WORD IS GETTING OUT – WE HAD SOMETHING LIKE A VICTORY
Yes, word is spreading that the gavel fell at 2:10 AM Friday morning ending the long session in the NC Senate without HB 590, the interior design registration bill moving out of the Senate Rules committee. As described by some of our members, the train that was about to crush our profession was stopped.
With high confidence of a certain passage, the proponents of HB 590 watched it move forcefully out of the House into the Senate in early June. But by that time, members of AIA had consolidated their position on the bill and rallied to meet with senators to educate them on the consequences of the bill. Many of the senators were stunned to learn what the bill was actually proposing. The proponents upped the ante by hiring one of the most influential lobby firms in the State. AIA upped their ante by getting to more senators with the actual facts.
While not totally dead, as it will be re-addressed in May during the short session, we must count this as reprieve, maybe “something like a small victory.” But having watched our members mobilize on this bill, it is apparent that stopping the measure's momentum was not the only victory. We had 50 of our members take time from their schedules to come to the Legislature, in many cases more than once, to discuss the bill face to face with their elected representatives. And we had hundreds more who met with their representatives in their home districts or called and wrote detailed explanations as to why the bill should not become law. All done in a non-partisan, professional manner.
The achievement for our profession is that we now have a majority of our members understanding that the NC Legislature impacts our profession in significant ways, that our officials are not unapproachable, and finally, that our elected representatives in the House and Senate will listen if we present them with thoughtful, comprehensive and non-biased points of view.
The hope for this interim period is that we can now have a constructive dialogue with the Senate and members of the interior design profession to map out a way to recognize interior designers for their good work, while maintaining the same standards which currently exist to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public we all serve.
While there are many other bills being proposed that impact the design and construction industry, which we will cover in a follow up newsletter, we want to take time now to thank all of our members for their diligence and professionalism in addressing HB 590.
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