been shown to earn as much as $7,200,000 more in cities of 1,000,000 that in similarly sized cities in states that do not regulate the practice of interior design.

Which is pretty much what we’ve said all along – that the goal of such legislation is to shut out the competition, and will result in increased prices for consumers – and not-so-coincidentally, considerably higher salaries for the few who can meet the requirements – or who are allowed to.

Which is certainly nice work if you can get it, and I’ve got nothing against people earning more money if they are capable of doing so honestly, but shutting out competition by legislating it out of existence, particularly when that legislation clearly discriminates disproportionately against minorities and mid-life career changers, and that there is no valid and documentable other reason is just plain abuse of the legislative system.

Good old supply and demand economics dictates that if you decrease the supply of providers, and the demand for services remains the same, then the prices are just going to go up – which is bad news for most consumers, particularly in this recessionary economy.

Because of the effects of grandfathering, the apparent effects on wages are also likely diluted and thereby understated.  Having a degree also correlates positively with higher wages, at the expense of experience.  This means that even designers with little or no experience but who do have a degree in design could command higher fees than those who actually have the practical experience required to really excel in this field!  In unregulated states, experience counts for more than it does in regulated states, and formal schooling for less.

The costs to entrepreneurs is likewise dramatically higher in regulated states than in those that do not control the practice of interior design.

Furthermore, this study also documents the problematic effects (and attendant costs) of the loss of variety of points of view and styles, and limitations on consumer choice that regulation brings.  Given the diversity of the population as a whole, especially across racial and ethnic lines, and the accompanying range of preferences, it’s important to ensure that designers who cater to unusual and different tastes will be around to serve these groups.

Regulation, as it turns out, also encourages designers to cater more to the tastes of the masses than to different niches, which can only result in a loss of variety and richness in options and spaces.  In a field that is supposed to be all about creativity and options, it would be a tragedy to so restrict the range of options that are available to consumers who are not interested in the status quo.  Uniformity is not an asset in a creative field.

Sadly, this sort of limitation could easily expand if the schools become set up as the sole arbiters of taste and style, which a system of mandatory regulation only encourages.

I saw it myself in my own design school training – we were not only not encouraged to develop our own individual styles, but we were actually penalized if what we produced differed too much from what the instructors’ and the institutions’ tastes and styles were.  The result can be an absolute crushing of a student’s own inherent taste and style, and stifling of creativity, failure to teach how to build on what’s working or to develop any different ideas, etc.  I had to fight hard to break away from that stifling little box and to put it in its place as just another tool I can now draw on now, instead of letting it turn into the sole dictator of what is right and correct, or appealing.  I learned a lot of value in design school – but encouragement and development of my own creativity and ideas was certainly not part of their agenda, and not part of the skill set it helped me develop.  The net result is that design (and architecture) schools tend to crank out students whose work all bears a striking similarity to the work of all other students.  The schools each have their own “look”, and heaven help the student who wants to do anything else.

Please read this excellent study, which draws its conclusions from reputable and readily available data sources, specifically the National Census, obituaries, and others, and from rigorous statistical analysis of the data.


September 1, 2009 Posted by | Institute for Justice, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

FL Barred From Enforcing Title Law Provisions!

Florida judge defends designers’ First Amendment rights! This is yet the latest example of the courts upholding our right to call ourselves interior designers without restriction, and to freely advertise exactly what we do. The dominos are falling one by one, but more and more quickly now. Spread the word!


From Clark Neily of the Institute for Justice:

=====================================

Great news in the Florida interior design case! Yesterday Judge Hinkle entered a preliminary injunction order ordering the State Board to stop enforcing the title provisions of Florida’s interior design law. I have attached a copy of the order, but here’s what this means in practical terms:

  • Anyone who is lawfully performing interior design services in Florida may now use the terms “interior designer,” “interior design,” “space planning,” etc. to describe themselves and their work. There is no requirement to preface those terms with the word “residential.”
  • While the order is en effect, the State Board may not proceed with any enforcement action that have already been commenced.

  • Technically, this is not a final order, and it could be withdrawn by the judge at a later date. Given the particular facts of this case, however, I consider that extremely unlikely, nor would it happen overnight. Bottom line, we are telling people that while there is a possibility that the order could be withdrawn, the odds of that happening appear very small.

  • The order does not affect the practice-related restrictions of Florida’s interior design law, which means that non-licensees are still limited to performing residential interior design services only. We will now turn our attention to the law’s practice restrictions, which will be a more challenging — but very exciting — effort.
  • We encourage all of you to publicize this development through whatever networks or contacts you might have… But in terms of telling people informally about the injunction order and what it means, please don’t hold back — it’s important that we get the word out about this far and wide.

