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Interior Design Bills Threaten Kitchen/Bath/Remodeler Designers

Posted by Mark Paskell on Fri, Jul 12, 2013 @ 12:12 AM

Two Massachusetts Bills pose a threat first to the livelihood of interior designers and next to kitchen designers, design/build remodelers, designers and stagers. Twin bills have been submitted in the Mass House and Senate to allow "nationally certified" interior designers to bid on state work as a prime contractor. The proposed design bills would restrict bidding on state projects to designers who have completed a nationally recognized certification. This is intended to mean the NCIDQ exam developed by ASID.                  

Mass Seal "Massachusetts considered a bell weather state for regulation" ASID

The ASID is targeting the states of Massachusetts, California and New York seeking to create regulation of all interior designers. At the 2013 ASID conference in a video by ASID VP of Government Affairs Don Davis, he stated that they ASID seeks to create regulation in these "bell weather states".  He states that if Massachusetts passes regulation of interior designers then New Hampshire and Maine will fall in line quickly.

Then he added that passage is almost certain by 2014 in Massachusetts. He explains that ASID has a strong grassroots effort on the ground to first gain passage of the bid laws and then they can open the door for state wide regulation of designers in other areas.

His presentation outlines that deregulation is a major threat to the organization and that ASID is fighting it nationwide.

Just what we need in Massachusetts another entity pushing for more regulation that will kill jobs of taxpaying service providers of the commonwealth.

Watchout Interior Designers in California and New York your next!

The passage of these bills will prevent qualified (college educated or those with other recognized interior design certifications) and experienced designers in the design community from bidding on state work: relating to the nonstructural interior elements of a building or structure and provides services that do not require a registered architect, landscape architect or engineer unless you complete the multi-thousand dollar exam. Even if an interior designer does not do state work this change in the law will be the first step towards passage of a new law that will affect other designers. The subsequent law will be to establish what's called a title and practice act which will limit general design services to those who have completed a nationally recognized exam. The ASID hopes it is their NCIDQ exam. They do not acknowledge that other designations are acceptable.

This can impact the whole design community

Just imagine if you are a kitchen designer, design/build remodeler who does design, a designer or a staging professional who has a certification (not from ASID) you may not be able to practice your profession unless you complete the national exam. Just imagine what might happen to all the designers in Home Depot, Lowes, Lumberyards, Granite and Tile Companies? Will they all be affected and prevented from calling themselves designers? Well if you look at dozens of bills presented in other states this is exactly what can happen. The ASID legislative agenda is to cause regulation for interior designers in all 50 states. Listen to the video on the ASID advocay page and hear it for yourself.

I recently spoke with National Interior Designer Advocate Patti Morrow (founder of IDPC) who has helped kill or sensibly derail many bills through her lobbying efforts throughout the country. Patti said that this is a national campaign popping up in every state. On her site she writes "The agenda of the America Society of Interior Designers seeks to impose their credentials on the design community. This special interest group appears to be interested in creating a monopoly by eliminating competition through legislation."

This threatens the livelihood of other interior designers who have credentials from other recognized instituions and associations.
Organizations that oppose regulation of the interior design community

from Patti Morrow.

Here are the proposed Massachusetts Designer Bidding bills currently in the works:

(note: there is time to make sure that these measures do not impact design professionals but you must stay tuned and help when the time comes. I will let you know. Sign up for this blog so you won't miss important updates.)  

House Bill

HOUSE DOCKET, NO. 2018        FILED ON: 1/17/2013              HOUSE  .  No. 2832

By Mr. Kafka of Stoughton, a petition (accompanied by bill, House, No. 2832) of Louis L. Kafka and others for legislation to recognize the profession of interior designers to bid on state contracts.  State Administration and Regulatory Oversigh       

Section 4 says...  'Interior Designer', an individual, corporation, partnership, sole proprietorship, joint stock company, joint venture or other entity engaged in the practice of interior design, who may serve as the prime consultant for projects that primarily involve construction or other work relating to the nonstructural interior elements of a building or structure and provides services that do not require a registered architect, landscape architect or engineer; provided, however, that an interior designer shall demonstrate competence by completion of a nationally-recognized certification.

Senate Bill

SENATE DOCKET, NO. 649        FILED ON: 1/17/2013         SENATE  .  .  No. 1557

By Mr. Timilty, a petition (accompanied by bill, Senate, No. 1557) of James E. Timilty and Antonio F. D. Cabral for legislation to recognize the profession of interior designers to bid on state contracts.  State Administration and Regulatory Oversight. 

same wording as House Bill.

Please pass this post on to others you know in the design community so they are not left out in the dark. I look forward to hearing your comments.

Mark Paskell, 1st VP and Chairman of Government Affairs at EM NARI (Boston)

Tags: mass legislation