Posted in Consumer Protection, Legislation, NKBA

Legislative Update from the IDPC

Interior Design Protection Council

In This Issue
FL: It’s getting HOT
AZ: Sunrise
PA: IDLCPA truth-twisting
TX: Searching for harm
MA: MIDC laments VETO
CA: IDCC’s sneaky tactics
NH: NHIDC Smokescreen
TN: New Ally
OR: ASID’s Fairy Tales
NY: Corection, please
Say, now
Letters to the Editor
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Legislation Update
Members of the design community,

Last year, 24 attempts to regulate interior design were thwarted. So far this year, at least 21 bills have been defeated or sidetracked. Please join IDPC as we continue to resist the attempts to create a monopoly which would not include YOU.


IJ misinformation Dr. Caren Martin, an advocate of interior design regulation, released a report purporting to rebut the key claims of Designing Cartels. Martin’s report, however, provided no evidence of the need for or benefits from regulation, while essentially conceding that the push for such regulation comes exclusively from industry insiders. Martin’s attack does not disprove the key findings of Designing Cartels and, as such, is yet another in a long line of examples of design industry insiders’ failure to make a persuasive case for regulation.

Click here to read Dick Carpenter’s rebuttal, Misinformation & Interior Design Regulation: How the Interior Design Cartel’s Attack on IJ’s Designing Cartels Misses the Mark

It’s getting HOT in Florida

hotWould you think that drawing a furniture layout on a napkin for your client at a lunch meeting is no big deal?

You would be wrong. Florida is cracking down on designers and office furniture dealers who are designing and/or doing space planning without a license, even though there is no evidence that these activities jeopardize the safety of of the public.
Click here for more details on the Florida situation
Join IDPC as we continue to investigate a remedy to correct the anti-competitive environment of Florida.

Sunrise in Arizona

az Recently, a Sunrise Act was signed into law in Arizona. This sunrise law prohibits the enactment of any new regulation that does not meet the burden of proof that the new law would improve protecting the health, safety and welfare of the public. Kudos to IDPC member Robert Lashua for his hard work in helping to get the Sunrise law enacted!

14 states currently have sunrise laws. These laws make it much more difficult for ASID and its funded coalitions to push through their anti-competitive legislation because they cannot produce any evidence that unregulated interior design places the public in any form of jeopardy.
Every state should have these laws! To find out whether or not your state has a sunrise law, or for assistance in lobbying for one, please join IDPC.

Truth twisting by IDLCPA in PA
fingers crossed
The Pennsylvania Senate has adjourned for the remainder of 2008, which means that HB807 is essentially dead because the Senate will not reconvene to vote on it this year.
However, IDLCPA has already formulated a revised piece of legislation to be reintroduced on day 1 of the 2009 session.

Supporting its position on anti-competitive regulation, in a recent newsletter, ASID PA-East said, “Don’t let the oppostion’s [sic] scare tactics be your only source of education. AIA, NKBA, as well as other organizations are lobbying against you….. and we are out there making sure you can practice. Legislation is the only way we are going to guarantee that right to practice won’t be taken away.”

WRONG, on all accounts.

  1. Scare tactics, such as the MGM Grand Hotel fire, have come directly from ASID.
  2. NKBA, IDPC, Liberty for PA Designers, IJ and others are working diligently to ensure that ALL designers retain their ability to practice — not just those ASID deems are worthy.
  3. ASID certainly is “out there” in a big way, having spent allegedly over $6,000,000 lobbying for its state-imposed monopoly scheme.
  4. Nobody is trying to take away your right to practice except ASID and its funded coalitions. They are trying to diminish or eliminate your right to practice by introducing legislation so restrictive that you will lose your right to practice unless you meet their criteria.

I encourage all PA designers who want to continue to practice to join IDPC and help us fight the 2009 practice act.

Searching for harm in Texas

rabbit hat In response to the lawsuit filed by the Institute for Justice challenging the Constitutionality of the state’s Title Act, Marilyn Roberts, TAID President sent an email to some Texas ASID members exclaiming, “We must get cases of harm in Texas!!!!!”

Shouldn’t evidence of harm have been established prior to the law being enacted? Could it be that none existed then, and that none exists now? Two clichés come to mind:

  1. Locking the barn door after the horse is out
  2. Pulling a rabbit out of a hat
Ms. Roberts also requested that all information be sent to her, NOT to the TBAE (regulation board), stating, “If information goes directly to TBAE, it becomes “public knowledge.” One more example of the pro-regulation camp’s desire to surreptitiously impose their elitist agenda on an unknowing design community.
Peggy Lewene Vassberg, the member of the Texas Board of Architectural Examiners (TBAE) who represents the interior design community on the Board, was “grandfathered in” because she did not have the specific education, experience and examination criteria that the board requires of everyone else who wants to use the title “Interior Designer.”
In fact, at least 80% of active interior designers who are able to use the title “Interior Designer” in Texas were “grandfathered.”