============================================================

Here’s the text of the actual order:

(You can also find the order as a PDF here. Please forward it far and wide.)

Case 4:09-cv-00193-RH-WCS Document 32 Filed 08/07/2009 Page 1 of 2
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
Tallahassee Division
EVA LOCKE, et al.,
Plaintiffs,
v.
JOYCE SHORE, et al.,
Defendants.
Civil Action No.
4:09cv193-RH/WCS
PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION
THIS MATTER is before the Court on the parties’ Agreed Motion For
Preliminary Injunction. Upon consideration of the motion and the representations of
counsel and it appearing to the Court that the Motion is well taken,
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED THAT:
1. The First Amendment protects people’s right to speak truthfully about services
they lawfully perform. This includes advertising that uses terms that accurately describe
services a person legally provides and that accurately describe the person providing those
services.
2. Under Florida law, anyone may perform residential interior design services
without being licensed by or registered with the state. Accordingly, the plaintiffs and
other nonlicensees may lawfully perform residential interior design services in Florida,
and they have a right under the First Amendment to advertise those services using terms
that accurately describe themselves and the services they lawfully provide.

Case 4:09-cv-00193-RH-WCS Document 32 Filed 08/07/2009 Page 2 of 2
3. In light of the foregoing, the defendants and their officers, agents, servants,
employees, and attorneys, and other persons who are in active concert or participation
with them,(1) are hereby enjoined from enforcing the statutory restrictions on the use by
unlicensed or unregistered individuals who lawfully practice interior design of the
specific statutory terms in Fla. Stat. §§ 481.223(1)(c) and 481.229(6)(a) and any other
“words to that effect” to truthfully describe themselves and the services they lawfully
provide.
4. This agreed injunction shall remain in effect until further order of the Court,
and it is expressly understood and acknowledged by the parties that (a) the order applies
to disciplinary actions already commenced or that could have been commenced by the
Board of Architecture and Interior Design; and (b) the Board may not take action against
any person for actions taken in accordance with the agreed injunction order while it was
in effect, even if the order is later withdrawn or dissolved.
SO ORDERED on August 7, 2009.
s/Robert L. Hinkle
United States District Judge

(1) The parties’ agreed preliminary injunction would also enjoin “potential ‘affected
persons’ under Fla. Stat. § 481.223(3)(a)&(b).” They cite no authority for enjoining
nonparties in addition to those listed in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 65(d)(2). This
order tracks the rule. Except for this change, this order is the same as proposed by the
parties.

===============================================================

August 12, 2009 Posted by | Florida, Institute for Justice | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

CT Law Ruled Unconstitutional!

The Institute for Justice has scored another victory in our Campaign for Economic Liberty, our multi-year effort to elevate economic liberty to national prominence like we did with the issues of school choice and eminent domain abuse.


In this lawsuit, we challenged a Connecticut state law that allows anyone to perform interior design services, but dictates that only those with government-issued licenses may call themselves “interior designers.” Besides unconstitutionally censoring truthful commercial speech, “titling laws” like Connecticut’s serve as precursors to full-blown occupational licensure (the ultimate goal of a small, well-funded faction within the interior design industry).


IJ’s strategic research has shown such regulations result in higher prices, less variety, and fewer employment opportunities, especially for minorities and older mid-career switchers, without any benefit to public health or safety (the standard by which all such regulations should be judged).

It is these types of occupational regulations that are the target of the Campaign for Economic Liberty and that we will litigate against to restore constitutional protection for the right to earn an honest living.

Below is our news release on yesterday’s court decision. Thank you for making this and all our work possible.

Chip

________________________

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

June 30, 2009

Federal Judge Declares Connecticut Interior Design Law Unconstitutional

New Haven, Conn.—A federal judge today struck down a state law that unconstitutionally censored the free speech of interior designers in Connecticut.

In a thorough, clearly worded 23-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Mark Kravitz systematically considered and rejected each of the state’s arguments in support of the challenged law, a so-called “title act” for interior designers. Title acts are laws that regulate only the speech, but not the work associated with a given occupation. Thus, in Connecticut—as in 46 other states around the country including New York, Massachusetts, and California—anyone may work as an interior with no license or other special government oversight of any kind. But since 1983, Connecticut law has prohibited anyone not registered as an interior designer with the Department of Consumer Protection from referring to himself as an “interior designer,” even when that term accurately describes what he does.

