So, a couple days ago I posted this to ask for your help and make people aware of the bills HB4937 and SB1515 that we're trying to be passed. These bills could have possibly made practicing interior design a felony in Michigan, but at the end of my post I also said, "Although, part of me does wonder if letting these bills pass would assist in the passing of the bills to license interior designers." and it looks like that's more the direction we are now heading in.
The Economic Development and Regulatory Reform Committee under Chair Senator Alan Sanborn, held a hearing on the bill, SB1515, that will step up the penalty for practicing a profession for which one is not registered or licensed. The penalty could ultimately result in a felony punishable by prison. This penalty could also be levied against schools that offer programs in violation.
Last session this bill died without a hearing. However, this time around Senator Sanborn himself sponsored this bill in the senate.
CIDR president and other members went into the hearing with the expectation that this bill would be voted out of committee. Their hope was that they would table the bill until the fate of the interior design bills clear. It is good legislation and will not concern interior designers when we are licensed. CIDR's purpose for testifying was to raise awareness with the seven senators on this committee of the consequences that could follow if the interior design legislation does not pass. Although all seven senators voted in favor of SB1515 thereby moving it to the senate floor, our mission was still accomplished,
Interior designers are exempted from this bill. Here is the exemption:
An interior designer may perform services in connection with the design of interior spaces including preparation of documents relative to finishes, systems furniture, furnishings, fixtures, equipment, and interior partitions that do not affect the building mechanical, structural, electrical, or fire safety systems.
Sadly, this section of the bill as written does not entirely protect interior designers. The majority of work an interior designer performs, particularly those practicing in commercial design, affects the building system.
When the interior design bills actually come before the senate Commerce and Tourism as well as before the senate, a huge response will be needed.