Does this seem hypocritical to anyone else?
IDPC has a growing number of members in Texas. We are especially thankful for Fern Santini and her hard work and diligence in spearheading the opposition movement and educating legislators.
If you are a Texas designer or decorator, please join IDPC to make that voice louder. With your assistance, we can help repeal the Title Act and stop the 2009 Practice Act (yes, apparently they are going forward with it, even if the Title Act is repealed).

MIDC laments the MA VETO


On August 8, Governor Deval Patrick of MA vetoed the Cartel’s attempt to get their foot in the door with a “bidding bill.”
Lamenting the veto, the Massachusetts Interior Design Coalition (MIDC) claims the Governor has denied designers the opportunity to bid on state contracts and that the taxpayer will overpay for work to be completed.
Don’t believe their rhetoric and scare tactics!

  1. Designers already have the ability to bid on state contracts. Where’s their proof? Just like their “protect the health/safety” propaganda, there’s no evidence to back up their empty claims. This bill would just add another layer of bureaucracy and allow MIDC/ASID to get a foot in the door to enact more restrictive regulation.
  2. You’d have to live under a rock to not understand that OVER-regulation causes the taxpayer to OVER-pay, not lack of regulation
The veto of this bill fully supports the Governor’s “Creative Economy” initiative. Interior design involves more than an ability to read codes. It requires vision and creativity. Obviously, Governor Patrick understands this important concept, and we applaud him for taking the appropriate action.
MIDC, with ASID’s support, will undoubtedly continue to advocate for restrictive regulation in the Commonwealth. Please join IDPC to prevent them from eliminating your right to practice in 2009.

Sneaky tactics exposed in California


We have received word that IDCC had been attempting to “gut & amend” the practice act that was rejected by the House, and insert it into another bill to slip through the Assembly.
One of the main reasons for the House rejection of the practice act last spring was the testimony and opposition of the Community College League of California on behalf of its 72 colleges which would have been negatively impacted if the bill had been enacted. We have also learned that the proponents are trying to circumvent the CCL by bringing their propaganda directly to each college individually, so that when CCL attempts to oppose the amended bill they will produce letters of support from all the individual colleges they have dupped. Allegedly, they are even providing sample language to use.

CCL has been notified of this sneaky tactic. No doubt they are taking appropriate measures.
Join our rapidly growing base of CA members and students, who are working to ensure that your right to practice is not taken away.

NHIDC smokescreen


According to their website, the New Hampshire Interior Design Coalition “has prepared a bill for certification for consideration by the NH Legislature.”
In March 2007, the NH Legislature overwhelmingly voted against regulating interior design claiming they “could not find sufficient or compelling enough evidence.” Among their specific reasons, they cited “the wide philosophical differences within the New Hampshire interior design community” and the “lack of impact on the welfare and safety of the public at large.”
Subsequently, NHIDC attempted to push another bill through later in 2007, this time a title act, but it was withdrawn by Legislative Services, who clearly understood that this was just another attempt to regulate the profession in the same session — not allowed under NH law.

The “new” certification bill to be proposed by NHIDC is nothing more than a smokescreen, a guise which they would use as a stepping stone to introduce future, more restrictive regulation.

Speculation? No, FACT. After the defeat of the 2007 practice act, Maria Perron, president of NHIDC wrote to her members:
“Since NH isn’t the most agreeable state towards licensure…we may want to begin with a title act and move inconspicuously toward a practice act within a few years.” (emphasis added)
Unfortunately, this type of under-the-radar, incremental approach is the hallmark of the pro-regulation camp.
Don’t let this happen in your state! Join IDPC to stay on top of any “inconspicuous” attempts in your state.

New Ally in Tennessee

shaking hands Shaka Mitchell, former Outreach Coordinator with the Institute for Justice, has accepted a new position as Vice President of the Tennessee Center for Policy Research. Shaka has assured us that he is interested in working with IDPC to defeat future TN cartel attempts. IDPC assisted in defeating TIDC’s 2008 title act, but they clearly and emphatically state on their website that both bills will be re-introduced in January, 2009.

If you are a Tennessee interior designer, we urge you to join IDPC and help us stop Tennessee’s Title Act from being amended into a Practice Act that would prohibit you from practicing interior design.

Fairy Tales in Oregon

magic wand

ASID Oregon Chapter recently sent out a newsletter to their members in which Debra Fugate states, “NCIDQ is a 501(c)3 which strictly prohibits political lobbying.”

Does she also believe in the tooth fairy?
According to the CCIDC (California Council for Interior Design Certification) website, “NCIDQ is not just a pure examining body, but is involved in lobbying and legislation which includes this activity to be through third parties it associates with.”
CCIDC, as an organization, does not take a political stand on interior design regulation, but simply states the facts without bias. We agree with their proclamation about NCIDQ’s lobbying activities.
Click here to read the statements made by NCIDQ that led to this conclusion.
It is truly amazing that any Allied member of ASID would support regulation that will udoubtedly include passage of NCIDQ. Do they understand that their organization is pushing for legislation that will not include them? Or are they hoping for an initial “grandfathering” that will let them in, then close the loop for any other designers like them?
Designers, and more importantly, STUDENTS, who are concerned that they will be left out of the loop should join IDPC to assist us in stoping legislation from being enacted.

