History of IDLNY

1990 - Present

Since the passage of the Title Act in the late 1990’s, IDLNY has made a concerted effort to expand industry representation participating in its organization, as well as to reach out to the larger design community. IDLNY has produced forums and Town Hall meetings to introduce, share and debate practice act concepts, versus modified title act concepts with interior designers throughout the State. Based on industry feedback and discussions, modifications to the IDLNY strategic plan were made in the beginning of the millennium in response to those debates.

The course of activities undertaken by IDLNY from the late 1990’s through 2010 was determined at a long-term strategic planning session held in early March 1997, near Albany, New York. The strategic plan developed during this three-day retreat established a broad set of objectives, which focused on increasing the number of certified interior designers in New York State through a series of legislative and programmatic activities. The plan also established goals to strengthen the political influence of interior designers in the halls of the New York State legislature. The plan laid out a strategy that encouraged IDLNY to have a statewide presence and represent a broader base of stakeholders. Given that update, the organizations making up the coalition now include:

  • ASID NY Metro
  • ASID Upstate and Canada East Chapter
  • IIDA NY Chapter
  • The Decorators Club, Inc.
  • IIDA National
  • ASID National
  • Design Firms
  • Educational Institutions
  • Emerging Professionals
  • Individual Practitioners
  • Industry
  • Students and Educators of Interior Design

Since the passage of the Interior Design Title Act, that created the criteria used to define interior design as a profession in New York State, IDLNY has focused much of its time, energy and resources into the development of multiple draft bills to submit to the legislature.

One such draft bill would mandate that all interior designers who wanted to offer their services to the public in the State of New York would be required to become licensed professionals. This licensing would be governed by the New York State Education Department, the same state agency that regulates the other design professions of architecture, engineering, landscape architecture and surveying. This legislation became known euphemistically as “owning the title interior designer”.

Another draft bill attempted to address the issue of unfair and discriminatory sales tax on interior design services, which was imposed in 1990 during a State of New York Budget crisis. In 2003, IDLNY retained a lobbying firm in Albany to represent the interests of interior designers. Together they were instrumental in introducing legislation in the Assembly and the Senate that supported the repeal of the interior design sales tax and proposed to create a Practice Act.

In 2004, a version of the Practice Act legislation passed unanimously in both houses of the legislature, only to be vetoed by then Governor George Pataki. Repeal of the interior design service sales tax was not acceptable to the legislators. Link to veto message 253

In 2005, the proposed Practice Act legislation was reintroduced for the 2005-2006 legislative cycle with the same result – unanimous passage in the Senate and Assembly and again a veto by Governor Pataki. Link to veto message 103

In 2007, the Governorship changed, and IDLNY worked to have the proposed Practice Act legislation passed a third time with the same results – passage in both house of the legislature and a veto by then Governor, David Patterson. The language of his veto was the same as that of his predecessor; that the voluntary certified interior design designation was sufficient to differentiate CID’s as a “class of interior designers that meet a high standard of professionalism and they have, through licensure, demonstrated experience, skill and training”. Link to veto message 36

The move to repeal the sales tax on interior design services was simultaneously being advanced during the period 2003-2007, with numerous meetings with senior staff at the Department of Tax and Finance. The State’s fiscal crisis overwhelmed the argument for repeal.

In 2008 a shift occurred in IDLNY’s approach to an interior design Practice Act in the State of New York. Embracing the commentary from the three Governor’s vetoes, the IDLNY Board recognized that it was necessary to promote certification as a way to differentiate “qualified” interior designers, or CIDs, as a class of providers within the field of interior design. It was determined that subsequent legislative efforts in Albany would promote legislation to recognize Certified Interior Designers (CIDs) by providing them with professional privileges that non-certified interior designers were not qualified (by education, experience and examination) to hold.

This decision led to the development of three concept pieces of legislation:

  1. A bill that would add interior design as a discreet biddable service to the State Finance Law in the section that addresses State and local government bids for architectural and engineering services; and which would add Certified Interior Designer (CID) as “qualified bidders” under the definition that currently allows licensed architects and engineers to be eligible to bid to provide these services to state and local governments.
  2. A bill that would allow Certified Interior Designers (CIDs) to become principles and/or partners in a multi-disciplinary professional design corporation, employing legal language similar to that which currently allows architects, engineers, landscape architects and land surveyors to join together as partners or principles in a Professional Corporation (PC) or a Limited Liability Corporation (LLC).
  3. A bill that would enhance the meaning of the current law (the New York State Interior Design Title Act that was passed in 1990) to allow Certified Interior Designers (CIDs) working within the allowable scope of practice already defined by New York State law, to sign and seal their working documents and specifications to be submitted into the building departments for permitting purposes, thus creating a revised proposed Practice Act.

A fourth piece of legislation was also proposed to create a “window of opportunity” for interior designers who had been in practice fifteen or more years to be able to become New York State Certified Interior Designers (CIDs) based on their experience only. Interior design professionals falling into this category would not have to provide evidence of appropriate education or pass the NCIDQ examination. This legislative concept was designed to provide a path to certification for as many experienced interior designers as possible, so that they too would be eligible to take advantage of the benefits provided by being CID. This proposed legislation change was not accepted by the legislature.

IDLNY has concentrated its efforts and activities in recent years on the submittal and passage of the revised proposed Practice Act that would allow Certified Interior Designers (CIDs) to use signing authority that they have under existing law to stamp and seal documents that are submitted to public officials working within the allowable scope of practice already defined by New York State law. The bill was previously submitted to both houses of the New York State legislature in April 2013 and is currently being prepared for reintroduction to the state legislature.

For copies of these various historical submittals and the most recent submittals please see Legislation Page.

History of IDLNY 1984 - 1990

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