Interior Design Protection Consulting

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.

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

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 17, 2012

California Interior Design Practice Act “Suspended” in Committee

Earlier today, AB 2482, the latest practice act effort in California, was suspended in the Assembly Committee on Business, Professions, and Consumer to give the sponsor, Assemblywoman Fiona Ma, an opportunity to try and remedy the multiple problems with the bill.

Good luck with that.

AB 2482 in its original debut was so restrictive that it would have prohibited thousands of practicing designers from working in large residential spaces and all commercial spaces unless they had a license – a formal interior design degree, an impossible internship under only a few available NCIDQ certificate holders, and passage of the NCIDQ exam which unlike the IDEX exam, is irrelevant to California codes and unduly burdensome in both cost and qualification.  The subsequent amended version of the bill was so poorly written and confusing that it had the effect of contradicting itself many times over and certainly did not lessen the restrictions that it purported to do.

IDPC on behalf of our coalition group, along with my colleagues at NKBA, AIA, CLCID, and other allied associations, spent many hours lobbying in Sacramento as well as holding town hall meetings across the state to raise awareness of the anti-competitive impact this bill would have on small business and entrepreneurs.

We have been heard.

Chairman Mary Hayashi repeatedly asked Assemblywoman Ma why the bill was necessary, where was the proof that the public health, safety and welfare was in jeopardy, and how is the expense of adding another state board justified.

Sponsor Ma had a difficult time answering those questions because as we all know, there is no justification or reason for enacting this legislation.  The blatantly false information from the testimony of the president of IDCC (the proponents of the bill) did not help to advance their cause, as that information was refuted at the hearing, as it had also before the hearing in our private meetings with individual committee members.  Among other misinformation presented by proponents, there is no federal law that requires that interior designers be licensed to bid on state projects; nor is there any requirement that designers must be “registered designed professionals” to submit plans for permitting due to IBC restrictions.  Oh, and let’s not forget the “28 states” that regulate interior design!  FALSE!

It was obvious that Assemblywoman Ma did not have the votes to move it out of committee, so instead of voting the bill down, which would have inevitably happened, Chairwoman Hayashi told Assemblywoman Ma that the bill “wasn’t ready for prime time,” and as a courtesy, allowed her to have the bill “held over” to work with the opposition.

Of course, no such thing will happen because there is no need for licensing whatsoever.  California already has a private, non-taxpayer funded, inclusive certification program through the CCIDC (California Council for Interior Design Certification); CID’s already have a stamp, and have the ability to, and currently do, submit plans for permitting (as do others who are not CID’s) so long as they are nonstructural, nonseismic.

Neither our IDPC coalition, nor my colleagues at allied organizations have any interest in “compromise” legislation; however, there is nothing to stop the sponsor from further amending the bill in a last-ditch attempt to move it out of committee.  My belief is that the bill will not move out of committee without support from our opposition – legislators are extremely reluctant to get involved in a turf war, especially with a bill that is totally unnecessary and potentially job-killing.

Special thanks to all of you who took the time to voice your opposition in writing, phone calls, personal visits to legislators and attending the hearing.

The next – and last – committee hearing is next Tuesday, April 24th, which is the last day for all bills to move from committee, and frankly, the schedule is already so full, it seems unlikely they would take up another hour and a half of committee time if the opposition is still strong.  And it will be; we are already strategizing right at this moment.

But… you just never know what can happen in the legislature, so I will keep you apprised of any new amendments and/or developments as well as any future actions needed.

Patti Morrow signature

March 12, 2012

Colorado interior design bill passes Senate, loses teeth

In a split decision, right down party lines, the Colorado Senate narrowly passed SB 120, a bill which would regulate a new title, enhance permitting privileges of only NCIDQ-certified designers, and virtually force building officials to accept their drawings.

However. . .  before passing, the Senate amended the bill, striking the words “qualified” (interior designers) and “construction” (documents) and inserted “for review” after building officials shall accept.

This change may have taken place because the proponents allegedly told the Committee that DORA (Department of Regulatory Affairs) “suggested” this approach, when in fact DORA has denied any such support.

The question of the day is, how is the amended bill any different than what is currently allowed for permitting in the existing architects’ law?  No one can seem to see what will change, making this just another frivolous and unnecessary waste of legislator time and taxpayer money.

Good grief!  There are actual REAL problems that the legislature should be focused on!

We anticipated that the bill would go to the House Economic and Business Committee, but it has instead been moved to the House Local Government Committee where efforts are underway to kill it.

If you can kill something that has no life, that is.

