Wow. This is terrible. Yesterday, I received an email from IALD about Texas HB2649/SB2414 (the House and Senate versions are identical), “An Act Relating to the Regulation and Practice of Engineering,” which requires professionals who do lighting design to be a licensed electrician, architect, interior designer, landscape architect or engineer.

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The bill passed the House 139-0 on May 7 and the Senate 31-0 on May 27. Click here to see the steps in the legislative process and where this legislation stands now. The next step in the process is for it to be sent to Governor Rick Perry to be signed into law.

The legislation defines “lighting design services” as “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.”

This requirement constitutes a third of the bill.

If signed into law, this requirement will be come effective September 1, 2009.

IALD stated that 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 … We believe that the Texas Legislature does not mean to outlaw an entire profession, but that is the impact of the proposed legislation.”

IALD is hoping the Texas Senate Business & Commerce Committee will remove language restrictive to the profession as a “technical adjustment” when the bill is prepared for the Governor’s signature, or the eventual veto of the bill by the Governor should no changes in language be made.

Here’s what IALD says we can do:

1. IF YOU ONLY HAVE TIME TO CONTACT ONE PERSON, call Texas Rep. Wayne Smith at +1 512 463 0733. Rep. Smith initiated the bill in the Texas State House of Representatives without the language restricting the lighting design profession, and/or email him and let him know your opinion on the bill before it goes into committee Friday evening.

2. Since the Senate added the Lighting Designer language after the House approved the bill, the House must review the bill once more. If you live in Texas, contact your representative or just email them all at once to make sure they know that the lighting designer language impacts too many people. Twitter to Texas Representatives: @aaronpena, @AllenFletcher, @RepHughes, @Dan_Flynn, @dangattis, @TXRepErodriguez, @gfcoleman, @jddeshotel, @SpeakerStraus, @RepHancock, @lhbcampaign, @MarcVeasey, @MikeVillarreal, @TMF116.

3. Call Texas Senator Bob Deuell, Senate sponsor of the bill, at 512.463.0102 and/or email him and let him know your opinion on the bill ASAP.

4. Call Texas Senator Kip Averitt, who introduced the amendments to the bill specific to lighting designers, at 512.463.0122 and/or email him and let him know your opinion on the bill ASAP.

5. Make sure Texas State Governor Perry knows this bill is coming to him and ask that he veto it. Phone in your opinion to 512.463.1782. Fax to 512.463.1849. Email using his contact form. Twitter to @TexGov and @GovernorPerry.

Below is the specific language in the legislation, or you can click here.

SECTION 3. Subchapter G, Chapter 1001, Occupations Code, is
amended by adding 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.
SECTION 4. Section 1001.401, Occupations Code, is amended
by adding Subsection (e) to read as follows:
(e) A license holder is not required to provide or hold any
additional certification, other than a license issued under this
chapter, to seal an engineering plan, specification, plat, or
report.
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.