Interior design laws are the product of a decades-long lobbying effort by an elitist group of industry insiders seeking to limit competition by driving other interior designers out of work. That effort, led by the American Society of Interior Designers, is documented in an Institute for Justice study entitled “Designing Cartels.” Another study from IJ called “Designed to Exclude,” released in February 2009, shows that interior design regulations like Connecticut’s not only increase costs for consumers but also disproportionately exclude minorities and older career-switchers from the interior design industry. Both studies are available online: www.ij.org/interiordesign.

“Shortly after I began practicing interior design twenty-five years ago, a woman from the Department of Consumer Protection showed up at my business and ordered me to stop calling myself an interior designer,” said Susan Roberts, one of the three plaintiffs who successfully challenged Connecticut’s interior design law. “That is an outrageous act of censorship on the part of the state, and I am thrilled that I can now tell the world that I am what I have always been since I started doing this work—an interior designer.”

As Judge Kravitz explained in rejecting the state’s legal arguments, “the term ‘interior designer’ is not a term of art and it is not inherently misleading.” Moreover, “[i]f the State were seeking to convey the existence of a regulatory regime in this field, then a term such as ‘licensed interior designer,’ or ‘registered interior designer,’ would far better serve that interest.”

“When it was enacted in 1983, Connecticut’s interior design law represented the cutting edge of a concerted effort to cartelize the interior design industry for the benefit of ASID and its members,” said Clark Neily the Institute for Justice senior attorney who led the successful court challenge. “Along with several grassroots and industry groups, we have brought that campaign to a halt and are systematically dismantling the barriers it has erected to fair competition in the interior design field. We are confident that when the dust settles, consumers in every state will be able to choose the designer whom they think best suits their needs, and interior designers themselves will be free to go as far as their ambition, talent, and dreams will take them.”

This message was sent from Chip Mellor to. It was sent from: Institute for Justice, Institute for Justice 901 N. Glebe Road, Suite 900, Arlington, VA 22203. You can modify/update your subscription via the link below.

Email Marketing by
iContact - Try It Free!

July 1, 2009 Posted by | California, Connecticut, Institute for Justice, Massachusetts, New York | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

ASID: Consumers Very Satisfied Working with Interior Designers

In 2005, ASID did a study indicating that consumers are “very satisfied working with an interior designer”.  According to Anita Baltimore, FASID, the then-president of ASID, “The new ASID study shows that most homeowners who work with interior designers recognize the value of their services once they see the results” (emphasis added).

More and more households are using designers, too.  In 1997, consumer use of designers was estimated at about 4% of households with an annual income of $70,000 or more, which comprised 6% of the US population.

By 2005, that percentage had increased to 14% of that population hiring an interior designer, with 34% having household incomes between $125,000 and $200,000, although the study also says that they are just as likely to have incomes between $75,000 and $125,000 as between $200,000 and $400,000.  Age-wise, clients are mostly between the ages of 35 and 65, and gender distribution is 64% females vs 36% males.

According to the article, “The most common projects for which a designer was hired were to remodel or redecorate a kitchen or bath, a living or family room, or bedroom. Almost one-fourth (23 percent) of those who hired an interior designer completely remodeled or redecorated an entire home, compared to about one-fifth (19 percent) of those who did not. The most frequently mentioned responsibilities for the designers on these projects were space planning or arranging (67 percent), consultation for aesthetic advice (56 percent), selecting furniture or other products (49 percent), improving functionality (39 percent), remodeling (33 percent), and managing the project (30 percent)”.

So what does this have to do with legislation?

Everything.

The sponsors of this study are the same group of people who are screaming bloody murder that the public needs to be protected from the consequences of having the widest range of options possible because they can’t tell the difference between a competent designer and Betty Decorator who has no clue what she’s doing (regardless of what label they use to describe themselves, by the way).

But this demographic is not a stupid group of people – obviously.

Anyone earning a minimum of $70,000 in this country in this day and age is pretty much by definition highly intelligent and competent, or they wouldn’t have reached that level in their occupations that would bring them to that income level.  That is even more true of those in the higher income ranges cited.  I think it’s safe to assume that many of these people are in highly responsible jobs where all kinds of critical decisions are made, requiring high levels of analytical skills.  These are upper level managers, entrepreneurs, doctors, lawyers, etc. – the captains of industry who run this country, the people who take care of the rest of us.  It’s the highly educated, not the high school dropouts.

By the age of 35, it’s also pretty safe to say that these folks have lived a slice of life enough to be able to figure out for themselves how to find competent help in all areas of their homes as well as their business, inluding in the selection of their interior designers.

