Texas almost passed legislation at the end of May that, according to the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD), would have made the lighting design field in Texas extinct. According to the IALD, the legislation would have restricted the practice of lighting design to members of other professions and trades, such as architects, engineers and electricians.
On May 28, Texas State Sen. Kip Averitt’s chief of staff called to inform the IALD that the “lighting designer” language in Texas House Bill 2649 would be withdrawn and replaced with language requesting a study by the Texas Department of Licensing & Regulation of the feasibility of licensing in the industry. Sen. Averitt was most directly responsible for introducing the amendment language at the committee level that would ban the lighting design industry in the state.
The IALD credited the reversal to the call to action it issued to the architectural and lighting communities. According to Jeff Miller, IALD president, the association will continue to work on the Texas state legislature and executive branches on the legislation.
According to the IALD, the economic impact of the proposed legislation would have been extensive: many lighting designers practice in Texas, and hundreds of projects in the state depend on professional lighting designers. However, electrical contractors may have benefited from the legislation’s passage.