IDPC Joins Forces with CLCID to Stop CA Practice Act

IDCC (Interior Design Coalition of California) has once again introduced the most anti-competitive practice act legislation that we’ve seen in a while.  The 21-page AB 2482 bill will negatively impact nearly everyone in the design community who is not NCIDQ-certified – an exam that has been rejected by California and replaced by the California-specific IDEX, a more comprehensive and inclusive exam.

AB 2482 is sponsored by Assemblywoman Fiona Ma and is currently before the Assembly Business, Professions and Consumer Protection Committee, and will be scheduled for hearing soon.  Please note that Assemblywoman Ma sits on that Committee and will endeavor to shepherd it through.

IDPC maintains a strong partnership with CLCID (California Legislative Coalition for Interior Design) and we will be working with them, hand-in-hand as our grassroots boot-on-the-ground affiliate to STOP AB 2482 from being enacted.

I urge you to participate in this process!  Your right to earn an honest living will depend on your actions.  Take a few minutes to visit the CLCID website and become a member or benefactor.  Fighting legislation is a costly process; everyone will benefit from the defeat of AB 2482, so if everyone supports CLCID, the individual burden will be light.  Sound good?

I will be providing CLCID with ongoing bill analysis, detailed talking points, sample letters to legislators, and other important data, and they will in turn be providing that information to the California design community. I will also be coordinating with CLCID on any future lobby days, town hall meetings, and testifying at hearings.

With this team effort that includes the NKBA and other allied organizations, we will erect a strong roadblock, defeat this practice act and protect design freedom.

January 17, 2012

Meet the “new” IDPC!

The rumors of my demise have been greatly exaggerated.” ~Mark Twain

The Council may be closed, but I am still alive and kicking.

Let me introduce you to my new enterprise:  Interior Design Protection Consulting.

In this new capacity, I will be working exclusively with groups – not individual designers – to protect design freedom.

These changes were necessary and are more of a restructuring than an ending.  The old model of trying to solicit individual memberships to fund the corporation along with all the administration of a nonprofit were too burdensome for one person and taking much too much time away from what I do best – fighting anti-competitive regulations.

I am reenergized and enthusiastic about continuing to fight for design freedom!

You can – and need to – continue to take part in the process to protect your right to earn an honest living.  You can still have access to information and assistance in keeping your state regulation-free.

If you were previously a member of IDPC and have a group that would like to work with me, please contact me at pmorrow.IDPC@gmail.com for more information.

 

September 15, 2011

IJ Files Petition in U.S. Supreme Court re Florida Interior Design Legal Challenge

It’s not over until. . . well, you know.

Today the Institute for Justice has filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari with the United States Supreme Court to appeal the decision of the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals and attempt to overturn Florida’s unconstitutional interior design law.  This is an important case in the defense of free speech.

“Virtually everything an interior designer does—from consulting with clients about their personal tastes, to making design drawings, to giving advice—is just speech,” said IJ Senior Attorney Clark Neily in today’s press release.  “The First Amendment prohibits the government from requiring aspiring interior designers to get a license before they can offer harmless advice to their customers.”

“IDPC attorney, Robert Kry, will be filing another amicus brief on behalf of the Interior Design Protection Council in support of the Institute for Justice petition,” said Patti Morrow, director of IDPC.  “Florida’s anti-competitive, unnecessary interior design law cannot stand.  We will do everything possible to support IJ’s efforts to re-establish freedom to design in Florida.”

May 6, 2011

Florida Cartel…are ya dead yet?

Amended Bill Belies ASID's Claims

As we have been saying all along, if deregulated, everyone in the design community would be able to (1) offer commercial interior design services and (2) submit documents for pulling permits which do not impact structure or lifesafety.

ASID and their puppet coalition, IDAF, have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars and mobilized their large grassroots to try to counter the fact that deregulation will open new job opportunities in Florida and end the monopoly.

We’re right.  They’re wrong.  Period.

Take a look at the amended version of HB 5005, as agreed to at conference last Saturday.  The bill (amendment language submitted by the NKBA approx. a month ago) now includes definitions of interior design and outlines what is legal to perform.  Anyone who can read and comprehend English can see that deregulation will NOT prevent those currently licensed from doing commercial work or from submitting plans (albeit without a seal) for permitting.  This is in agreement with the Florida Building Code which states that an architect is only needed if the lifesafety is impacted — even those currently licensed cannot do that type of work now.

The amended bill takes a last whack at ASID’s blatant and deliberate effort to hoodwink legislators.  Their argument has no life.

However. . . .

Due to some really bizarre in-house politics in Tallahassee right now, we have no idea how this will be voted on later today.

Stay tuned. . .

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