What’s more, you know darn well that people at this level professionally are also often involved in the selection of designers for their offices, many of whom are then brought home to do the houses, or vice versa.

So, are we to assume that this group of people leave their intelligence and analytical skills at the doors to their homes?  That they suddenly become incapable of assessing quality of services or products for their own residences, as opposed to in their jobs?  That the skills that have helped them to the tops of their professions don’t extend to the ability to even select a good, competent designer for their businesses, without governmental assistance?

I think not.

And notice the percentages.  Far and away most of these people surveyed hired designers for what can most accurately be described as “decorating” kinds of services.  “Arranging”, “aesthetic advice”, “selecting furniture or other products”.

Duh.  We know this is what the public thinks designers do – and those creative elements are definitely a part of it.  A big part.  So why are ASID and other pro-legislation people trying to downplay the importance of this aesthetic side of what we do?  And create a credentialing process that doesn’t even take it into account?

The reality is that creativity and aesthetics are just as important as technical knowledge.  It’s no good to have either one without the other, and in the best projects, they are seamlessly integrated.

But the numbers are also significant for those who hired designers to do much more extensive remodeling, which is where a professional designer, however he or she comes by her knowledge, can really be of benefit to clients.  Just by nature of the overall increase in utilization of interior design services, and the not insubstantial percentages of people utilizing a designer to execute a complete remodel, space planning, project management, etc., I think we can safely say that these people recognize the existence  and value of the skills of a professional designer.  With a more than threefold increase in the utilization of design services, it’s probably safe to say that the utilization 0f these more extensive services has increased similarly, along with the increase in use of more decorative services.

Now, if these designers had not been competent, just how many building permits do you think would have been issued for the remodeling work that they specified?  And how many of their clients would have been “very satisfied” with their work?

Not too many.

So, we have an increasing number of highly intelligent and succcesful people hiring interior designers to provide a very broad scope of services, including extensive remodelling, and even ASID says that on the whole, they are indeed “very satisfied” with the work of these designers.

So why does ASID still claim we need legislation?  To protect people from… what?  Being already satisfied with the work of the designers they obviously already know how to successfully select and hire?

We need licensing and credentialing, then, for… what, exactly?

And let’s not forget that Michael S. Smith, one of the most talented, successful, and celebrated interior designers of our times, has been hired by no less a client than President and Mrs. Obama to redo the White House.  He’s not licensed, not a member of ASID, did not graduate from any kind of design school, etc.  And yet, somehow, he’s still good enough for the President of the United States, and apparently no one in the current administration believes that in any way the lives, health, or safety of the President or his family will be at risk, as Michael Alin, the current president of ASID, not-so -subtly suggested in his presumptuous January 2009 letter to the First Couple in Interiors & Sources.

Methinks that his ability to keep the First Family safe will have been scrutinized down to the nth degree by the people responsible for keeping them safe and sound, and clearly he has been found competent, by what is most like the most excruciatingly detailed examination any designer anywhere is likely to have to face.

If an unlicensed, uncredentialled designer who did not complete any form of professional formal schooling is good enough for the White House, then why aren’t they good enough for everyone else?

So what is it, ASID?  Are consumers satisfied with the current offerings and way of doing things or not?

Because if you are going to still crow about how unsophisticated consumers are, how much they need to be protected from the consequences of allegedly uninformed opinions and the clutches of designers who have no clue what they are doing, then why are you also reporting unprecedented levels of satisfaction with this very group of people you want to regulate?
Which of these opinions/groups of facts are actually true?  Because you are speaking with forked tongue to promulgate both opinions, which completely contradict one another.

If, indeed, consumers really are already satisfied, then what’s wrong that actually needs to be changed?

The fact of the matter is that the system ain’t broke, folks.  It doesn’t need fixing.  It’s just fine the way it is.

People who want to be able to highlight their educations and experiences should be allowed to voluntarily, like we do it here in CA.  There’s no need to require this kind of validation – and multiple studies by both the Institute for Justice, the Reason Foundation, and others have repeatedly shown this.

It’s time to end this nonsense of endless attempts to regulate this profession – an effort that has met with spectacularly little success, despite more than 30 years of attempts to pass legislation to control what we do and who is allowed to do it.  Legislators as a group aren’t stupid, either.  Over and over again, ASID and its legislative coalitions in many states have met with spectacular failure to convince the majority of them that there is any compelling need whatsoever to regulate this profession in any way, despite millions and millions of dollars (of members’ dues money!) being poured into exactly this effort.