Correction, please (NY)

white out We previously reported that less than 10% of all interior designers in the state of NY have even bothered to become “registered.”

However, industry leaders have informed us that only 200 designers are registered, and that it is widely believed that the number of interior designers in NY could well exceed 10,000.
No wonder Governor Paterson VETOED the interior legislation attempt! A law which adds nothing to protect the health, safety and welfare of the public beyond that which is already in place, and which would only benefit less than 2% of the industry is obviously not a legitimate goal of good government.
Unfortunately, mere facts and logic will not stop future attempts to pass more restrictive regulation in NY — this was the third veto by a Governor on identical legislation.
Please join IDPC to ensure that future legislation attempts are thwarted.

Say, now


Do you have something to say about the attempt to monopolize the interior design profession?
Two IDPC members have excellent blogs creating a forum for your comments.
ASID Tactics Leave Acid Aftertaste, by Kitchen Design Notes

Letters to the Editor
Non-ASID designers are just “Bag Ladies”

Response to Designing Freedom newsletter 7/1/08 bag lady

Ms. Kerekes writes:
ARE YOU KIDDING ME !!!!! ASID is a membership of qualified interior designers whose formal training and experience has enabled them to join this must [sic] admired group of PROFESSIONALS not decorinas or “Bag Ladies” who hang out their shingles with no knowledge, or education of design safety issues, codes, and proper practices of the profession of interior design. It’s about time we got the regulations we deserve. You wouldn’t want a doctor without a license or an attorney or an architect. I am so sick of seeing self-proclaimed decorina’s charging a fortune and giving clients terrible and dangerous advise [sic]. You are just jealous! Go back to school. and get the proper credentials and join a group you can be proud of!!! Shame on you!!!!

Linda Kerekes, Allied ASID

* * * * * * * * * (dek a ree’ na) n. a highly successful, non-NCIDQ certified interior designer who performs all functions of design while wearing pointe shoes.
“As a vessel is known by its sound whether it be cracked or not, so men are proved by their speeches whether they be wise or foolish.” (Demosthenes)
Click here to read IDPC’s full response to Ms. Kerekes’ diatribe.
Logic prevails

Re: Regulation of Interior Designers (August 5, 2008)

I think that although it is important for those in the design industry to remain updated as to trends, laws, and other issues that are pertinent, I believe that regulation would hurt not help all those involved. I think that if you look at some of the most successful decorators and designers, you will find that they are not, in fact, ASID. It is my belief that those trying to regulate the industry, are trying to create a monopoly!

Laura Inglis
Interior Designer IDS, DANA

Please send your letters to the editor to Letters may be edited for length only.

If you were not convinced that there is a national attempt to create a monopoly within the interior design profession (a.k.a. “The Intolerable Acts”), we hope that after reading this newsletter your eyes have been opened.
We also expect to see 2009 regulation activity in the following states: AL, HI, ID, IN, MI, MN, MS, NE, OH, OK, SC, WA, and most likely in additional states that we are not yet aware of.
The only way to stop the national push to eliminate the majority of interior designers is for that same majority to break through their apathy and join IDPC. We are the only national organization exclusively dedicated to stopping anti-competitive legislation (a.k.a. “Project: Designing Freedom”)
But we simply cannot do it without your assistance. Join IDPC.
$100/year for Members
$ 20/year for Students
Together we can stop the pro-regulation faction from hijacking our profession.
PM - headshotSincerely,

Executive Director
Interior Design Protection Council

The Interior Design Protection Council is a national, nonprofit business league dedicated to protecting the livelihoods and rights to practice of interior designers and those we work with.



Laurie Burke, connected to the design and construction industry since 1996. A seasoned residential kitchen and bath design specialist , Laurie has designed thousands of kitchens & baths as well as other cabinetry projects requiring technical precision in design drafting utilizing state of the art 2020 software for creating accurate plans and elevations. Through on- going product knowledge training and a desire to always stay current with an evolving marketplace, Laurie Burke maintains a strong command of knowing the appropriate Fit & Finish materials required for a residential remodel to meet the budget, the timeline of a project and a client's need for a finished product that meets their satisfaction. Kitchen Designer by trade, foodie, techie, weekend traveler for fun. For more information contact me at

One thought on “Legislative Update from the IDPC

  1. Thousands of designers just held a rally in Austin to protest the new proposed legislation in Texas.And Marilyn Roberts admitted publically – and on camera – that she knows of *no* documented cases of unlicensed interior designers harming anyone!There are also many other legislative updates. I’m starting to post them on my own blog now, along with links to the IDPC archive, where all prior newsletters can be found You might want to post this link in your Legislative Updates section as well, since at present it can’t be found on the IDPC website, but is a goldmine of information.Wendy


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