HB 590, the Interior Designers Registration bill came out of the House on June 5, passed first reading in the Senate and has been held in Rules Committee since it arrived. The reason that it stalled is that our members have been actively engaging Senators with the facts about the bill which contradict the claims of the sponsors.
But the interior designers have been just as busy. ASID has their members working the halls of the General Assembly along with their hired guns, one of the largest and most highly paid lobbying firms in the State of North Carolina. They are still knocking on every door to get a majority of support, and they only need 26 votes to pull this off.
ONE MORE CALL TO ACTION (Believe it or not!)
In these last few days of the legislative session we need you to once again contact your State Senator. Let them know the bill sponsors are pushing to get this on the floor for a vote before it can be properly vetted. AIA North Carolina, the Professional Engineers of North Carolina, the American Council of Engineering Companies and the Associatedof General Contractors all oppose the bill and are all in agreement that the measure expands the scope of work of interior designers well beyond their education, training or examination. One Senator described this as a "dangerous" bill. And we agree.
Ask them to please take no action on this bill until all the affected parties along with members of the Senate can meet and work on an appropriate piece of legislation dealing with this matter.
Please make this call or send your email today. At the very least forward this email to your Senator so they can see what a massive overreach HB 590 is.
A NOTE TO OUR MULTI-DISCIPLINE FIRMS
On another note, we want to acknowledge that internal to many of our firms there is the impression that AIA's opposition to HB 590 may appear as a lack of support for the professional standing of interior designers. However, the root of AIA's concern is the extremely low standard of education and training HB 590 will codify as acceptable. Within architectural firms, interior designers are given more learning opportunities and broader project exposure than in most if not all interior design companies. The result is that interior designers in architectural firms possess a much higher level of competence.
However, their level of competence is not where the bill has drawn the line. HB 590 permits persons with as few as 40 credit hours of interior design classes in a community college to be self-supervised during their internship with no requirement that they have prepared a set of construction drawings nor ever had to address an HSW issue. Upon passing an exam with extremely basic questions, they would be permitted to seal drawings and assemble full construction sets for interiors in every building classification identified in the Building Code.
It is the belief of many that the road to architectural licensure should be broader. And we need to have a discussion with respect to how an interior designer can get on that road. But by no means should we simply lower the standards to the level HB 590 proposes.
We have spent six days with AIA members in the Legislature this year. We want to take a moment to thank the 14 persons who attended the sixth session last Tuesday:
Fred Jernigan, Shermin Ata, Raleigh Cline, Ashley Spinks, Jenn Trumann, Erin Sterling Lewis, Hunt McKinnon, Catherine Monroe, Jim Compton, Matt Syzmanski, Janae Wilson, Shawna Hammon, Alex Buck and Mark Wright.
We have added a number of resources for you to view that will inform you about the AIA's position on interior designer licensing:
1) AIA North Carolina's opposition letter
2) The interior designers talking points
3) AIA North Carolina's rebuttal to the IDs talking points
4) AIA Talking points on HB 590
5) List of support & opposition
6) Architect vs. ID Ed, Exp & Exam
7) Video on HB 590 Scope of Practice Overreach