In just the past year alone, something like nearly 60 attempts have met with crashing failure to convince legislators that there is any value whatsoever in regulating interior designers, and in just a little more than that time frame, successful Constitutional challenges to existing laws in at least three states have been mounted, striking down several such laws as completely unconstitutional.

Thirty years of failure – and yet these people persist.  Think about it.

The definition of insanity is widely held to be doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.  Why won’t these people learn from their own endless failures?

And why won’t they look at the results of their own studies showing that consumers are already highly satisfied with the way things are?

It boggles the mind, and only reinforces the obvious conclusion that this is nothing but a cartelization effort of a small group of people who are hoping to keep a bigger piece of a growing pie for their own selves, and to shut out the competition.

May 30, 2009 Posted by | ASID, California, Institute for Justice | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

Florida’s Interior Design Cartel Challenged in Federal Court – Press Release

INSTITUTE FOR JUSTICE
901 N. Glebe Road Suite 900 Arlington, VA 22203 (703) 682-9320 FAX (703) 682-9321
Home Page: WWW.IJ.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
May 27, 2009

Florida’s Interior Design Cartel Challenged in Court
Federal Lawsuit Is Culmination of National Struggle
To Counter Industry Insiders’ Attempt to Wall Out Fair Competition

Tallahassee, Fla.—With the filing of a federal court challenge on Tuesday, Florida has become ground zero in a national struggle to prevent the monopolization of the interior design industry through anti-competitive occupational licensing laws. The struggle pits an elitist group of industry insiders seeking government protection from fair competition against independent entrepreneurs who simply wish to earn an honest living in the occupation of their choice without first meeting an expensive, time-consuming and utterly arbitrary series of government-mandated licensing requirements.

The Institute for Justice (IJ), the nation’s leading legal advocate for economic liberty, joined with three interior designers—Eva Locke, Pat Levenson and Barbara Gardner—and the National Federation of Independent Business to file the lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida in Tallahassee, challenging Florida’s interior design law. IJ has successfully vindicated the rights of interior designers across the country and this case promises to be the biggest fight yet in the battle against the interior design cartel.

“In the midst of a recession and with the economy in shambles, the last thing the government should be doing is putting up barriers to people who simply want to earn a living in the occupation of their choice,” said Clark Neily, a senior attorney with the Institute for Justice. “People are free in nearly every other state besides Florida to hire the interior designer who best meets their needs. But the government has taken that decision away from people in Florida, and the result is higher prices for consumers and fewer employment opportunities for designers. The proper role of government is protecting people from genuine harm—not protecting elitist cartels from fair competition.”

Only three states in the entire country regulate the practice of interior design, and Florida’s law is by far the most restrictive and aggressively enforced. The practice of interior design is defined under Florida law as including any consultation, study or drawing that relates to the “nonstructural interior elements” of any commercial building. That includes furniture, fixtures, lighting, carpets, drapes—even the artwork on the walls of an office—and all of it is off limits to anyone who is not a state-licensed interior designer.

“Why does Florida regulate the practice of interior design when virtually no other state does?” continued Neily. “It certainly has nothing to do with protecting public health, safety or welfare. Study after study has shown that the unlicensed practice of interior design presents no genuine safety risks whatsoever. Instead of protecting the public, interior design licensing laws are all about protecting industry members from fair competition.”

The push to license interior designers has not come from the public or from consumer watchdog groups or other concerned citizens, but from an industry organization called the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID). Working with local groups like Florida’s Interior Design Associations Foundation (IDAF), ASID has spent the past three decades and millions of dollars lobbying all over the country for licensing laws limiting the practice of interior design to people who possess the same credentials necessary to become a professional member of ASID itself.

Florida represents the interior design cartel’s greatest achievement so far, with not only the most sweeping interior design law anywhere in the country, but also the resources of a private law firm in Tallahassee that receives over $500,000 annually from the state to investigate and prosecute potential violations of the law. This has led to an enforcement campaign of unprecedented intensity, with hundreds of interior designers—including people legally performing residential interior design services, for which no license is required—being sent cease-and-desist letters every year.

Florida’s interior design law is riddled with constitutional defects, including improperly censoring truthful advertising and other forms of expression, violating people’s right to work in the occupation of their choice free from unreasonable government interference, and discriminating against interstate commerce by discouraging interior designers from other states from working in Florida.

