Dear Fellow Interior Design Colleagues,
Over the past several months IDAF, along with ASID and IIDA state and national representatives have worked to prevent the deregulation of interior designers in the state of Florida. The 2017 House Bill 7047, would have harmed all of Florida’s interior designers regardless of licensure. The language of the bill would have banned ANY interior designer from practicing interior design on commercial projects unless they were licensed to practice architecture. As a result, thousands of interior designers would have lost their jobs, businesses and the ability to practice commercial interior design!
During this time interior designers across the state rallied together to bring to the attention of our legislative representatives a personal perspective on what deregulation would mean to our profession. We spoke to the Commerce Committee, and met personally with many House and Senate representatives. Although the goal with this bill was to increase jobs in Florida, it was heartening to see the affect our presentations had on them. They listened and they heard us.
On April 6th a group of interior design representatives traveled once again to Tallahassee, this time to sit in on a Commerce Committee meeting where the bill would have its first vote. It was during this meeting that Rep. Halsey Beshears, pulled several professions from the bill including interior design in what is known as a strike through bill.
On Wednesday, April 26th, the Florida House of Representatives approved their deregulation bill, HB 7047 by Representative Halsey Beshears, (R-Monticello), by a vote of 86 in favor and 30 against. The Senate version of this bill, SB 802 sponsored by Senator Kathleen Passidomo (R-Naples), was approved April 28th, with 3 amendments to the bill making it similar to the house bill. The senate bill never contained any language regarding deregulation of interior designers. Both bills did contain language that eliminated the requirement that interior designers, architects and landscape architects obtain a separate business license in addition to their own individual license. For now we continue as a regulated profession.
We appreciate all the representatives that showed their support for interior designers during this process, however, the effort to deregulate will continue. We must be proactive in contacting our local representatives and asking that they vote against future bills that might target our profession. We as interior designers along with vendors and those who benefit from our profession must begin and/or continue to support IDAF financially.
Thank you in advance for your support of your Florida state coalition. We will continue to work on protecting and promoting the profession of interior design in the state of Florida on your behalf as we have done so since 1988.
Cynthia David, President, IDAF
Paul Cooper, Treasurer
Suzanne Suttles, Secretary
Marie Jones, Communications Director