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QConnection Q2 2024 Spring Edition
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This year’s state legislative sessions have seen great progress for reasonable regulation of the interior design profession. There is a new regulated jurisdiction in the U.S., several bills supported by the Consortium for Interior Design have been carried over from the 2023 legislative session, and new legislation in Missouri has been introduced. We are also seeing national trends in board consolidation continue in Iowa, which recently updated and expanded its interior design regulation.

Nebraska has become the latest state to pass legislation regulating the interior design profession and providing independent practice rights to NCIDQ Certified interior designers. Language creating the title of “Registered Interior Designer” with independent practice rights has been amended into LB 16, a priority bill. This language was partially developed in collaboration with the Nebraska component of the American Institute of Architects at the direction of Government, Military, and Veteran Affairs Committee Chairman Senator Tom Brewer. LB 16 passed the Senate by an overwhelming margin and was signed by Governor Jim Pillen on March 5th.

State legislatures often operate on biennium or two-year terms, so bills that did not pass in the 2023 session picked up in 2024 where they left off. Several interior design regulation bills have done just that. In Alaska, legislation creating a framework for reasonable regulation has continued to progress through legislative chambers. SB 73 and HB 159, companion bills that create the title of “Registered Interior Designer” under the Alaska State Board of Registration for Architects, Engineers, and Land Surveyors (AELS), have both passed the Labor and Commerce Committees in their respective chambers and now await consideration in their chamber’s Finance Committees. Both bills appear to be gaining the support of legislators.

In Oklahoma, a bill that would change the current state title for NCIDQ Certificate holders from “Registered Commercial Interior Designer” to “Licensed Interior Designer” and update the scope of practice for “Licensed Interior Design” is set to continue the significant progress made in 2023. The bill, HB 1793, passed the House and committee in the Senate last year and is awaiting a floor vote in the Senate. This bill is the latest in a series of successful collaborations between architecture and interior design communities in Oklahoma, assisted by the Oklahoma Board of Architects, Landscape Architects, and Registered Commercial Interior Designers.

The 2024 legislative session has also seen the introduction of new legislation and the formation of new state Consortia for Interior Design. In Missouri, HB 2158 and SB 1325 have been introduced by Representative Sherri Gallick and Senator Tracy McCreery. These companion bills update the definition of the practice of registered interior design to reflect a more defined and modernized scope of practice for the profession and provide Registered Interior Designers with independent practice rights in the ability to stamp and seal interior construction plans for permitting. Notably, these bills borrow language from recently passed legislation in Illinois and Iowa, which was collaboratively developed by the architecture and interior design communities in those states. Despite this, AIA Missouri has stated its opposition to those bills.

Legislative efforts have also begun to take shape in Michigan, where chapters of the IIDA and ASID have partnered to form the Michigan Consortium for Interior Design. This group will work to introduce and support legislation that creates reasonable regulation of the interior design profession and hopes to build off the recent success and collaboration between the design communities in other states.

On the other side of the coin, national trends of consolidation and elimination of state regulatory boards continue; this year, Iowa is considering such a proposal. The recommendations stemmed from the Boards and Commissions Review Committee, created by a governmental reorganization bill signed by Governor Kim Reynolds in 2023, which recommended eliminating 111 of Iowa’s 256 boards and commissions. Among those recommended for elimination was the Iowa Examining Board of Interior Design, which was introduced as part of SF 2385. It has passed committee and now awaits consideration on the Senate floor. Advocates in Iowa are strongly opposing this bill, and CIDQ has proposed maintaining subject matter expert led oversight through a merger with the Board of Architects. A timeline for further consideration of the bill has not yet been established.

Continued engagement and support for advocacy efforts supporting reasonable regulation is critical to advancing policy that protects the public. For more information about advocacy efforts in your area or if you want to get involved, contact Matt Barusch.

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