Interior Design Protection Consulting

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!


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.

March 3, 2011

Interior design cartel about to take CONTROL of Mississippi!


Yes, in YOUR state, Mississippi designers!  The ASID-led interior design cartel is about to take control of the design/building/remodeling industry.

But you can stop them if you act NOW!

H 1096, a bill which will establish REGULATION of the industry design industry is on Governor Haley Barbour’s desk.  THIS BILL NEEDS TO BE VETOED…NOW!

Call, write, email, or fax Governor Barbour and tell him:

  • This anti-competitive bill will hurt the design industry!
  • Only 10 people in the whole state qualify under the bills criteria — why should 10 people be allowed to have a government-sanctioned advantage over everyone else?
  • This bill is supported by a national bully, the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) who have spent $7,000,000 lobbying for regulations to eliminate all other competition!
  • This bill will increase costs of interior design services to consumers!
  • This bill needs to be VETOED!

Contact info for Governor Barbour here:


February 28, 2011

ASID launches full-scale assault against designers


Please read this message in its entirety.

The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) has launched a full-scale assault on the interior design industry nationwide.

For over 30 years, ASID has aggressively lobbied for legislation that would effectively put the majority of hard-working designers out of business or prevent them from calling themselves “interior designers” unless they possess certain arbitrary credentials—credentials that just happen to be identical to those needed to become a “professional” member of ASID.

They claim interior design should be licensed to protect the public’s health and safety—yet there is not a shred of evidence to corroborate this claim.

In reality, this small group of industry insiders is pushing for regulation in order to eliminate much of their competition.

What is at stake is one of the most basic freedoms afforded to U.S. citizens—the right to earn an honest living.  This is an outrageous assault on economic liberty, and their efforts to cartelize the interior design industry must be stopped.

And this year, they are leaving no stone unturned in their efforts to gain control.  At their Annual Legislation Symposium in Colorado last October, ASID leadership encouraged the attendees to introduce bills in all 50 states.  And that’s exactly what they’re doing.  Since January 1st, 18 bills which would impact interior designers are already in Committee or pre-filed – never have we seen so many so early.  

That’s where I come in.  My name is Patti Morrow, and I’m the director of the Interior Design Protection Council.  IDPC is the nation’s leading advocacy group protecting the rights and livelihoods of all in the interior design community.

IDPC is the spearhead of the interior design “Freedom Movement,” a collaboration of 28 national trade and stakeholder associations who work together across the country to protect design freedom.  We are on the frontlines—and we are winning, as you can see from our proven track record of success.

Since 2006, we have successfully defeated over 100 bills in 21 states that would have expanded or enacted new protectionist, anti-competitive interior design regulations that would have put interior designers and industry allies out of work.

In addition to fighting for liberty in state capitols, IDPC also trains interior designers to become activists and provides rapid and strategic response to the pro-cartel movement’s propaganda.  For example, we have issued three “white papers” that time and again are used to rebut ASID’s false claims for licensure:

I’ve also published a book, Getting Grassroots Galvanized, and my opinions have been featured in outlets like The Wall Street Journal, Reason TV, AIA The Angle, Today’s Home, Interiors and Sources, Design Trade Magazine, Window Fashion Vision, and More Magazine.  I’ve enclosed some clippings of coverage IDPC has received for you.

Indeed, ASID’s efforts have nothing to do with the public health and safety.  To the contrary, 12 government agencies have reviewed the issue and all concluded that interior design regulation would provide no additional protection to consumers beyond measures already in place.

ASID simply wants to protect themselves from competition, by passing protectionist laws that only benefit themselves.  They believe that consumers lack the ability to make informed choices about who they retain for design services.

In striking down Alabama’s Interior Design Practice Act, Justice Parker stated:

“Nor should this court embrace the paternalistic notion that the average citizen is incapable of choosing a competent interior designer without the state’s help.  The economic liberty of contract remains a protected right in Alabama, especially in a field like interior design that involves expressive activity.”