IJ President and General Counsel Chip Mellor said, “This lawsuit is an important part of the Institute for Justice’s nationwide campaign to restore economic liberty to all Americans by defending their constitutional right to earn an honest living.”
For more information on the lawsuit, including video footage and national media coverage on the interior design cartel, visit www.ij.org/interiordesign

# # #

Christina Walsh
Director of Activism and Coalitions
Institute for Justice
901 N. Glebe Road, Suite 900
Arlington, VA 22203
(703) 682-9320
www.ij.org
www.castlecoalition.org

May 28, 2009 Posted by | ASID, Florida, Institute for Justice | 1 Comment

TX Attempts to Pass Partial Practice Act/Lighting Design Amendment – Action Needed!

From Jennifer Perkins of the Institute for Justice:

=====================================================================================

Things (as always) can be sudden and move quickly with regard to information on the legislative front. It now appears that Senator Kip Averitt is the original source of this amendment.

Please focus your efforts on contacting Senator Averitt ((512) 463-0122)) and Gov. Perry ((512) 463-2000) in order to stop this effort.

Also, please remember, while it is perfectly appropriate to be passionate and concerned in contacting lawmakers, it is also very important to be courteous and civil in order to be effective.

Thanks so much.
________________________________________
From: Jennifer Perkins
Sent: Thursday, May 28, 2009 12:11 PM
To: (redacted)

Subject: ALERT: TX attempts to pass partial interior design practice act

Importance: High

Greetings, friends.

In an unfortunate turn of events, an amendment has been made to a bill in the Texas Legislature to implement a partial practice act that would affect interior designers. HB 2649 is an unrelated bill regarding insurance coverage (so be aware that the bill sponsor, Rep. Callegari, is NOT the source of this amendment). Sen. Deuell has used this bill as a vehicle for the amendment which would basically require you to have a license as either an architect or a landscape architect or to become a registered interior designer in order to create ANY plans or design work related to lighting and lighting fixtures indoors and outdoors.

If your do any lighting design work, you would have to be a registered interior designer (or licensed architect or landscape architect) to continue doing that work.

There is still time to stop this from becoming law, but it is IMPORTANT that you act now.

HB 2649 has already passed the House and Senate, but because different versions passed the to legislative bodies, a “Conference Committee” will meet to agree on the final bill language.

You can help by:

1. Contacting Senator Deuell’s office to let them know you OPPOSE the lighting design amendment to HB 2649—not the bill itself, but rather the amendment requiring licensure to prepare lighting design plans. 512-463-0102.

2. Contact the Senate and House leadership offices so that legislative leadership will know there is significant opposition to this amendment—they will appoint the members of the Conference Committee; also contact the Governor’s office:

a. Speaker of the House Rep. Strauss: (512) 463-1000
b. Lt. Governor David Dewhurst: (512) 463-0001
c. Governor Rick Perry: (512) 463-2000

3. Contact the Senator and Representative that are from your home district to let them know you OPPOSE the amendment to HB 2649 relating to lighting design work. Even if these folks are not on the Conference Committee, your representatives should be aware of legislation that will negatively impact their constituents. You can find out who your representatives are and how to contact them here: www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us.

These contacts should be made ASAP in order to have a significant impact on the amendment to HB 2649. Also, please share this with other individuals you know who may be affected, for example anyone involved in industrial lighting design, theater lighting design, etc.

Thank you!
Jennifer

Jennifer M. Perkins, Staff Attorney
Institute for Justice Arizona Chapter
398 South Mill Avenue, Suite 301 Tempe, Arizona 85281
(480) 557-8300 * jperkins@ij.org
Litigating for Liberty: www.ij.org/arizona

May 28, 2009 Posted by | Institute for Justice, Texas | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Florida Design Law to be Challenged!

See press release below:

To view as a webpage: click here

Interior Design Protection Council

Finally!
It’s time for the Florida cartel to face the music!

And your support is needed!
THE INSTITUTE FOR JUSTICE
is taking on
THE FLORIDA INTERIOR DESIGN CARTEL!

This could be the most important event in the future of interior design. Come and be a part of history in the making! Attend the press conference and RALLY. . .

Design Community: Click here for FLYER with rally date, time and details

Media: Click here for PRESS RELEASE

Blog: Click here to COMMENT

Forward this issue to a Friend

Please download and print copies of the flyer and post them EVERYWHERE!

— especially in showrooms and vendor locations —

Colleagues, please join the fight for our rights and freedom to design

With your help, we CAN resist or repeal legislation that restricts your practice or right to call yourself “interior designer” in every state — including YOURS. You can help by joining our team!

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at info@IDPCinfo.org.

Patti Morrow
Executive Director
Interior Design Protection Council

IDPC is the only national organization solely dedicated to protecting the rights and livelihoods of ALL designers in our country.
Please support our efforts!
Click here to become a member of IDPC.
Join Our Mailing List!

