SENATE DOCKET, NO. 608 FILED ON: 1/18/2017
SENATE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . No. 132
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Barbara A. L'Italien
To the Honorable Senate and House of Representatives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in General
The undersigned legislators and/or citizens respectfully petition for the adoption of the accompanying bill:
An Act relative to advancing the profession of interior design.
Barbara A. L'Italien
Second Essex and Middlesex
Cynthia Stone Creem
First Middlesex and Norfolk
Joan B. Lovely
Brendan P. Crighton
Ryan C. Fattman
Worcester and Norfolk
Bradley H. Jones, Jr.
Keiko M. Orrall
Jason M. Lewis
William N. Brownsberger
Second Suffolk and Middlesex
Jennifer L. Flanagan
Worcester and Middlesex
James B. Eldridge
Middlesex and Worcester
Joseph A. Boncore
First Suffolk and Middlesex
SENATE DOCKET, NO. 608 FILED ON: 1/18/2017
SENATE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . No. 132
By Ms. L'Italien, a petition (accompanied by bill, Senate, No. 132) of Barbara A. L'Italien, Cynthia S. Creem, Joan B. Lovely, Brendan P. Crighton and other members of the General Court for legislation relative to advancing the profession of interior design. Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure.
The Commonwealth of Massachusetts
In the One Hundred and Ninetieth General Court
An Act relative to advancing the profession of interior design.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:
SECTION 1: Chapter 112 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting, after section 265, the following new section:
Section 266: Registered Interior Designer
(1) “Board” means the board of registration of interior designers established by section one hundred and nine A of chapter thirteen.
(2) "Building" means an enclosed structure, including the structural, mechanical, and electrical systems, utility services, and other facilities required for the structure, that has human occupancy or habitation as its principal purpose and is subject to the commonwealth’s building code or an approved code.
(3) “Certificate of registration” means the certificate of registration, issued by the board every two years.
(4) “Interior alteration or construction” means one or more of the following types of projects for an interior space or area within a proposed or existing building or structure that involves or includes, but is not limited to modification, renovation, remodeling, rehabilitation, historic preservation, reconstruction, restoration, additions, construction or improvements, the execution of which shall change or alter one or more of the proposed or existing:
(a) design function or layout of rooms;
(b) physical state of permanent fixtures or equipment;
(c) interior space or area, especially in any way to require verification of code compliance with building codes, fire codes, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or accessibility laws or guidelines required by the commonwealth or local jurisdiction;
(d) interior office systems furniture;
(e) non-structural elements, as defined by this Act, of the interior space or area.
(5) "International Building Code" means the edition of the International Building Code, issued by the International Code Council, most recently adopted by the state in the eighth edition of the State Building Code.
(6) "Interior technical submissions" means the designs, drawings, specifications, studies, and other technical reports and calculations that are signed and sealed by a registered interior designer and comply with applicable building codes, ordinances, laws, and regulations and
furthermore establish the scope of the interior design project to be constructed and or work to be performed, the standard of quality for materials, skilled labor, equipment, and construction systems.
(7) “Licensed design professional” means a person who is licensed by the commonwealth in order to perform the practice of architecture as defined in section sixty A of chapter 112 and or the practice of professional engineering as defined in section eighty one D of chapter 112.
(8) “Practice of Interior Design” means the provision of professional services listed in this definition that uphold the health, safety, and welfare of the public and or the functional and aesthetic requirements, including accessibility and life safety, of an existing or proposed interior space;
(a) are required to carry out an interior alteration or construction of an interior space or area within a proposed or existing building or structure.
