Texas House Bill 2649: What You Can Do for Thursday

YES! Senate Substitute House Bill 2649 has been rejected in its current form. We’re not out of the woods yet, though — it’s going to go to a conference committee in the next few days, maybe even today. We need to continue calls to the members of this committee.

Here’s your to-do list for today:

  1. E-mail Texas Senator Kip Averitt a constructive, professional message with suggestions on recommended courses of action. Negative, angry, and rude messages only serve to hurt our cause.
  2. E-mail Texas Senator Bob Deuell a constructive, professional message with suggestions on recommended courses of action. Negative, angry, and rude messages only serve to hurt our cause.
  3. If you’re a Texan, contact your representative with a constructive, professional message with suggestions on recommended courses of action. Negative, angry, and rude messages only serve to hurt our cause.
  4. Make sure Governor Perry knows this bill might be coming to him and ask that he veto it. We don’t want it to slide past without signature (becoming law). Phone in your opinion to (512) 463-1782. E-mail using his contact form. Twitter to @TexGov and @GovernorPerry. Fax to (512) 463-1849.

I spoke to Ashley in Deuell’s office. They have received thousands of calls, and will probably just end up taking the amendments that reference Lighting Designers out. Don’t stop calling with that news, though! We need to call until it is dead.

Update (10:50AM MT): Travis Bedard reports that when he called Deuell’s office, a staffer reported that the Governor’s Office had called and requested the language be removed. I’m adding contacting the Governor’s office back on to today’s list, since that seems to be working! Keep it up!

Update (11:30AM MT): We need Harris County (Houston) residents to get busy calling Representative Bill Callegari at (512) 463-0528. He isn’t hearing enough out of his constituents. If you have any Houston-area contacts, please ask them to put in a call!

Update (11:55AM MT): We’re taking Rep. Smith off the list. His office has heard us loud and clear (perhaps, in some cases, a little too loudly). Remember to be nice to the staffers when you talk to them. It is not their fault this language got added. Please be a good representative for Lighting Designers everywhere.

Update (12:45AM MT): Please stop all calls to Callegari‘s office. He is now off the list. Once again, remember to be nice to the staffers when you talk to them. It is not their fault this language got added. Please be a good representative for Lighting Designers everywhere.

Update (4:20PM MT): We’re hearing news that Averitt’s office is saying the language will be removed from the bill. We’re hopeful that this is true, so we’re suggesting all phone calls stop. If you wish to contact a Texas Senator or Representative, we suggest you e-mail them a constructive, professional message with suggestions on recommended courses of action.

We’ll be updating this post throughout the day as we get any news. Please post your updates in the comments!

10 replies
  1. Jeff Mizener
    Jeff Mizener says:

    I just spoke to a staffer in Rep. Bill Callegari’s office. He said “tell your people to stop calling on this, we’re trying to help but we can’t get our other work done — just stop calling about this”. Wow. I love it, I suddenly have a group: “your people”.

  2. Jeff Mizener
    Jeff Mizener says:

    Ashley in Senator Bob Deuell’s office just told me that “you have nothing to worry about, the language is being taken out of the bill.” Wow. The people have spoken and their voice was heard!

  3. Jen Jones
    Jen Jones says:

    TX Rep Wayne Smith’s chief of staff Colin Parish just called IALD President Jeff Miller : they got the message, are scheduling to meet w/ Sen. Averitt and Gov. Perry, but are now getting calls that are rude and obscene.

    Parish warns that Rep. Smith may change his mind if he gets wind that LDs are calling his office and being rude and obscene to his staff.

    What we are telling IALD members and our various contacts:

    1) Please redirect call activity to Sen. Averitt and Gov. Perry
    2) Please be POLITE with your message.

  4. James Benya
    James Benya says:

    I sent the following to Sen. Deuell:
    Thank you for the opportunity to comment. I am a professional lighting designer with 36 years of experience. I also happen to be a registered professional engineer, so the proposed legislation would not affect me nearly as many others. But I work in Texas and have a current commission to redesign portions of the University of Texas School of Architecture (because of my unique skills related to the project type) and I would be regulated by the proposed legislation.

    I can speak with authority and experience that being licensed under any of the regulated titles does NOT assure competence in the field of illumination. In fact it is possible to become a licensed professional electrical engineer throughout North America without having taken a single class or having passed a single professional test question on lighting. I have previously testified in California courts that the common practice of regulated professionals is to use lighting designs of others, often provided as sales incentives, in violation of the California Professions regulations. The proposed legislation would only encourage this practice.

    My text book (Lighting Design Basics) is being used by the National Electrical Contractors Association (NECA)and the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW)as lighting education, making them in many ways better prepared for the task than engineers and architects. But they only learn basics known well to virtually any professional lighting designer. Again, there is no evidence that they are better qualified and will better serve the public.

    I urge you to reject restrictions on lighting design now and for the foreseeable future. Reasons are:

    1. No evidence that there is a significant, regularly occurring problem being caused by lighting designers (individual malpractice notwithstanding).
    2. No evidence that lighting design needs to be regulated to improve the health, safety or welfare of the public.
    3. No evidence that the remedy provided by the legislation will provide any benefit to the public at all and may increase the costs of design services.
    4. Legislation is over-reaching with unintended consequences.

    As a Fellow of both the Illuminating Engineering Society (IES) and the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD), I can provide considerable back up to my comments and I am at your disposal should you require additional resources.

  5. Paul R Gosselin, CLVLT
    Paul R Gosselin, CLVLT says:

    It’s good to see that fellow lighting professionals are getting involved in this endeavor. I have done everything on the list without profanity or any lack of professionalism.

    Thank you for your help,
    Paul

  6. Elizabeth Ware
    Elizabeth Ware says:

    I have heard that Senator Averitt is on board, and that the provision about lighting designers will be dropped.

  7. Paul R Gosselin, CLVLT
    Paul R Gosselin, CLVLT says:

    I have learned also that the referrences to lighting design has been removed from the bill. I can’t wait to see it for myself. I wonder how long it will take before it is posted. Thanks to all who took their time to get involved in this fight.

  8. Robin Muto
    Robin Muto says:

    I sent the following to Senator Kip Averitt, Senator Deuell and Gov. Perry

    As a successful Interior Designer and Lighting Designer, I am writing to you to in defense of the Lighting Design Profession. I have a 4 year BFA in Interior Design from Rochester Institute of Technology, an accredited design program. The education I received in Lighting Design from that program was minimal and did not qualify me whatsoever to knowledgeably specify or design lighting.

    I spent many year as a practicing Interior Designer frustrated by not only my own lack of knowledge in this area, but the equally deficient knowledge that Lighting Representatives and Architects possessed in Lighting.

    I proceeded to take Lighting classes at all the major lighting educational facilities: Philips, GE, Cooper and attending Light Fair every year. I finally joined the ALA – American Lighting Association and worked for two years, studying and earning my “Lighting Specialist” designation and then finally earning my “Certified Lighting Consultant” Designation.

    I will tell you most honestly that I have learned a tremendous amount of lighting knowledge achieving these certifications. There is nothing in the NCIDQ exam that tests for lighting knowledge beyond a very basic ability to position lighting symbols in the most generic of Reflected Ceiling Plans.

    Thank you for your time and consideration

  9. Richard Davis
    Richard Davis says:

    Just curious, how has the NCQLP weighed in on this issue? Aren’t they based in Austin now? Seems if they were looking for some ‘certification’ for lighting designers, this would be the ticket.

Comments are closed.