Interior Design Protection Consulting

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

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

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.

February 13, 2012

Oregon Practice Act Dies in Committee

Another smack-down handed to the interior design cartel.

This morning, SB 1521 was heard by the Senate General Government, Consumer and Small Business Protection Committee.  We had a substantially larger turnout than the proponents – wasn’t it great that we had so many sign up to testify that time ran out before everyone got a chance?  The Committee certainly took notice, which is the reason they rushed through at the end.

The Committee said the bill “needed further study,” a.k.a. “you’re goin’ on a trip to the legislation graveyard.”  SB 1521 will not be moving out of Committee this session.  While anything (and I do mean anything) can happen in the legislature, the deadline to come out of Committee is tomorrow and it’s not on the agenda.  Furthermore, the fiscal impact report has been put on hold — another indication that the bill is dead in the water.

Among those testifying in opposition to this anti-competitive, anti-small business bill:

Me (Patti Morrow) – Interior Design Protection Consulting

Ed Nagorsky – NKBA

Cindy Roberts – AIA

Dan Curtis – FEDA

John Cornyn – FCSI

Diane Plesset – DP Design

I will continue to monitor this session.  The pro-regulation cartel seldom give up, so as implausible as that may seem right at this moment, it’s possible we may see an amended bill next year, but for this session, Oregonians can celebrate victory.

Foodservice industry attendees

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. . .

April 30, 2011

Interior Design DE-regulation Stays IN Florida Budget!

shocked!We’re IN!!!   

Are you sitting down?  You might want to…

After meeting last night at 10:15, this morning at 10:00 and this afternoon at 2:00, the negotiations between Sen. Alexander and Rep. Grimsley are over.  They have reached a budget agreement and (drum roll, please)….

INTERIOR DESIGN REMAINS IN
TO BE DEREGULATED!!!

The budget bill now has a 72 hour “cooling off” period, then will be on legislators’ desks next Tuesday, for a final vote on Friday (last day of session) to confirm the budget which has now been informally agreed to by both Senate and House.

The Cartel will no doubt do everything they can to make a desperate, final attempt to get interior designers removed and save their monopoly stranglehold, but that’s highly unlikely at this juncture, as the budget should be a straight up-or-down vote, and all the “horse trading” has already been done. Still, you just never know what can happen in the legislature, so put that champagne on ice, but don’t crack it open just yet.  We’ll give you the thumbs up when all hurdles have been passed.

For all intents and purposes, it sure does look like the Good Guys have won!  Thanks for being part of our team effort — IDPC has been working on getting rid of this law since 2008, and if you have not already done so, this would be an ideal time to support our work.

I think I’m going to take the rest of the weekend off.

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