Legislation Matters

The road to interior design legislation is fraught with
strong opinions for and against, and more than its share of misinformation.
Multiple, state-based efforts to raise the standards of the profession with
legislation are ongoing across the country, many at different stages along the
continuum. Some legislation establishes a process for certification for
qualified interior designers (Licensing Acts), some mandates that only
certified or licensed professionals can call themselves “interior designers”
(Title Acts), and some requires that only certified or licensed professional be
able to practice interior design (Practice Acts). Whatever the extent of your
state’s current or proposed legislation, the ultimate goal for all of it is to
raise the standards and rights of the profession in practice and in law.

 In New York State, which is largely perceived as a
bellweather state for legislative precedent, Interior Designers for Legislation
in New York recently suffered it’s third defeat in its attempt to get an
Interior Design Title Act passed by the State Legislature. The problem, as
indicated by Governor Paterson when he vetoed the proposed legislation, is that
the current certification law does not provide a Certified Interior Designer
with a measure of privileges that would motivate designers to become licensed.

 In response, IDLNY will be concentrating its efforts in 2009
on introducing legislation that would give Certified Interior Designers several
privileges:

 • A bill will be introduced the will include Certified Interior Designers,
as well as licensed architects and engineers, as qualified bidders for public
and municipal projects that require interior design services.

 • A bill will be introduced to enhance the meaning and value
of the current signature requirement for Certified Interior Designers on all
documents, drawings, and specifications.

 • A bill will be introduced that will allow Certified
Interior Designers to be eligible as partners with architects and engineers in
a Design Professional Corporation.

 • A bill will be introduced that will create a window of
opportunity (grandfathering) for interior designers who have been in practice
for 15 years or more, and can demonstrate their qualifications, to become
Certified Interior Designers.

 IDLNY is currently seeking feedback on these initiatives
from the New York interior design community, as well as feedback from other
interior designers around the country who have engaged in similar legislative
efforts. If you have an opinion on legislation—in general or regarding any of
the specifics listed above—we invite your comments below. 

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