Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts has recognized the interior design profession by signing into law the Interior Design Bidding Bill H. 430, which establishes the right of designers to bid as the prime contractor on state contracts. The new law will take effect on November 21.
“This is a monumental victory not only for members of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), but also for the profession as a whole,” said Don Davis, ASID Vice President of Government and Public Affairs. “This law allows designers to expand their businesses, utilize their skills to make a lasting impact on state-initiated design and construction projects, and to benefit the state’s economy.”
Massachusetts State Capitol Building
ASID and its members played a pivotal role in advocating for this legislation, which removes limiting and outdated restrictions that had prevented Massachusetts interior designers from competing for code-impacted design work in the state.
According to Davis, Massachusetts was the only state specifically forbidding designers to bid on these types of projects; however, 29 other states have similar laws and the US General Services Administration (GSA) has the exact same provisions for the federal procurement process.
“This legislation marks a monumental victory for the interior design profession,” said ASID President and CEO Randy Fiser. “ASID has been working toward designer rights in Massachusetts for 25 years. The passage of the Interior Design Bidding Law is an important first step and one we hope will lay the groundwork for other states in the region to follow suit.”
“We have been working on rights for designers in Massachusetts for almost 25 years,” added Davis. “Until now the legislation was always proposed in tandem with a full practice act affecting designers rights to practice on commercial as well as state projects. This is the first time we separated the bidding rights bill.”
Beginning November 21, any designer who meets the criteria set out in the legislation may bid on state projects in Massachusetts. Requirements include having an interior design degree and certification by the Council for Interior Design Qualification (CIDQ). The Massachusetts Division of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance, which monitors state buildings and facilities, determines qualifications based on a designer’s experience and portfolio.
According to Davis, no other states have started pushing for similar legislation, but many are in the process of pursuing regulations on practices and taxation.