==============================================================
INTERIOR DESIGN PROTECTION COUNCIL

91 Reserve Place, Concord, New Hampshire 03301 Phone: 603.228.8550 Fax: 603.229.1339 http://www.IDPCinfo.org

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: CONTACT:

May 21, 2009 Patti Morrow 603.228.8550

Florida interior designers victimized by restrictive law to get relief

Lawsuit, press conference and rally on May 27th in Tallahassee

Concord, NH – On Wednesday, May 27th, a public rally will be held at Waller Park in Tallahassee to coincide with a
legal challenge filed against Florida’s interior design practice law.

The Institute for Justice (IJ) is filing suit in Florida on behalf of several small business entrepreneurs whose basic
Constitutional rights have been violated by the most restrictive interior design law in the country. At issue is a Florida
law that restricts residential interior designers from advertising themselves as “interior designers” and prevents them from
legally practicing any type of commercial design. The law also prohibits industries such as office furniture and restaurant
equipment dealers from doing furniture or equipment layouts, an essential practice needed to succeed in those fields.

“Interior designers are already struggling with this difficult economy,” said Patti Morrow, executive director of
the Interior Design Protection Council (IDPC), the national grassroots voice for independent designers. “The last thing
they need is a completely unnecessary law that places an additional burden on their ability to earn a living.”

The proponents of the law, the Interior Design Associations Foundation (IDAF) and the American Society of
Interior Designers (ASID) maintain that Florida Statute 481 – and licensing in general – is needed to protect the health,
safety and welfare of the public, a claim that remains unsubstantiated even after the 30-year pursuit to impose interior
design licensing in all 50 states. Yet, since 2003 more than 600 unreasonable disciplinary actions have been brought
against members of the Florida design community, none of which had anything to do with public safety. When asked
about the aggressive disciplinary actions and increased fines imposed by the regulatory board, Janice Young,
spokesperson for IDAF responded, “We do it [penalize unlicensed design] by making the punishment more painful
and significant.”

“Florida’s restraint of trade and censorship of interior designers is blatantly unconstitutional and represents a
deliberate attempt by a tiny faction within the interior design industry to (1) eliminate their competition by restricting the
type of services they would be free to provide in nearly every other state, (2) silence competitors by preventing people
from truthfully advertising the services they do provide, and (3) improperly burden and discriminate against interstate
commerce,” said Clark Neily, senior attorney with the Institute for Justice. “This law has come from a minority of elitist
insiders within the design industry itself, not as a result of public demand or legislative determinations that such regulation
is necessary for the public good. They are clearly abusing government power to drive thousands of hard-working small
businessmen and women out of business. This law cannot stand.”

Over the last year, IDPC spearheaded the effort to raise awareness of this issue in Florida, by conducting town
hall meetings, lobbying the legislative and executive branches to deregulate the law, supporting amendments to FS 481,
opposing changes to the Florida Building Code, exposing blatantly false statements made by IDAF, revealing the
ruthlessly aggressive actions of the law firm retained to prosecute designers, and by publicizing the devastating effects on
the lives of these victims. IDPC’s widespread grassroots support will mobilize to support the IJ legal challenge.
“We value the innovation, creativity and diversity as well as the multiple methods of entry that have been the
cornerstone of this dynamic profession, serving the public without harm. Florida’s once-size-fits-all licensing scheme for
interior designers could not be more contrary to those values,” explained Morrow. “Protectionism, censorship, cartel,
monopoly, domination, control, special interests – you name, it’s all here, and it’s having a devastating effect on the lives
of Florida designers. It’s time to pull the curtains on the interior design cartel.”

May 21, 2009 Posted by | ASID, Florida, Institute for Justice, Interior Design Protection Council (IDPC) | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Congratulations! OK Law Amended!

Interior Design Protection Council
Congratulations Oklahoma!
No longer illegal to use title “Interior Designer!”

Celebrate restitution of your Constitutional right!
Members of the Oklahoma design community:

On May 12th, Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry signed SB 592 into law. This bill amends the current title act which previously restricted the use of the title “interior designer.”

YOU ARE NOW FREE TO USE THAT TITLE
WHICH ACCURATELY DESCRIBES THE WORK YOU DO!

The amended law will restrict only the title “registered interior designer” to those who qualify under the previously established guidelines.

This bill to amend the “pure” title law was filed in order to avoid defending against the lawsuit filed by the Institute for Justice challenging violation of Oklahoma citizens’ First Amendment rights, which inevitably would have been lost by Oklahoma.