(b) professional services as referenced in this definition are the practice of interior design as follows; (i) executing all elements of design theory, programming, planning, pre-design analysis, conceptual design and including but not limited to; materials and finish selection and furniture, fixture and equipment selection; (ii) interior construction documentation; (iii) interior technical submissions as defined by this Act; (iv) modification of existing building construction so as to alter the number of persons for which the egress systems for the building are designed; (v) the design for fabrication of non-structural elements for construction within interior spaces; (vi) responsibility to review, analyze, evaluate, interpret codes and standards for applicability including, but not limited to; the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or accessibility laws or guidelines required by the commonwealth or local jurisdiction; National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) publications and guidelines adopted by the commonwealth or a local government affecting life safety such as fire and or life safety codes; International Building Code (IBC) adopted by the commonwealth or a local government that directly or indirectly affect the practice of interior design for an interior alteration and construction of an interior space; (vii) project administration and representation;
(c) that which is defined in the aforementioned, but shall not mean, involve or include; (i) professional services performed by licensed design professionals that focus on; (ii) load bearing walls, columns, or other load bearing elements of a building or structure identified as essential to its structural integrity and or the structural envelope; (iii) structural changes or alterations to previously determined building core enclosures; (iv) any access point to the structure used for the purpose of entering or exiting the building; (v) alterations to building entry ingress or egress conditions that constitute horizontal or vertical fire exit ways; (vi) fire compartmentalization; (vii) requirements for mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and fire protection systems; (viii) areas of refuge, including any access point to the structure, used for the purpose of entering or exiting the building, the approach walk, the vertical access leading to the entrance platform, and the entry doors or gates and their associated hardware of a proposed or existing building or structure; (ix) routine maintenance, minor mechanical and electrical systems alterations, and replacement of plumbing piping or valves;
(9) “Registered interior designer” means an individual who has received registration granted by the board on behalf of the commonwealth by meeting the requirements for registration as described in this chapter. A person represents himself or herself to be a "registered interior designer" within the meaning of this Act if he or she holds himself or herself out to the public by any title incorporating the words "registered interior designer" or any title that includes the words "registered interior design".
(B) Requirement for Registration
Any individual who has passed the interior design examination administered by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ) may use the title “Registered Interior Designer.” Such individual shall, upon satisfactory completion of the aforementioned requirements, send to the office of director of professional licensure a copy of documentation of the proof of passage of said exam, of graduation and completion of said program, and any certifications awarded to said individual by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification, with said individual’s name, present mailing address and email address, and any changes there to as such changes occur. Such documentation shall be placed on file in the office of said director.
(C) Application; Renewal; Re-Activation
Each applicant seeking to become a registered interior designer shall pay to the board, upon filing his or her original application a fee to be determined annually by the commissioner of administration. After verification of the passage of the NCIDQ and receipt of the application fee, the board shall issue a certificate of registration for a period of two (2) years. The director of the division of professional licensure, or his designee, as the custodian of any documentation required by this section shall enforce the provisions of said section and may use said documentation, or any lack thereof, as he, or his designee, deems necessary, notwithstanding any General or special Law, or rule or regulation to the contrary.
A registered interior designer shall be required to continue learning and stay abreast of current knowledge in the profession by completing continuing education units (CEUs).
(1) Renewal – An applicant for renewal of registration shall submit proof, as determined by the board, and proof of having completed no less than 20 hours of CEUs from at least one board approved continuing education provider during the term of the registration.
(2) Reactivation – An individual with an expired registration of more than one (1) year seeking to reactivate said registration shall be required to meet the same continuing education requirements as individuals applying for renewal.
It shall be unlawful for any individual, who is not so qualified by reason of having passed such examination to use the title “Registered Interior Designer” or any title or device indicating that an individual is a “registered interior designer.”
Nothing herein shall prohibit any person from practicing interior design or using the title “interior designer,” “interior decorator” or the like, so long as the word “registered” is not used in conjunction with the word “interior designer.”
Nothing herein shall authorize any individual to engage in the practice of architecture, engineering, or any other occupation regulated under the laws of the commonwealth.
Any individual violating the provisions of this section shall be punished via a fine not to exceed by a fine of not more than $500 by the division of professional licensure or by imprisonment in a jail or house of correction for not more than 3 months, or both.
(D) Sign, Seal, and Submission of Interior Technical Submissions by a registered interior designer
Every registered interior designer with the Commonwealth shall have a seal of a design authorized by the board. All interior technical submissions covering the scope of the practice of interior design prepared by a registered interior designer or under his or her supervision shall be stamped with the impression of such seal. A registered interior designer shall impress his or her seal on any interior technical submissions if his or her certificate of registration is in full force and if he or she was the author of such plans and specifications or in responsible charge of their preparation. Furthermore, upon a registered interior designer affixing their signature and seal to said interior technical submissions, they shall have the authority to submit them to a governmental authority for the purpose of obtaining requisite permits for an interior alteration or construction project.
