An urgent news release issued by the International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) sent late Tuesday evening alerts its members that the Texas Legislature is scheduled to vote today on Texas House Bill 2649. The proposed legislation relates to the regulation and practice of engineering and lighting design. Specifically, Sections 3, 5, and 6 restricts the practice of lighting design only to licensed engineers, architects, engineers, landscape architects, and interior designers. The bill makes no recognition of the National Council on Qualifications for Lighting Professions exam or individuals who have passed this exam and received the Lighting Certified (LC) designation. If passed, the proposed legislation would go into effect on Sept. 1, 2009.

The IALD statement reads:

    The Texas State Legislature is about to consider legislation that will have the unintended consequence of outlawing an entire profession—lighting design. The International Association of Lighting Designers (IALD) strongly urges all members of the Texas Legislature to drop this legislation, Texas House Bill 2649.

    Slated for a vote on May 27, 2009, 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.

    Members of the IALD abide by a strict code of ethics and bring both engineering knowledge and artistic sensibilities to bringing out the best in buildings and outdoor spaces. IALD professional lighting designers dedicate their careers exclusively to the art and science of lighting. There is no substitute for their level of expertise and professionalism.

    The economic impact of the proposed legislation will be extensive: Dozens of lighting designers practice in Texas, and hundreds of projects in the state depend on professional lighting designers for their full architectural expression.

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

    Please vote against House Bill 2649.

The lighting community is urged to contact Texas officials to voice their opinions concerning this highly consequential legislation. Interested in calling your state legislator, but not sure who represents your district? Go to the website -- "Who Represents Me" -- You may also wish to call these sponsors of the legislation: Rep. Wayne Smith 512. 463.0733; Sen. Bob Deuell 512.463.0122; and Sen. Kip Averitt 512.463.0102. Individuals can also contact IALD Public Policy liaison John Martin, tel: 415.898.5711; cell: 415.717.5200; e-mail: