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News on Texas House Bill 2649 – Conference Committee Recommends LD Language Removal

The Conference Committee on Texas House Bill 2649 met yesterday and recommended that the Senate language that would severely impact Lighting Designers in the state of Texas be removed. The Committee recommended that Sections 3, 5, and 6 of the bill be reverted to the House version of the bill, which contains no Lighting Designer provisions. Read the full report.

Please be sure to write thank yous to the Senators and Representatives involved in this step of the fight against the Lighting Designer amendments in HB 2649. Be nice in your emails – be professional. Lighting Design is now on the legislative radar, and we’re fighting for the future our art and craft here, so act professionally. You represent us all.

Wayne Smith:  Wayne.Smith@house.state.tx.us
Doc Anderson:  Charles.Anderson@house.state.tx.us
Bill Callegari:  bill.callegari@house.state.tx.us
Patricia Harless:  Patricia.Harless@house.state.tx.us
Mark Homer:  Mark.Homer@house.state.tx.us
Bob Deuell:  Bob.Deuell@senate.state.tx.us
Mike Jackson:  Mike.Jackson@senate.state.tx.us
Eddie Lucio, Jr:  Eddie.Lucio@senate.state.tx.us
Kirk Watson:  Kirk.Watson@senate.state.tx.us
Jeff Wentworth:  Jeff.Wentworth@senate.state.tx.us

News on Texas House Bill 2649 – Committee Selected

There’s a bit of news on Texas House Bill 2649 – it is official that the House refused to concur on the bill, and that a committee of conferees has been established to view and study the bill.  As of May 29, 2009 the bill has a House Committee of five members – Wayne Smith (Chair), Doc Anderson, Bill Callegari, Patricia Harless, and Mark Homer.  The Senate Committee is comprised of Senators Bob Deuell (Chair), Mike Jackson, Eddie Lucio, Jr., Kirk Watson, and Jeff Wentworth

I am going to suggest that we email the members of the committee and let them know your constructive suggestions.  I got a message in the middle of this whole thing from Wayne Smith’s office telling me that his female staffers were a bit freaked, as people were calling with very violent attitudes.  There’s no need for that, act like a professional and contain yourself.  Their staffers didn’t make the bill, so act like a human being.

I don’t think that having regulation in our industry is a bad thing; but it needs to be in our industry, and not lumped in as something else.  This idea needs more than a few legislators sitting around making decisions about an industry in which I assume they know little.

Email for the current House Committee on Texas House Bill 2649:

Wayne Smith:  Wayne.Smith@house.state.tx.us
Doc Anderson:  Charles.Anderson@house.state.tx.us
Bill Callegari:  bill.callegari@house.state.tx.us
Patricia Harless:  Patricia.Harless@house.state.tx.us
Mark Homer:  Mark.Homer@house.state.tx.us

Email for the current Senate Committee on Texas House Bill 2649:

Bob Deuell:  Bob.Deuell@senate.state.tx.us
Mike Jackson:  Mike.Jackson@senate.state.tx.us
Eddie Lucio, Jr:  Eddie.Lucio@senate.state.tx.us
Kirk Watson:  Kirk.Watson@senate.state.tx.us
Jeff Wentworth:  Jeff.Wentworth@senate.state.tx.us

Be nice in your emails – be professional.  We’re fighting for our art and craft here, so act professionally.  You represent us all.

Texas House Bill 2649: What You Can Do for Friday

Things are looking positive – Senator Averitt’s office has agreed to pull the language about lighting designers out of the bill.  Now we need to make sure that he has solid, helpful, positive suggestions as its backing.  Regulation in our industry isn’t a bad thing, but it needs to be a studied, calculated process.  Also, this still isn’t over until it’s official, no matter what is said.