Americans are fully capable of choosing an interior designer that best suits their needs—and in an open marketplace free of unnecessary and arbitrary licensing, customers can enjoy lower costs and better interior design services.

But we need support from people like you.

As I wrote in Vision magazine, interior design is a dynamic profession that celebrates innovation, creativity and diversity.  Regulation is contrary to those values and antithetical to a free market society.

It is critical that IDPC remain on the frontlines in the fight against efforts to cartelize the industry.  But to do so, we need your help.

Every day, ASID is pushing for new legislation that would put more and more interior designers out of work.  They are well-funded by their small group of industry insiders, desperate to wall-out competition.  Meanwhile, IDPC relies on the voluntary contributions of independent interior designers. 

Please support IDPC in our efforts to keep interior design free.  A contribution to IDPC is a contribution to the movement for economic liberty—the fight to restore the right to earn an honest living.  Entrepreneurism is the backbone of America’s economy, and an attempt to cartelize one industry is an attack on all.

It is the not the government’s job to protect one group of established industry-insiders from others who wish to compete.

Would you please consider supporting the Interior Design Protection Council?

For just $29 a year, you will become a member of the Interior Design Protection Council, and receive information about legislative activities across the country, and in your own state — exclusive updates, bill analysis, legislator contact information, talking points, sample letters, and free one-on-one coaching with me if you wish to testify in opposition to a bill.

For an additional one-time donation of $100, $200 or more, we will provide you with free advertising on our website as well as exclusive access to additional features and materials.

The Interior Design Protection Council can’t keep the interior design profession free without your support.  Please consider joining today so we can continue to achieve incredible results.

I hope to hear from you soon.


Patti Morrow signature

P.S.:  My good friend Ed Nagorsky, the General Counsel and Director of Legislative Affairs for the National Kitchen and Bath Association, had this to say about the Interior Design Protection Council:

“IDPC is the nationwide voice of the design community, seeking to protect the rights of interior designers to continue working in the profession they love without unnecessary and anti-competitive regulation which does nothing more than protects the economic self-interest of a handful of designers.

The organization has shown a light on the efforts of the interior design lobby which is trying to corner the market on interior design services and dictate who may or may not be hired by members of the public.  Its newsletters and articles have effectively and truthfully raised the awareness of the design industry to the anti-consumer legislation that the lobby is seeking to foist upon the public.”

 As I described above, IDPC is winning the fight against the pro-cartelization movement.   But we need your support to continue to be effective.  Please join us today for just $29 a   year and if you are in a position to do so, make a one-time gift of $100, $200, or even   $500.  Thank you. 

Fire & Ice: Rome BURNS while ASID FREEZES out competition

January 21, 2011

Interior design legislation discussion on Today’s Home

PATTI MORROW, Director of the Interior Design Protection Council, is going to be my very special guest on Today’s Home tomorrow morning at 9:00 Pacific Time/12:00 Eastern Time. Please tune in, and call with your questions (toll free, of course!)

Click here for tune in and call in structions:

Diane Plesset, Today’s Home radio host

October 31, 2010

ASID’s Interior Design Licensing Misinformation… Now that’s SCARY!

Last month, Don Davis, ASID’s new Director of Government Affairs participated in a legislation propaganda meeting hosted by one of their minion coalitions, the IDLNY.  The meeting, which had been publicized as “town hall meeting” was anything but and their stated desire for a “spirited discussion” was a farce.  Any substantial opposition was squelched, and a plethora of misinformation and blatantly false statements were allowed to be perpetrated on the audience without adequate opportunity for factual rebuttal. This shameful and frankly pitiful display of censorship merely indicates a total lack of confidence in their licensing scheme.

The nine-person panel was stacked entirely with pro-legislation activists, even though requests had been made to fairly include Patti Morrow (me), director of IDPC and Bill Barrett, director of AICAD (Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design) – which were denied.  With the exception of the student panel member, who basically said she had nothing to say, every panel member made objectionable statements, but the most egregious misinformation came from the ASID representative.  Of course, that came as no surprise to anyone with even rudimentary knowledge on this issue.

