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.