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The IIDA NY Chapter is proud to be a coalition member of IDLNY, and work together with the other coalition members on legislation efforts to further advance the rights of certified Interior Designers.

Founded in 1984, IDLNY is the governmental arm for New York State interior designers; whose mission is to inform and educate the New York legislative and regulatory bodies, interior designers and consumers about the issues confronting the interior design profession. In addition IDLNY continually monitors legislation that could affect the practice of interior design and serves as a representative coalition for this process. Primary members of the organizations that made up the coalition are: ASID New York Metro, ASID Upstate C/E, IIDA NY Chapter, The Decorators Club, and the schools and colleges that are part of NY11. IDLNY’s mission is to advance, promote and protect the right to practice Interior Design in the State of New York.

New YorkState– Current Legislation:

Current title act legislation in New York State under article 161 regulates the use of the title “certified interior designer” only to those individuals who have passed the NYS requirements for certification. For information on Article 161 please visit: http://www.op.nysed.gov/prof/id/article161.htm

An Overview of IDLNY’s Activities 2000 – 2010:

Since the late 1990’s IDLNY was focused on legislation know euphemistically as, “Owning the Title, Interior Designer” that would mandate that any and all interior designers in the state who wanted to offer their services to the public under the title interior designer would need to become licensed by the State Education Department, the same state agency that regulates the design professions: architecture, engineering, landscape architecture and surveying.

IDLNY also focused its activities on the issue of the unfair and discriminatory sales tax on interior design services that was imposed in 1990 during a State of New York Budget crisis. IDLNY was behind the introduction of two major initiatives – legislation that would repeal the sales tax on interior design services and legislation that would make the voluntary title act – Certified Interior Design – into a mandatory title act.

In 2003, IDLNY retained a lobbying firm in Albany to represent the interests of interior designers and they were instrumental in having legislation introduced in the Assembly and the Senate that would repeal the sales tax and create a mandatory title act. Bills were alive for two years in the legislative cycle and in 2004, the title act legislation passed unanimously in both houses of the legislature, only to be vetoed by then Governor George Pataki. The title 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.

With a switch in Governors in 2007, IDLNY again tried to pass the title act legislation and again the same result happened – passage in both house of the legislature and a veto by then Governor Elliot Spitzer. 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”. Three strikes and we were out.

While the energy of IDLNY was focused on the title act, the move to repeal the sales tax on interior design services was also being advanced during the period 2003 -2007, through meetings with senior staff at the Department of Tax and Finance. IDLNY staff developed a report that analyzed the impact of the sales tax repeal on state and local governments and while our numbers were considerably less then the state’s projections and while there was encouragement from state policy makers, the state’s fiscal crisis overwhelmed the argument for repeal as every tax dollar was needed to keep New York afloat.

The IDLNY Board decided in 2008, that since two governors had vetoed the title act legislation and both had indicated that we needed to promote certification as a way to differentiate “qualified” interior designers as a class of providers within the field of interior design, our focus would be to promote legislation that would recognize CID’s by giving them certain privileges that non-certified interior designers could not have. This decision led to the development of the current pieces of legislation.

Current IDLNY Activities (as of September 2011):

The experiences of the past decade have allowed the IDLNY mission to mature and expand. The current board has been expanded to comprise a wider range of stakeholders than in the past, representing the core supporters of each coalition member, educators, students, and new practitioners. IDLNY is currently finalizing a new strategic plan for the next three to five years and will be ready to release this information in the coming months. In addition IDLNY is in the process of reworking and expanding internal processes with newly formed committees tasked with ensuring IDLNY’s newly minted goals.

Based on the hard work set in place in the last two years, in 2011 IDLNY was able to introduce a bill that would allow certified interior designers to become principles and/or partners in a professional design corporation similar to the language that 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 ). AB6933 was introduced in the Senate and Assembly on 1/5/2011. This bill is currently awaiting an amendment that clarifies that it only relates to certified interior designers and will be reintroduced next session.

There is also a lot of current discussion revolving around enhancing the value of certified interior designers work in a codes based environment. There is a lot of exciting activity happening at IDLNY right now. Please stay tuned and we update you quarterly on everything that IIDA NY has accomplished in conjunction with IDLNY.

Contribute: Financial support for IDLNY comes almost entirely from organizational dues from the coalition partners – ASID NY Metro, ASID Upstate C/E, IIDA NY Chapter, The Decorators’ Club, grants from ASID National and IIDA International and fund raising events. Want to contribute? Please visit IDLNY at www.idlny.org

Get Involved! Want to learn how you can contribute? Please contact Katherine Plunkett, IIDA NY’s VP of GRA at katherine_plunkett@gensler.com

View the IIDA Legislative Video – Discover how Interior Designers affect the health, safety and welfare of our community. Click here for the online Flash video.