Interior Design Protection Consulting

October 30, 2013

Minnesota Practice Act

roadblockIDPC has been in Minnesota this week, lobbying and testifying against the practice act.  In addition to my testimony on behalf of my six trade association clients, there was also compelling testimony from the NKBA, AIA, IJ, students and an interior design professor.

But our best assistance actually came from the lead-off testimony from the cartel (the president of MIDLAC).  Terrible!!!  She rambled on for 20 minutes, basically saying nothing of importance, not showing any need for the bill, and main point was they’re the only ones in the built environment who isn’t licensed.  Yeesh!  Get over yourself!  That’s not a reason to enact a new law that would put so many designers out of business.

It appeared that most of the Committee agreed with our position — four Representatives questioned the bill sponsor (Rep. Hilstrom) at the end of the hearing, and all questions clearly made it clear they had not been convinced there is a need for licensing.

I think we put this puppy to bed for now, but as usual, I’m sure we’ll see it again next year.

October 14, 2013

Update on California CID Program

clapping

PRIVATE CID PROGRAM EXTENDED!

On September 9th, SB 308 was signed into law by Governor Brown (D).  The bill will extend California’s private certification program for four more years.

As you may recall, California is the only state certification program that IDPC supports because:

  1. It has a private board, not a state board;
  2. It is self-sufficient and receives no state/taxpayer funding;
  3. It is inclusive and allows anyone who wants to become certified to take the IDEX (which tests CA state codes) as a qualifier
  4. It does not impose the NCIDQ upon the design community as a qualifier

During the sunset process, ASID via their funded coalition, IDCC, tried to get the NCIDQ placed into the California CID program.  I worked very hard on behalf of IDPC’s clients to make sure that the NCIDQ STAYED OUT!  I spent quite a bit of time throughout the year traveling around California lobbying legislators, testifying at hearings, meeting with the Committee consultant, and educating the design community as to why it would be inexpedient to include the NCIDQ in the program and create a new, unfair, and unmerited level of design over the current CID’s and non-CID’s.

I am happy to report that with the help of the NKBA, IDPC was successful in our efforts and the NCIDQ continues to be kept out of California certification.

IDPC and NKBA also worked (and were successful) in removing ASID/IDCC’s proposed change to Section 5805(b) to the Business and Professions Code because it would have created confusion as to the right of non-Certified Interior Designers to submit plans to local building departments.

The bill also requires that CID’s use written contracts – none of the stakeholder groups objected to that insertion; the bill also requires that CCIDC conduct their board meetings in conjunction with the Bagley-Keen Act (transparency) which they’ve been doing all along so this just made it “official.”

We know that ASID does not like the current certification program in California because CCIDC will not accept the anti-competitive and irrelevant NCIDQ; we defeated ASID/IDCC’s latest of several efforts to impose full-blown occupational licensing in 2012 and we’re sure they will try again in the future.

And we’ll be right there to beat them back again, and protect the rights of the design community.

May 14, 2013

Victory: Years of Interior Design Misrepresentation in TX to End!

fraud

On May 13th, the Texas Senate passed the extension of the interior design title law and ended years of misrepresentation in which the so-called “grandfathered” designers had been perpetrating a fraud on the public by calling themselves “registered” even though they had not met criteria under the law. (Note: IDPC objects to the entire basis of the title law and ALL interior design regulation, but that’s another story.)

Incredibly, nearly 70% of Texas’ current registered interior designers were grandfathered and don’t have the qualifications for registration that they insist that every other designer seeking registration after them must adhere to.  The Texas legislature recognized this deception and both the House and Senate have passed a bill demanding that every designer claiming that they are state registered must, in fact, meet the qualifications for registration required by the law within FOUR years.

The bill will go to Governor Perry to sign, and we do not expect any hold up.

Special thanks to Kelley Barnett for spearheading the superb grassroots effort!  IDPC along with our allies at the NKBA, AIA, and the Institute for Justice worked together with Kelley to obtain this outstanding victory – one step closer towards total freedom for the Texas design community.

Patti Morrow signature

May 8, 2013

SC Cartel Gets Thwarted…Again

shoot in foot

The Senate hearing today on SB 339 practice act went very well, much like the previous hearing in the House.  The Subcommittee’s decision was that the bill was going to be “held in Subcommittee,” which usually means it will not receive a favorable vote to move on to the full committee.

