No Design Legislation

Opposing interior design legislation everywhere

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

INDIANA-Governor Signs Electronic Registry for Interior Designers

From NKBA:

NEWS FLASH

INDIANA-Governor Signs Electronic Registry for Interior Designers


As expected, and despite our best efforts, Governor Daniels has signed into law an electronic registry for interior designers.  The law goes into effect July 1st.

The law establishes an electronic database of “registered interior designers” who must fill out an on-line registration form and pay a fee of $100 to the State (subject to renewal every 2 years).  The primary qualification for registration is passage of either the NCIDQ or ARE exam, however prior to December 31, 2011, if you have (a) at least 2 years of interior design education and have practiced interior design for at least 10 years, or (b) practiced interior design for at least 15 years, you may be registered without  passing the NCIDQ or ARE.  Designers who register must complete at least twelve (12) hours of continuing education in interior design or a discipline related to the practice of interior design prior to each 2-year renewal of a certificate of registration.

There is no state review or verification under the law — the applicant is required to electronically input information to certify, under penalty of perjury, the successful completion of any education, experience, and examination required for registration.  Once registered, the designer may use the title registered interior designer.  The registry will be maintained by the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency, and beginning July 2014, and each five (5) years thereafter, the agency must review the use of the registry to determine whether there is sufficient use of the registry to justify continuing the registration of the profession.  We fully expect that given the limited number of individuals who will qualify and pay the registration fee, the registration for interior designers will be abandoned at that time.

However, in case that does not happen, we recommend that if you qualify for registration, you consider doing so.  As of this date, there is no registration form available on the Indiana state website to allow  you to register, so check back frequently HERE.

June 5, 2009 Posted by | Indiana, NKBA | , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

From Jennifer Perkins of the Institute for Justice:

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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

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! Continue reading

May 18, 2009 Posted by | Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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!

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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!

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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

Iowa HSB 203 Would Exclude Majority of Designers from Many Public Projects

Interior Design Protection Council

HSB 203 Excludes Majority of Designers
Will hurt your ability to compete — ACTION NEEDED!

March 5, 2009

Dear Iowa design community,

A bill has just been introduced in the Iowa House Committee on State Government for “A study bill for establishing alternative project delivery procedures for certain public projects undertaken by political subdivisions”

Don’t let the long description scare you!  What this bill would do is exclude you from projects you are currently or could in the future work on.


HSB 203  would limit state and local municipalities to hiring only “design professionals” to serve on a selection committee for construction management project delivery, design-build best value project delivery, and design-build qualifications-based project delivery.  This decision should not be made in advance and should be left up to the discretion of the issuing authority to determine what expertise they need on a project, given the size, scope and nature of the work to be performed.

A “qualified professional” is defined in the bill to include a licensed architect, licensed engineer, licensed landscape or registered interior designer. This means that you would be precluded from assisting in the selection of the construction manager or design-builder, which further means that it would be unlikely that you or your firm would be selected by the committee to bid on the project.

While the requirement about a licensed engineer, architect or landscape architect might make sense depending on the scope of the governmental work, allowing only a “registered interior designer” does not satisfy that same test. As of August 8, 2008, there were a grand total of 39 registered interior designers in the State of Iowa. There may be even less today given the condition of the economy and the cost to register.

By limiting the definition of “design professional” to registered interior designers to benefit only 39 in the entire state, the issuing authority would be denied the expertise of the majority of designers in Iowa, whose input might be valuable depending upon the project being considered.

What you can do

Please contact the committee and urge them to vote against this bill and grant your political subdivisions to right to determine the best experts for the job.

Click here for Committee contact information.

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Executive Director
Interior Design Protection Council

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March 5, 2009 Posted by | Iowa | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment