NEWS UPDATE ON INDUSTRY LEGISLATION REPORTED FROM THE NKBA
New York Governor Vetos Change to Interior Design Title Act!
New York Governor David Paterson has vetoed Senate Bill 3659 which would have required that anyone wishing to use the term “interior designer” in New York be licensed.
The Governor agreed with the arguments made in our letter to him in opposition to the bill, and stated that “courts have found similar legislation restricting the use of the title ‘interior designer’ in other states to be overly broad, unreasonable, and vague”. He further concluded that the bill would also “limit new entrants into the field of interior design and, thus, restrain competition”.
Moreover, the Governor stated that no evidence had been presented to suggest that any harm was occurring to the public from the continued unregulated practice of interior design.
National Kitchen & Bath Association Opposes Restrictive Interior Design Legislation
The NKBA has been in the forefront in opposing the efforts of a handful of self-appointed interior designers who seek to corner the design market and limit the rights of our members to practice.
For well over 30 years, the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) has funded efforts to cause states to adopt laws which would limit the right to practice kitchen and bath design to only those whom ASID and their related affiliates deem worthy. The NKBA has been actively engaged in educating various state legislatures about the dangers of narrow interior design practice acts and has overturned restrictive laws that prevented or limited the ability of kitchen and bath design professionals to earn a living.
It is the belief of the NKBA that these laws do nothing to further the protection of public health, safety, and welfare as there is no showing whatsoever that a continued failure to regulate the design community causes harm to the public, which is not adequately protected by a state’s architectural and engineering controls and existing building codes and regulations. Furthermore, such laws lead to added governmental bureaucracy and increased consumer confusion about the capabilities of our members and the distinctive field of kitchen and bath design.
The NKBA has presented testimony and appeared before numerous state legislatures in opposing these attempts to prohibit NKBA members from continuing to work and will continue to advocate for the rights of our members to earn a living in their chosen profession. To read the full position statement, please click here.
What Is Our Purpose?
The NKBA works to monitor legislation and protect the rights of our members to practice their profession. Additionally, the NKBA works to keep members apprised of legislation and regulations that may impact their business.
One of the primary areas of focus is on efforts by interior design coalitions seeking to regulate the profession of interior design through legislation.
Why Is This Important To Us?
While NKBA members do not generally call themselves “interior designers,” the broad definition of interior design contained in these proposed laws clearly covers the services and work that our members perform on a daily basis. Our members would therefore be regulated by these laws.
What Are The Proposed Laws?
There are generally two types of interior design legislation which the NKBA is concerned about:
Title Act: A title act regulates the use of a title such as “Certified Interior Designer,” “Registered Interior Designer,” or, in some cases, even the term “Interior Designer” itself. Although a title act does not prevent anyone from offering interior design services, only those who have been licensed by the state can use the regulated term.
Practice Act: This type of regulation is much more restrictive and actually prohibits unlicensed persons from practicing interior design. As noted above, the kitchen and bath services that our members provide fall within the broad definition of “interior design” as defined in the law.