I was allowed a very tiny window of time to ask my “question,” so I decided to take on the ASID slippery rhetoric.

Mr. Davis had stated that ASID has a new legislation policy, and that they will now only support legislation that (a) does not limit, restrict or prevent the practice of interior design,  and  (b) does not limit, restrict or prevent anyone from using the title “interior design” or “interior designer.”

Liar, liar pants on fire!

Okay, I didn’t actually say that…  My response to Mr. Davis was that saying ASID decided not to pursue restricting the title “interior designer” was disingenuous at best.  ASID is not “giving” us the title – WE TOOK IT!!!  The Institute for Justice challenged the constitutionality of restricting the title in the court system and WON.  “You didn’t give it, Mr. Davis, we TOOK it back!”  His response:  (crickets)

Next, I told the Mr. Davis and the audience that his other point is blatantly untrue.  Practice acts by their very nature restrict the practice of interior design, and just this year I had been involved in defeating practice acts in several states – PA, WA, TN, MN, MS and others – where designers currently practicing would indeed have been restricted from continuing full scope of practice.  He replied ASID would never support such legislation.  I replied their state chapters DID support all of those bills.  Again, crickets.  He could not refute, and for good reason. . .

What Mr. Davis conveniently “forgot” to mention was that ASID’s ACTUAL POLICY is this:

“ASID will not support legislation that limits, restricts, or prevents the practice of interior design that is not regulated by a building code or statute,” as stated by Michael Alin, ASID Executive Director, video on the ASID website:

In other words, they’ll be free to push for legislation anywhere there are local codes and regulations that might apply to an interior designer.  And I’d guess there isn’t a state where some regulation or code couldn’t be applied to a designer.

For example, since all commercial interior design is regulated by building codes, this intentionally slippery statement gives ASID the loophole it needs to support practice acts which restrict all commercial design.

Nice try.

It is exactly this kind of disingenuous weasel-wording that has caused so many of ASID’s Allied members to jump ship.  Many residential designers also practice some aspect of commercial design, e.g., offices, cafes and bistros, community centers, condos and common areas of condo buildings, etc.  So when Mr. Alin goes on to say that “any interior design services you offer that are legal today, ASID will not support any law that will make it illegal tomorrow” – that is blatantly false, and the restrictive language in bills from the states mentioned above prove it.

Another example is in Florida, where ASID claims “we are working with the coalition to ensure that the interior design law in Florida continues to open opportunities for designers.”   But supporting a law that does not allow the majority of designers, and even their own Allied members, to practice commercial design, they totally contradict this so-called “recently clarified legislation policy.”

Mr. Alin’s video goes on to say that ASID will fight for opportunities to expand practice for “state qualified designers,” which of course means only the ones who’ve passed their own self-anointed criteria – the NCIDQ, an exam that costs up to $2000 to take and has historically had a less than 40% passage rate for all three sections.  So if you’re not NCIDQ-certified, no matter how knowledgeable, talented, or successful you are, no expanded opportunities for you.

Mr. Davis’ initial statement at the NY meeting was a disarming ploy to assuage people’s fears, when in fact they’ll most likely pursue all the legislation they’ve always been pursuing.  This appears to have been confirmed at their recent national legislation symposium, were we’ve been told ASID encouraged the participants to introduce bills in every state for 2011.

But I digress.  Back to the NY meeting… the moderator interrupted to say that this meeting was about NY not other states, and asked me if a question was forthcoming.  I replied that my comment went to establish lack of credibility of the ASID panel member, and yes, here is my question:

The overwhelming majority of NY designers do not support the pro-legislative agenda – you do not have a mandate, nor have they elected you to speak on their behalf.

  • Only 227 NY Registered Designers – down from 316 when the law first passed in 1990 and there was a flurry of grandfathered.  (30% decrease and dropping)
  • According to the NCIDQ “Q-Search” there are only 116 NCIDQ certified designers in the entire state.
  • According to the BLS, there are around 5,000 interior designers.  We think that number should be doubled to include others who practice some part of the scope of interior design but may not identify themselves as interior designers, e.g. kitchen designers, stagers, office furniture dealers, retailers, remodelers, foodservice equipment dealers
  • So in effect, the number of so-called “qualified” designers represents 1% of the design community.  You think we’re going to just sit back and let 1% dictate how the 99% practice?

