Title “Certified Professional Building Designer” Threatened!

Proposed legislation at the Louisiana State House effectively eliminating the title Certified Professional Building Designer reached the Senate last week. As well as affecting CPBDs, it also includes candidates and applicants for the CPBD designation. Although there are none in the state yet, it would have also put the AIBD’s newly launched Certified Residential BIM Manager title out of business too. But with the help of our Louisiana contacts, and a broad coalition of associations, use of the title CPBD and BIM-R may continue in the State of Louisiana without prohibition.

Based on its existing legislative position on licensure, the AIBD is in support of HB 494 (HOUSE-APPROVED BILL TEXT) and HB 372 (HOUSE-APPROVED BILL TEXT). Both are intended to remove burdensome licensing restrictions which are unnecessary to protect the public.  However, there was grave concern about the definition of “Certification” which would prohibit the use of the term “certified” by individuals possessing a credential from a private organization.

AIBD engaged attorney Edward Nagorsky of Freidman, Rossenwasser & Goldbaum P.A. For nearly 11 years, Mr. Nagorsky served as the National Kitchen and Bath Association’s General Counsel & Director of Legislative Affairs. He is a political spearhead on corporate strategic and tactical legal initiatives; he provides advice on policies, strategies, and their implementation. He formulated and implemented the AIBD political strategy and orchestrated a letter-writing campaign to the committee members by our contacts in the state.

During a meeting of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Consumer Protection and International Affairs last Wednesday, HB 748 was substantially amended in a way that left only the following text:

“Pursuant to the authority in this Chapter, the governor shall review on an annual basis not less than twenty percent of the agencies engaged in regulatory and licensing activities.  Within five years, the governor shall have reviewed all such agencies.”

Relevant to our industry’s interests, an amendment to HB 372 adopted by the committee will do the following:

  • Eliminates the defined term “certification” from the bill and other references to certification throughout the bill (other than in the safe harbor described below)
  • Adds a safe harbor provision asserting that nothing shall be construed to restrict a licensing board from requiring, as a condition of licensure or renewal of licensure, obtaining/maintaining credentials from an organization that credentials individuals in the related occupation, field, or industry.
  • Eliminates a requirement that individuals must be registered with the state to use the title “registered.”
  • Expressly requires regulators to balance market competition with “public health, safety, or welfare.”
  • Eliminates the requirement in the previous version of the bill that regulatory requirements be based on significant, current evidence of significant harm to consumers
  • Specifies that nothing “alters the authority of the occupational licensing board to issue regulations in the form the licensing board deems in the best interest of the public, after consideration of the recommendation of the commission.”

Given the removal of the definition of “Certification” concerning both HB 748 and HB 372, AIBD is discontinuing its grassroots activity and will re-assess whether further involvement is needed this week (which is the earliest time frame in which both bills can be considered on the Senate floor).  These bills now stand a reasonable chance of being enacted since most of the controversy surrounding them has been removed, but to ensure our interests are protected, AIBD will continue to monitor them.

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