IIDC-Illinois Interior Design Coalition

 

Legislative Update: IIDC successful at Senate Substance Committee Hearing

 

Pictured from left to right: Tom Dillion, Dan Bassano, Connie Dyar, Tom Spanier and Paula Lutz

Legislative Update:  IIDC successful at Senate Substance Committee Hearing

The Illinois Interior Design Coalition was in Springfield last Wednesday representing interior designers who deserve the right to stamp/seal drawings for permitting purposes.  Not unsurprisingly, the opposition has been emailing the masses with spin and misinformation to make it appear they have stopped us in our tracks to move our legislation forward.  IIDC is happy to provide an update that this is not the case!

Senator Kimberly Lightford, the sponsor of the Illinois Licensed Interior Design Practitioner Act, announced a hearing with the Licensed Activities and Pensions Committee to allow IIDC to cut through the misinformation and clarify facts about the proposed legislation. This substance hearing was held on Wednesday, May 13th in Springfield.  IIDC had a strong group of 7 individuals present to explain the bill’s merits.

One puzzling opponent of the bill, the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) was not actively involved at the hearing.  However, the national leadership of NKBA continues to disseminate what are, in the opinion of IIDC, purposeful half-truths and misinformation.  NKBA leadership has neglected to tell their members that, if they are practicing lawfully now, this legislation does not affect their livelihood and that there is a list of exemptions, including all residential work, that are included in the bill.  We’re happy to share that NKBA members and affiliated organizations can continue to work as they do now, and we want their members to be certain that we are not restricting their work.  We are continuing outreach with the local chapter of NKBA to make certain this message is shared.

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) was on-hand to express opposition to our legislation, but only from a budgetary standpoint.  This is expected as IDFPR regularly opposes any legislation involving registration.  AIA engaged the IDFPR to attend and tell the committee that the fees to cover our new law would be a burden to the State.  However, this argument is a weak one since the fees for all regulated professions with the state of Illinois are the same – including those for Architects.  IIDC’s lobbyists are working with IDFPR to help neutralize this concern.

AIA continues to spin each step of the legislative process as a victory for them, but in the actual committee hearing, IIDC has been able to successfully refute their arguments.  Our bill clearly defines the requirements of education, experience and examination as the path interior designs take to become a licensed interior design practitioner, and that this path protects the health, safety and welfare of the public.

Sadly, the AIA is resorting to untruths to help bolster their arguments.  Their representative told the senate committee it takes 15 years to become a licensed architect and that interior designers are trying to regulate “structural life-safety”  – both of which are false.  The bill proposes a clearly defined scope of non-loadbearing design within code-regulated spaces for interior designers.

The IIDC was very successful in getting the Senate Committee to understand the nuances of our law and that we are not trying to restrict individuals, but rather expand the scope of services of interior designers to allow them to start businesses and allow them to be responsible for their work and do more commercial work.

The Bill is still alive and well!  Even though the spring legislative session is nearing its end, the session will more than likely be extended and special sessions will ensue later this year. Minor revisions to the Bill will likely be made and we are confident we can get our Bill to the full Senate this year.  We appreciate everyone’s grassroots efforts to this point and we will notify you of any new developments.

Dan Bassano, IIDA, NCIDQ, LEED-AP ID+C

Vice-President, IIDC

View the complete announcement here: http://iidcpac.org/announcements.php?id=7