No registered interior designer shall affix, or permit to be affixed, his or her registration number, seal or signature to any study, plan, specification, drawing, report or other document which depicts work which he or she is not competent to perform.
A registered interior designer under the laws of the commonwealth shall not sign and seal interior technical submissions that were not prepared by or under his or her responsible control except that:
(1) The registered interior designer may sign and seal those portions of the interior technical submissions that were prepared by or under the responsible control of other individuals who are also registered interior designers, if the registered interior designer has reviewed in whole or in part such portions and has either coordinated their preparation or integrated them into his or her work;
(2) A partner or corporate officer of a business entity registered in the commonwealth who is either a registered interior designer or another licensed design professional under the laws of the commonwealth, and who has professional knowledge of the content of the interior technical submissions and intends to be responsible for the adequacy of the interior technical submissions, may sign and seal interior technical submissions that are prepared by or under the responsible control of a registered interior designer of the commonwealth and who are in the regular employment of the business entity.
(3) Any registered interior designer who signs and seals interior technical submissions not prepared by him or her but prepared under their responsible control by persons not regularly employed in the office where the registered interior designer is resident shall maintain and make available to the board adequate and complete records demonstrating the nature and extent of the registered interior designer's control over and detailed professional knowledge of such interior technical submissions throughout their preparation, for an amount of years to be determined by the board, following such signing and sealing.
(4) Interior technical submissions may be combined with submissions separately prepared under the responsible control, seal, and signature of other licensed design professionals, but it shall not be mandated pursuant to this section.
(5) Unless directed in writing by a governmental authority to do otherwise, a registered interior designer may choose to submit interior technical submissions, as may be required to obtain a building permit, separately or as part of a larger submission of documents compiled by one or more other registered interior designers or another licensed design professionals in the commonwealth. At no time shall a governmental authority in the commonwealth refuse to accept the interior technical submissions or other related documents provided by a registered interior designer for the purpose of obtaining a building permit except if the signature, current date, date of registration expiration, seal, and the registration number for an individual are absent; or if a governmental authority provides specific evidence, delivered in writing, to the registered interior designer that one or more portions of an interior technical submission does not conform to this Act.
(6) At no time shall a person or entity limit a registered interior designer from acting independent of any other licensed design professional to certify and attest compliance with any part of the commonwealth’s and or local law, ordinance, regulation, and code, especially building and life safety and accessibility codes, that is applicable due to their practice of interior design as defined by this Act.
(E) Roster of registered interior designers
A roster, showing the name sand the last known business addresses of all registered interior designers, shall be released by the board in the month of January of each year. Such roster shall be posted on a publically available website.
(F) Enforcement by board; attorney general; duties
The board shall be charged with the enforcement of sections 266A to 266H and section 267, inclusive. If any person refuses to obey any decision of the board, the attorney general shall, upon request of the board, file a petition for the enforcement of such decision in equity in the superior court for Suffolk county or for the county in which the defendant resides or has a place of business. After due hearing, the court shall order the enforcement of such decision or any part thereof, if legally and properly made by the board.
(G) Corporations, Partnerships, Limited Liability Companies and Limited Liability Partnerships
Corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies, limited liability partnerships, and professional corporations offering, or planning to offer, one or more services as listed in subparagraphs (A) through (C) of paragraph (1) of section 266H may –
(1) for the purpose of formation or establishment, governance, or management, have –
(A) one or more registered and or unregistered interior designers, who are not licensed design professionals, possess the duties, responsibilities,
restrictions, liabilities, legal authority, and the powers, and privileges of the following:
(i) a director on the board in the case of a corporation, a general partner in the case of a partnership, or a member in the case of a limited liability company or limited liability partnership;
(ii) a managing agent;
(iii) an owner, including majority owner; or
(iv) an officer, which may include an individual serving as more than one officer at the same time and therefore assuming all the duties, responsibilities, liabilities, legal authority, powers, and privileges of each respective officer's position.
