Wednesday, May 27, 2009

TX-Leg: HB 2649 Update

As I said, I'm fairly snowed under, but I wanted to get this update out before I disappear again. (I'm more often found on Twitter...hence the Twitter feed in the sidebar.)

HB 2649 was passed unanimously by the full Texas Senate, as expected. However, Rep. Wayne Smith, the author of the bill, has stated (through his staff to multiple people over the phone) that he intends to meet with Senator Kip Averitt, who introduced the amendments affecting lighting designers, and that he expects to have the language removed from the bill before it gets to Governor Perry's desk.

However, I would not rest easy just yet. Since I'm not intending to update further for a little while, I recommend Jim on Light as a good blog for updates on HB 2649. Also, check the NOHB2649 group at Yahoo.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

TX-Leg: CSHB 2649 will put lighting designers out of work

While most of the attention at the Texas Capitol is on the voter ID bill (on which I will not be commenting today), House Bill 2649 is breezing through the House and Senate without much opposition.

Unfortunately, HB 2649 in its current form will put a fair number of lighting designers out of work. Sections 3, 5, and 6 (added by amendment in the Senate) restrict lighting design only to licensed architects, engineers, interior designers, and electricians.

This bill completely ignores other lighting designers who do not fall into any of those groups but who are members of the International Association of Lighting Designers, a group which has a strict code of ethics and qualifications for membership. Many of them are also certified by the National Council on Qualifications for the Lighting Professions by virtue of having passed an exam on lighting design. Suffice it to say that many of these people know how to design lighting better than the people who this bill still allows to design it.

IMO, HB 2649 needs to have the language relating to the restriction of lighting designers removed until such time as it can be revisited with the full participation of the relevant lighting groups. If you or someone you know will be affected by this, please call your legislators and let them know how you feel about it.

And do it quickly: this bill is scheduled to get out of the Senate tomorrow.

Update 5/27: As expected, HB 2649 has passed the Senate. Next stop: conference, where hopefully the aforementioned sections will be stripped from the bill before it is sent to Governor Perry.

Update 5/27 #2: My last words on this (at least for now) may be found here.

Snowed In is snowed under

Blogging should return to its usual sporadic nature in about three weeks or so...

...which is really too bad, because I have a lot I'd love to say, if I had the time and all that.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Austin Mayoral Election: No More Runoff!

Courtesy the Statesman, here is Brewster McCracken's letter to supporters announcing his withdrawal from the mayoral race.

I suppose it's just as well. Given Lee Leffingwell's large number of supporters (who almost made the runoff unnecessary), it was almost a foregone conclusion as to what would happen next month.

So, then, all you Austinites who forgot last Saturday's election can continue not to care about much else, since there is not an election next month after all. Maybe that could be a good thing.