The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) testified on behalf of its members against the interior design provisions in two proposed committee bills (PCBs) passed by the Florida House of Representatives Appropriations Committee yesterday. The first measure (H.B. 5005) deregulates certain professions and occupations, while the second bill (H.B. 5007) reduces current regulations.
Under the proposed legislation, which would remove safeguards designed to protect the consumer from the purview of the Business & Consumer Affairs laws in Florida, educated and experienced interior designers would be restricted from practicing in the full scope of their profession. These restrictions effectively eliminate competition in the commercial design market, creating a monopoly for architects in the code-based built environment and increasing the cost burden on consumers.
"ASID urges [the House Appropriations Committee]
to strike the provisions from the bill that would eliminate this important voluntary licensing program," testified ASID Director of Government and Public Affairs, Don Davis at yesterday's hearing. "If this provision is not removed and licensing is eliminated in Florida there will be a significant negative impact on consumers, students and small business owners in Florida that, in turn, will create further economic uncertainty in the state."
ASID posits that this legislation will disrupt small business and remove key safeguards vital to keeping the economy on track by abolishing regulatory programs that provide stability for business and certainty in the marketplace.
Both bills are scheduled to undergo full debate on the House floor. No date is currently scheduled.