No Design Legislation

Opposing interior design legislation everywhere

Florida Governor Signs Bill Regarding Foodservice Dealers and Kitchen Design

Another nail in the coffin of anticompetitive interior design legislation in Florida.  As noted, legislation of this nature is likely to have broad implications for designers of professional kitchens throughout the country if they are not licensed interior designers, and bodes well for complete overturn of the Florida practice act (see further information on the preliminary injunction regarding title act provisions here).

By extension, recognizing that the design of complex facilities such as commercial kitchens do not require any sort of licensing is likely to have further positive implications for aborting, overturning, and preventing passage of other anticompetitive interior design laws in other states as well.

From Foodservice Equipment and Supplies Magazine:

“Florida Governor Charlie Crist signed a bill into law which exempts foodservice equipment dealers from long-standing legislation that prohibited them to design commercial kitchens. The proposed bill, which was passed by the Florida House of Representatives in Early May, included an amendment to allow dealers, as well as foodservice equipment manufacturers and their reps, to continue designing or aiding in the design of commercial kitchens in Florida as they have done so, but now on a legal basis.

Before Gov. Crist signed the bill, in Florida, only certified interior designers were legally able to design commercial kitchens. ”

Read the rest of this article at http://www.fesmag.com/article/CA6666271.html?nid=3454&rid=12726435

August 31, 2009 Posted by | Florida | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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.

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

Report from Annapolis

Thanks to David Merrick of NARI for the following summary of the meeting in Annapolis regarding Maryland’s proposed legislation. Because of intense opposition pressure, the amendment turning the bill into a title act instead of a practice act was circulated, and changed the terminology – and they are going to vote on this on Friday, March 20.

They also want to change the existing title act restriction on “Certified interior Designer” to be “Licensed Interior Designer”, and wanted to even restrict the use of the term “interior designer”, but NKBA and others made it clear to them that this was not OK, either. Even ASID officially agrees with not restricting that use now, but the local Maryland people are still trying to push it through.

So, the fight isn’t over yet, folks – read on, and keep on writing and calling your legislators. This could still pass as amended on Friday – or even unamended.

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Yesterday’s hearing in Annapolis was well attended, over 100 people
turned out to testify against this bill. One of the delegates commented
at the start that they had received more emails on this than they did
for the death penalty.

Before the hearing started an amendment was circulated that drops the
practice issues included in the bill and turns the bill into a title
bill for Interior Designers. The original bill would limit the practice
of interior design to Licensed Interior Designers, this would include
kitchens, bathrooms and residential buildings and would greatly affect
design build contractors and people who call themselves Interior
Designers but have no credentials to back that up. The amended bill
would just restrict the title of Interior Designers to people who have
been licensed by the state.

The head of MHIC, Larry Levitan testified in favor of the bill as long
as MHIC contractors were exempted, that helps some of us but would still
affect many of our colleagues. Proponents of the bill say it is needed
to protect the public despite a clean record with no complaints filed
against Interior designers in the recent past.

This is a very political issue and is not dead, the bill could still go
before the legislature un-amended, amended or be killed in committee.
We need it to be killed in committee. If this passes it would be
complete disaster for our businesses.

Use this link to the NKBA website to respond to all of the legislators

http://capwiz.com/nkba/issues/alert/?alertid=12816801&type=ML

It is very important that we stay tuned into what is happening here, I
urge each of you to take a few minutes and write a personal message,
this link is very easy to use and very effective. I received a personal
reply from two representatives.

David Merrick, CR

President, NARI Metro DC

President Merrick Design and Build Inc

301-946-2356

March 19, 2009 Posted by | ASID, Interior Design Legislation Opposition, Interior Design Protection Council (IDPC), Maryland | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment