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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
    [email protected]
  2. Representative Bill Callegari
    1550 Foxlake Drive, Suite 120
    Houston, TX 77084
    [email protected]
  3. Senator Kip Averitt
    400 Austin Avenue, Suite 303
    Waco, TX 76701
    [email protected]
  4. Senator Bob Deuell
    18601 LBJ Freeway, Suite 400
    Mesquite, Texas 75150
    [email protected]
  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 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!

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.