To-Do List for Friday: WRITE Thank You Notes

Let’s stay off the phones, those poor staffers could use a break. Please send a polite thank you e-mail or note to the five men who were the targets of our campaign. We bombarded their offices with phone calls and basically made it impossible to get any work done. Their efforts removed the offending amendments from an otherwise important bill. If you feel like adding commentary to your thanks, be sure is constructive, professional, and offers suggestions for future developments if Lighting Design does fall under legislative purview again.

  1. Representative Wayne Smith
    909 Decker Drive, Suite 104
    Baytown, TX 77520
    Wayne.Smith@house.state.tx.us
  2. Representative Bill Callegari
    1550 Foxlake Drive, Suite 120
    Houston, TX 77084
    bill.callegari@house.state.tx.us
  3. Senator Kip Averitt
    400 Austin Avenue, Suite 303
    Waco, TX 76701
    Kip.Averitt@senate.state.tx.us
  4. Senator Bob Deuell
    18601 LBJ Freeway, Suite 400
    Mesquite, Texas 75150
    Bob.Deuell@senate.state.tx.us
  5. Governor Rick Perry
    Office of the Governor
    P.O. Box 12428
    Austin, Texas 78711-2428

Some folks to follow on Twitter:
@swamicandela @travisbedard @DownWithDragons @IALD

I would like to personally thank:

  • Travis Bedard, who was my ear to the ground in Austin
  • Richard Cadena, who went in and talked to the Senators
  • John Baker, who brought the bill to my attention
  • Charles Thompson, who was paying attention and caught the LD language before it was too late
  • The IALD, for being the IALD and supporting the rights of lighting designers and distributing the material we’ve put forth to inform everyone about the bill
  • JimOnLight readers, for spreading the word and making an impressive show of force in just 48 hours

I hope you’ll keep continue to read Jim On Light – I love these businesses of light and lighting so much that when we’re able to shape the way they progress, it is the most moving thing ever.  We’ll let you know when any other lighting legislation works its way to the books – change things for the better.

Texas House Bill 2649: What You Can Do

If Texas House Bill 2649 becomes law, the implications for Lighting Designers could spread beyond the Texas borders. We need your help making sure the Texas government knows that the Lighting Designer amendments go too far.

What can you do? Check out our Thursday list of to-dos for the latest updates and tasks

A yahoo group has started up to keep tabs on developments. Join No HB2649.

We’re updating this list throughout the day as we learn more.

UPDATE, Wednesday, May 27, 2009, 4:05pm EST:
I just got off the phone with Rep. Smith’s office, and the secretary told me that there have been a ton of calls today – and that Rep. Smith is hopefully going to be meeting with Senator Kip Averitt about getting the lighting designer verbage removed.  Keep the calls coming to these people, everyone!

UPDATE, Wednesday, May 27, 2009, 4:16pm EST:
Just got off of the phone with Senator Kip Averitt’s office – Shelley from the office told me that she has gotten a ton of calls today about this bill, and that we should all be calling Representative Smith’s office and asking him to NOT CONCUR with HOUSE BILL 2649.

UPDATE, Thursday, May 28:
Check out our Thursday list of to-dos for the latest updates and tasks

Attention, Lighting Designers! YOU MUST READ Texas House Bill 2649

Everybody, this bill is scheduled for a vote TOMORROW.  Texas House Bill 2649 puts us out of business, folks.

I just got information from John Baker in Houston about Texas House Bill 2649.  I don’t know what your feelings are on this, but it deserves a read.  IALD sent out a letter about voting this down – I have copied both the verbage in the bill and the letter from IALD below.