Unless an interior designer, whether registered or not by the commonwealth, has violated this Act or the laws of the commonwealth or the United States, then no person, business entity, county, local municipality, or the commonwealth, including all boards, agencies, and commissions established by the aforementioned as well as any individuals appointed, employed, or acting on their behalf, shall take action or inaction to unfairly disadvantage or limit an interior designer from:
(a) formulating or establishing a business entity, including a corporation, partnership, limited liability company, limited liability partnership, professional corporation, or sole proprietorship;
(b) hiring one or more full or part-time employees qualifying as licensed design professionals or contracting with individuals qualifying as licensed design professionals to practice; (i) engineering as defined in section 81D of chapter 112; or (ii) architecture as defined in section 60A of chapter 112; (iii) other services requiring licensure by the commonwealth for an individual to practice;
(c) serving in one or more of the positions listed in parts (i) through (iv) of subparagraph (A) of paragraph (1) of section 266G and possessing all the respective duties, responsibilities, legal authority, powers and privileges; and
(4) owning shares in a business entity.
SECTION 2: Chapter 112 of the General Laws is hereby amended by inserting after section 266H the following new section:
Section 267: Title: Application of other laws and regulations
(A) Except as provided in sections 266G and 266H of this Act, any other provision of law or regulation in the commonwealth governing the formation or establishment, governance, or management of corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies, limited liability partnerships, sole proprietorships and professional corporations offering, or planning to offer, one or more services as listed in subparagraphs (A) through (C) of paragraph (2) of section 266H, shall be applicable to corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies, limited liability partnerships, sole proprietorships and professional corporations formed or established, governed, or managed pursuant to section 266G.
(B) This Act shall take precedence in the event of any conflict with the provisions of any other law or regulation in the commonwealth requiring participation of one or more licensed design professionals to formulate or establish, own, including holding shares, govern, manage or direct one or more corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies, limited liability partnerships, sole proprietorships and professional corporations offering, or planning to offer, one or more services as listed in subparagraphs (A) through (C) of paragraph (2) of section 266H.
(C) The board of registration of interior designers is hereby authorized to promulgate rules for corporations, partnerships, limited liability companies, limited liability partnerships, sole proprietorships and professional corporations that will be affected by this section and sections 266G and 266H. In so doing, the board is encouraged to work with other boards regulating the built environment, namely the board of registration of professional engineers and the board of registration of architects. Nothing in this chapter shall restrict or limit in any manner the authority or duty of the board to enforce this section and sections 266G and 266H.
SECTION 3: Section 54A of chapter 143 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2014 Official edition, is hereby amended by inserting after the word “in”, in line 7, the following words:-, section 266D, and
SECTION 4: Chapter 13 of the General Laws, as appearing in the 2014 Official edition, is hereby amended by inserting after Section 108 the following new sections:
Section 109A: Title: Board of registration of interior designers; membership; appointment; term
There shall be in the department of civil service and registration a board of registration of interior designers, in this and the following three sections called the board, to be appointed by the governor, consisting of five members, citizens of the commonwealth, four of whom shall each have been engaged in the practice of interior design for a period of ten years or more prior to his or her appointment, and shall be registered interior designers. The fifth member shall be a representative of the public, subject to the provisions of section nine B. As the term of office of a member of the board expires, his successor, qualified as aforesaid, shall be appointed by the governor to serve for five years. Each member shall continue to serve until the appointment of his or her successor. The governor may also fill any vacancy in the board for the unexpired portion of the term.
Section 109B: Board of registration of interior designers; meetings; officers; quorum
The board shall hold at least two regular meetings each year, and may hold special meetings as required. Time, place and notice of all meetings shall be as required by rules or by- laws determined by the board. At the first regular meeting each year, the board shall organize and choose from its own members, a chairman, a vice chairman and a secretary. A quorum shall consist of three members.
Section 109C: Board of registration of interior designers; rules and by- laws; seal; powers; annual report
The board may make such rules or by-laws, not inconsistent with law, as it may deem necessary in the performance of its duties. The board shall have a seal, and its members may administer oaths in the performance of its duties. The board shall have power to summon witnesses and to take testimony and require proofs concerning all matters within its jurisdiction. The board shall annually render to the governor a report of its proceedings, which shall include an itemized statement of all receipts and expenses of the board for the year.
Section 109D: Board of registration of interior designers; compensation and reimbursement of expenses
The members of the board shall serve without compensation but shall be reimbursed for actual and necessary expenses reasonably incurred in the performances of their duties as members or on behalf of the board.