This was the outcome we were looking for, and I don’t believe this bill will get any further consideration this year.  Because this is year one of the two-year session, the bill could technically be revived next year, in spite of IDPC client’s opposition (DSA, DDI, FEDA, FCSI, NAFAM, MAFSI) and  that of the NKBA, AIA, NFIB, Lowes, and Retailers Assoc.  However, as I’ve stated so many times, you just never know what can happen in the legislature, so rest assured, I will stay on top of this and any other practice acts that would restrict freedom to design.

As I’ve said time and time again, the Cartel never misses an opportunity to shoot themselves in the foot.  I never cease to be amazed at how incredibly dense they are in sticking to bogus talking points that have previously been thoroughly debunked.  At the House hearing just two weeks ago, I systematically discredited several of their misleading, rhetorical statements with actual, verifiable facts and empirical evidence.  And yet, the first person testifying on behalf of the proponents today spewed forth the exact same false statements, even though she’d seen me in the room and should have known I was going to provide rebuttal testimony again.  Which of course I did, with the Subcommittee’s full, undivided attention (and subtle approval).  When I heard the exact same misinformation come forth in that very first testimony, I could not help but sit in my seat with a grin from ear to ear – it was like a gift from Heaven!

As in the last hearing, when questioned by the subcommittee, the Cartel stuttered and stumbled trying to justify their positions and opinions.

I did have an opportunity to speak with the stand-in Chair of the Subcommittee for a while after the hearing.   I was able to give him even more facts and data to support our free market position.  We chatted about the role of the state legislature, which is NOT to tell consumers who they can hire to design the interiors of their businesses or homes, and he requested that I send him a one-pager that he can post on his website.

I will continue to keep tabs on South Carolina, but for now I believe we can put this puppy to bed, and I can move on to the protecting the next states on my plate.

Patti Morrow signature

April 26, 2013

SC Interior Design Practice Act Tabled!

celebrate1Practice Act Not Well-Received

The hearing on HB 3417 licensure practice act was held Thursday, April 25th before the SC House Labor, Commerce & Industry Subcommittee.

Our opposition were outnumbered a bit by the cartel, but that didn’t matter whatsoever because (1) our grassroots letter writing campaigns were very effective, and (2) our testimonies against licensure were strong, factual and well-delivered.

Among those testifying to protect the rights of the interior design community were:

Ed Nagorsky representing the National Kitchen & Bath Assoc. (NKBA)

Adrienne Montare representing the American Institute of Architects (AIA)

Patti Morrow/IDPC representing

  • Designer Society of America (DSA)
  • Decorating Den Interiors (DDI)
  • Foodservice Equipment Distributors Association (FEDA)
  • Foodservice Consultants Society International (FCSI)
  • Manufacturers Agents’ Assoc. of the Foodservice Industry (MAFSI)
  • No. American Assoc. of Food Equipment Manufacturers (NAFEM)

As usual, the proponents’ arguments were feeble and filled with unsubstantiated rhetoric and misinformation.  The Committee obviously recognized this and treated them at times with disdain, from aggressively questioning them for statistical data to back up their claims, to joking in a way very mocking to them.

The Committee ultimately voted to “adjourn debate.”  While technically the Committee does have the ability to discuss the legislation later in private, we policy wonks know that this is the “politically correct” way they kill a bill, by letting it languish in Committee.  In fact, the last thing said was admonishing from a Committee member to the proponents that the bill could be brought back next year if  “the sides get together” and agree.

Yeah.  Like THAT’S going to happen.  IDPC et al/NKBA/AIA all vehemently oppose regulating the industry.

So at least for now, I am confident that the cartel’s effort to impose anti-competitive licensing in South Carolina will not reach fruition.

And yet…. the ASID Carolinas and SCIDC sent out a joint newsflash claiming “a win,”  which has sent those of us who attended the hearing howling with laughter.  Seriously folks,  I could not make this up.  They are either delusional or unable to grasp the political system.  I know not which.

If this is a “win,” I hope that the design cartel has many more “wins” like this in the future.