First and foremost, this bill is going to make it impossible for lighting designers who work in Texas to work on projects without being licensed as either an electrician, architect, engineer, landscape architect, or interior designer.  From the Texas House Bill 2649:

Section 1001.3011 to read as follows:
Sec. 1001.3011.  LIGHTING DESIGN; LICENSE OR REGISTRATION REQUIRED. (a) A person may not perform or offer to perform lighting design services unless the person is:  (1)licensed as an engineer under this chapter;(2) registered as an architect, landscape architect, or interior designer under Subtitle B, Title 6; or (3) licensed under Chapter 1305.  (b) In this section, “lighting design services” means the preparation of plans and specifications that depict the placement and direction of illumination of mounted or installed lighting fixtures in the interior or exterior of a building, including the specification of bulbs, reflectors, lens, louvers, baffles, and other hardware. The term does not include the preparation of shop drawings or other directions from a manufacturer for the installation or operation of lighting fixtures.

Also, read this:

SECTION 5.  Subchapter F, Chapter 1051, Occupations Code, is amended by adding Section 1051.308 to read as follows:  Sec. 1051.308.  LIGHTING DESIGN; REGISTRATION OR LICENSE REQUIRED. (a) A person may not perform or offer to perform lighting design services unless the person is:  (1) registered as an architect, landscape architect, or interior designer under this subtitle; (2) licensed as an engineer under Chapter 1001; or (3) licensed under Chapter 1305.   (b) In this section, “lighting design services” means the preparation of plans and specifications that depict the placement and direction of illumination of mounted or installed lighting fixtures in the interior or exterior of a building, including the specification of bulbs, reflectors, lens, louvers, baffles, and other hardware. The term does not include the preparation of shop drawings or other directions from a manufacturer for the installation or operation of lighting fixtures.  SECTION 6. Subchapter D, Chapter 1305, Occupations Code, is amended by adding Section 1305.1511 to read as follows:  Sec. 1305.1511. LIGHTING DESIGN; LICENSE OR REGISTRATION REQUIRED. (a) A person may not perform or offer to perform lighting design services unless the person is:  (1) licensed under this chapter;  (2) licensed as an engineer under Chapter 1001; or  (3) registered as an architect, landscape architect, or interior designer under Subtitle B, Title 6.  (b) In this section, “lighting design services” means the preparation of plans and specifications that depict the placement and direction of illumination of mounted or installed lighting fixtures in the interior or exterior of a building, including the specification of bulbs, reflectors, lens, louvers, baffles, and other hardware. The term does not include the preparation of shop drawings or other directions from a manufacturer for the installation or operation of lighting fixtures.

A letter from IALD:

INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF LIGHTING DESIGNERS IALD STATEMENT ON TEXAS HOUSE BILL 2649

The Texas State Legislature is about to consider legislation that will have the unintended consequence of outlawing an entire profession-lighting design. The International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) strongly urges all members of the Texas Legislature to drop this legislation, Texas House Bill 2649.

Slated for a vote on May 27, 2009, the legislation has been drafted without any input from lighting designers, and restricts the practice of lighting design to members of other professions and trades, such as architects, engineers, and electricians. There are no provisions in the legislation for establishing a licensing standard for lighting designers.

Members of the IALD abide by a strict code of ethics and bring both engineering knowledge and artistic sensibilities to bringing out the best in buildings and outdoor spaces. IALD professional lighting designers dedicate their careers exclusively to the art and science of lighting. There is no substitute for their level of expertise and professionalism.

The economic impact of the proposed legislation will be extensive: dozens of lighting designers practice in Texas, and hundreds of projects in the state depend on professional lighting designers for their full architectural expression.
We believe that the Texas Legislature does not mean to outlaw an entire profession, but that is the impact of the proposed legislation. Please vote against House Bill 2649.

Ok, lighting designers.  CALL THESE PEOPLE EARLY TOMORROW and let them know that you do not approve:

Rep. Wayne Smith  512. 463.0733
Sen. Bob Deuell  512.463.0122
Sen. Kip Averitt  512.463.0102

The current status of the bill for Texas House Bill 2649 is here.

The text of Texas House Bill 2649 is here.

Look up your local Texas person here.  MAKE SURE you do this step, this is who’s gonna vote!

Act quickly on this one, it gets voted on tomorrow, May 27, 2009.