Why are you pursuing legislation that is not wanted?

At this point, one of the panel members, Chris Cyphers, president of the NY School of Interior Design said that there are actually 1045 NCIDQ certified designers in NY – which I’ve proven to be both misleading and untrue in a subsequent exchange (

I attempted to make several more objections to false statements from Mr. Davis and other panelists.

Then, the inevitable happened.

“Will someone please take the microphone away from Patti?” said William Spink, president of IDLNY and moderator for the meeting.

Reluctantly, I gave it back.  But it will take a lot more than removing my microphone to silence my voice and impede the Freedom Movement.

“Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.”  ~Thomas Paine

October 28, 2010

ASID’s Interior Design Legislation Seminar

Well, it looks like ASID just completed another (excuse my yawn) legislative symposium, this time in Colorado.  Mostly the same old, same old, but not entirely.  Here’s a link to their power point:

It should be noted that the training seminar was lead by Bruce Goff (CA) and Rose Botti-Salitsky (MA) – two pro-regulation extremists that have failed miserably, time and time again, to bring licensure to their own states of California and Massachusetts.


It appears that the strategy will now focus solely on trying to restrict sign and seal privileges to only NCIDQ-certified designers and prevent all others from submitting plans for non-structural permitting.  Why is this good news? Because as we all know, the pro-regulation faction want everything interior designers do to be restricted to only NCIDQ-certified, but IDPC, with assistance from our allies in the Freedom Movement, have BLOCKED them at every turn:

  • We decimated their entire “health, safety and welfare” argument by proving that there is not a shred of evidence to warrant a conclusion that the unregulated practice of interior design places the public in any form of jeopardy whatsoever.
  • We neutralized their whining that they deserve “legislated professional recognition” by pointing out that it is not a legitimate function of the legislature to provide government-sanctioned enhancement to a small handful of elitist industry insiders while placing the majority of honest, hard-working designers at an unfair competitive disadvantage.
  • We provided in-depth analysis which undeniably demonstrates that the IBC (Sec. 106.1) does NOT require that all construction documents be prepared by registered design professionals, but defers completely to state law as to whether or not construction documents must be prepared by an architect or an engineer or may be prepared by anyone else including interior designers.
  • We took OUR title back via the Institute of Justice’s successful court challenges that restricting the title of “interior designer” is unconstitutional.

The Cartel has been left scrambling around the proverbial regulatory floor, trying to find any crumbs of legislation that they can sweep up.

But the sign and seal hybrid practice act bills will be met with the same vigorous opposition from IDPC and our allies – especially the AIA, with whom I’ve been working to strengthen our partnership both nationally and on a state-by-state basis.


According to reports IDPC has obtained on the seminar,

  • ASID is again encouraging that bills be introduced in EVERY legislature in the country.  This is not a new concept.  IDPC exposed the previous ASID/IIDA “Parker Plan” in 2008  (  Of course, ASID denied such a plan existed, but soon thereafter a third failed effort to merge the two organizations was revealed, totally vindicating my announcement of the alleged Parker Plan.
  • ASID is encouraging hiring new lobbyists if the previous ones did not adequately advance their licensing scheme;
  • ASID offers states opportunities to have their legislative efforts funded;
  • Many states like WA, CO, MN, AZ, PA, TN, CA, MS, OR, MI and others will be pursuing practice acts;
  • States like Florida and Georgia will be looking to expand the insidious reach of their existing laws.


Support IDPC and the Freedom Movement, and we will give you the tools you need to keep the Cartel’s licensing scheme from steamrolling your state and stealing your hard earned business!  Read more about the benefits and how much time and money we can save you:

Join our crusade, TODAY!  Waiting for the bill to be introduced TOMORROW may be too late to stop it! The Cartel will engage directly following the November 2nd elections and so should you!

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