Patti Morrow signature

January 29, 2013

2013 Interior Design Legislative Outlook

Another year over.  Another year of success kicking the Interior Design Cartel’s butt.

21 bills and other efforts to expand or increase interior design regulations crossed my desk in 2012.  Once again, no new title or practice laws were enacted.  The good guys are still winning.  The roadblocks to ASID’s monopoly are still working.

But like zombies, these bills will not stay dead.  It’s only January and nine bills have already been introduced.  It’s going to be another busy year, but if the not-too-bright cartel want to keep wasting their time and spending their money on high-priced lobbyists instead of using their time and money in a more wise manner — say, for educating the public and promoting their own members — then so be it.

I’m ready for them.  Our coalition of freedom fighters is intact and stand ready to fight the onslaught of anti-competitive regulation.

If you’d like to donate to help our efforts and protect your right to practice, you can do so on this page:  http://www.idpcinfo.org/Sponsorship.html

July 2, 2012

Louisianna Interior Design Law: NOT NEEDED!

Check out this great article by Robert Edwin Burns in the Baton Rouge ADVOCATE!

http://theadvocate.com/news/opinion/3216298-123/letters-interior-design-board-unneeded

June 8, 2012

South Carolina Practice Act is Dead!

Another one bites the dust!  This year’s effort by the SC Cartel to impose a practice act that would harm the overwhelming majority of people who offer design services has been squelched!

Special thanks to my colleagues Adrienne Montaire (AIA) and Lynn Stokes-Murray (NKBA lobbyist) for helping to keep the bill from getting any legs.   I am tentatively planning to work with Ed Nagorsky (NKBA) and Adrienne and Lynn again this fall, doing a series of town hall meetings in several South Carolina locations, to prepare for the inevitable return of the interior design bill next session — either in the current form, or mimicking the format of the music therapy bill to go before consumer protection.

Patti Morrow signature

April 25, 2012

Misery for the California Cartel = Great news for the Freedom Movement!

AB 2482, the latest attempt by the ASID-funded California cartel to impose its anti-competitive practice act on the California design community, was pulled from the committee hearing agenda yesterday morning without getting another shot to have their misinformation presented again.

Along with my colleagues at NKBA, AIA, CLCID, and the Community Collage League — we kept the pressure on.  Combine that with the outpouring of letters from IDPC’s client trade associations and you’ve got the recipe for defeat.

The committee didn’t want to risk the fallout of a rejection, so rather than vote it down, they chose to just let it languish without further attention.  Additional work on this bill in the Assembly would be highly unlikely, given the amount of opposition and the sponsor’s inability to garner support in her own committee, let alone the rest of the Assembly.  But as you know, you just can’t predict what will happen in the legislature.  So…. I will absolutely stay on top of it and look for any movement.

For now, let’s celebrate our victory!  California is an important state, having the largest number of designers.  The CID program they have WORKS.  It’s voluntary, privately run, inclusive, tests for California codes (unlike the NCIDQ) and is not taxpayer funded.  The failed RID licensure would not have allowed interior designers to do anything more than they already enjoy doing today, i.e. they already can and do submit plans for permitting and they already can and do work on federal projects.

IIDC, ASID and IIDA are already trying to spin this defeat as a victory in accomplishing “critical initial steps in educating legislators….”  Really?  Based on the result, I’d say WE were the ones who did the better job education legislators.  They claim it was another opportunity to “advance” the profession.  Ha!  The only thing they advanced is providing another opportunity for people to mock our profession due to their absurd and unsubstantiated claims.  Sadly, they’ve done much to bring DOWN the level of respect for interior design.

ASID, time to lick your wounds and go away.  Or shall we call the waaaaaaaaambulance?

April 18, 2012

Colorado Interior Design Bill Defeated!

At the hearing today, SB 120, the plan submission bill, was defeated by the House Local Government Committee by a vote of 8-3.

The committee rejected the cartel’s argument to require that local construction code officials receive and review plans that are submitted only by NCIDQ-certified designers.

The negative effect of SB 120 would have called into question the ability of all other designers to submit plans for permits even if those drawings did not impact structure or safety.

Once again, IDPC worked with our allies at the NKBA and AIA to ensure that the committee understand the impact of this bill.

Another one bites the dust!

 

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