So go ahead, Oklahoma designers — celebrate the freedom you deserve!

Oklahoma’s violation of interior designers’ free speech rights is OVER!

Forward this email

SPIN, DENIAL, OR PLAIN STUPIDITY?

IDPC has received a copy of a May 15th internal IIDA memorandum which attempts to claim victory for the Oklahoma amendment on that basis it amends “their existing law to include the laughingtitle “Registered Interior Designer.”

How utterly absurd to think that any intellegent, informed person would actually believe that.

Restrictions on the title “interior designer,” included in the original law, have been abolished, and in its place — NOT as an additional title to be restricted, is “registered interior designer.”

Hello IIDA! Perhaps you haven’t heard…. IDPC will expose ALL such blatantly untrue and/or misleading statements and provide the design community with the TRUTH!

Bye-Bye Title Laws!
Of the five states that enacted “pure” title acts, i.e. they restricted the use of the terms “interior designer” and “interior design,” New Mexico, Illinois, Texas and Oklahoma have been turned back, allowing designers’ First Amendment rights to be restored.

Only Connecticut’s pure title law remains — but a lawsuit challenging their law was filed by the Institute for Justice in September, 2008, and CT will almost most likely come to realize their indefensible position and join their predecessors in waving the white flag. And we will be only too happy to report that good news when it happens.

Even ASID has their white flag billowing in the breeze — their “new” legislation policy admits the title “interior designer” cannot be restricted and in defeat, have retreated from their goal of securing that title for a very tiny minority of elitist insiders.

Soon, perhaps even by the end of 2009, the United States of America will no longer be a nation that violates ANY interior designers’ rights to accurately describe the services they provide or to use the title which portrays their professional occupation.

STAY TUNED!

This has been an exciting month for our Freedom Movement, but. . .

IT’S NOT OVER YET!!!!

Thank you IJ, for restoring the rights of Oklahoma designers!

But the fight is not over. . .

Oklahoma designers, now it’s your turn to help your colleagues in the rest of the country. Help IDPC put the monopoly effort down for the count by
joining our team!

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at info@IDPCinfo.org.

Patti Morrow,
Executive Director
Interior Design Protection Council

IDPC is the only national organization solely dedicated to protecting the rights and livelihoods of ALL designers in our country.
Please support our efforts!
Click here to become a member of IDPC.
Join Our Mailing List!

View full formatted email with all links here.

May 18, 2009 Posted by | ASID, IIDA, Institute for Justice | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

TX Designers’ Constitutional Rights Restored!

Interior Design Protection Council

Congratulations!

No longer illegal to use title “Interior Designer!”

Celebrate restitution of your Constitutional right!

Members of the Texas design community:

Today, May 12th, Governor Rick Perry signed HB 1484 into law. This bill amends the current title act which previously restricted the use of the title “interior designer.”

YOU ARE NOW FREE TO USE THAT TITLE
WHICH ACCURATELY DESCRIBES THE WORK YOU DO!

The amended law will restrict only the title “registered interior designer” to those who qualify under the previously established guidelines.

This amendment was in direct response to the May 2007 lawsuit filed by the Institute for Justice challenging violation of Texas citizens’ First Amendment rights, and followed right on the heels of the ruling of the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ordering the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners to stop enforcing a state law that prohibits people who lawfully perform interior design services from referring to themselves as “interior designers.”

So go ahead, Texas designers — celebrate your freedom! It’s been a long time coming and you deserve it!

1. The Board is prevented from enforcing the restriction against the terms “interior design” and “interior designer.”
2. Restrictions against using these terms will no longer exist in Texas.

State of Texas’ violation of interior designers’ free speech rights is OVER!

Forward this email to a Friend

Thank you IJ, for restoring the rights of thousands of Texas designers!

We won this round but the fight is NOT over. We have reason to believe that TAID is still planning to introduce their practice act again next year. They just won’t take “NO” for an answer…

Help IDPC put their monopoly effort down for the count by
joining our team!

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us at info@IDPCinfo.org.

Patti Morrow
Executive Director
Interior Design Protection Council

IDPC is the only national organization solely dedicated to protecting the rights and livelihoods of the design community.
Please support our efforts!
Click here to become a member of IDPC.
Join Our Mailing List!

May 18, 2009 Posted by | Institute for Justice, Texas | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

No Harm from Unregulated Interior Designers in Texas Says Marilyn Roberts

You can tell she knows she’s cornered. And this is despite actively soliciting examples – for two years.

Please Digg this!

March 17, 2009 Posted by | Institute for Justice, Texas | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment