Rapid mobilization by IALD members shut down a bill that would have unintentionally outlawed the practice of lighting design in Texas.
On May 26, the IALD was alerted about a pending House Bill 2649, a bill regulating engineering services for the design of concrete slabs. The seemingly innocuous bill contained provisions that restricted the practice of lighting design to individuals licensed as architects, landscape architects, engineers or electricians — with the unintended consequence of crippling the lighting design industry in Texas.
The IALD quickly got to work, raising awareness about the potential impact of the legislation through e-mail campaigns and even Twitter, encouraging members to call their legislators in protest of the bill. These efforts resulted in hundreds of phone calls to the offices of key Texas legislators, media coverage from more than 80 media outlets and a wave of unwelcome attention to the bill. Theatrical lighting designers other allied professionals also rallied against the bill.
The bill was modified to strike the controversial language through a conference committee of members of the state assembly and state senate, even though it had been passed by both houses of the Texas legislature. In the conference version of the bill sent to the Gov. Rick Perry on June 3, HB2649 went back to being a harmless bill about slab engineering.