Bill Summary for S 188 (2021-2022)

Summary date: 

Apr 13 2021

Bill Information:

View NCGA Bill Details2021
Senate Bill 188 (Public) Filed Thursday, March 4, 2021
AN ACT TO ALLOW FOR REGISTRATION OF INTERIOR DESIGNERS AND TO MODIFY THE NORTH CAROLINA BOARD OF ARCHITECTURE.
Intro. by Krawiec, Galey, Barnes.

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Bill summary

Senate committee substitute amends the 1st edition as follows. 

Revises the proposed changes to and further amends GS Chapter 83A, which governs licensure of architects, previously expanded to also regulate interior designers.

Adds to the Chapter's defined terms: architectural firm, firm practice of interior design, and registered interior design firm. Amends the definition given for interior design to include the creation or alteration of paths of egress. Expands license to include a certificate of registration issued by the Board of Architecture and Registered Interior Designers (Board) recognizing the firm named on the certificate as meeting the requirements for registration under the Chapter (previously limited to individuals). Clarifies that nonstructural element means an element of a building or structure which does not require structural bracing. Makes clarifying changes to registered interior designer to note qualification to engage in the practice of interior design. Expands registration to include a certificate of registration issued by the Board recognizing the firm named in the certificate as meeting the requirements for registration under the Chapter (previously limited to individuals).

Makes changes to the proposed fees names in GS 83A-4, to refer to a $300 reciprocal registration fee (previously duplicated reciprocal license fee) and $500 reinstatement fee for interior designers (was interior design).

Expands GS 83A-6, regarding the Board's powers to adopt rules and standards of professional conduct, to include establishing qualifications for firm registration and establishing or approving registration renewal requirements for registered interior designers. 

Modifies proposed GS 83A-7(c) to more specifically provide requirements and qualifications for registration as a registered interior designer, now also requiring that an individual be at least 18 years of age and of good moral character.

Amends the qualifications for firm practice under GS 83A-8 to require any interior design firm desiring to practice interior design to file an application with the Board (previously phrased as any registered interior designer desiring to offer interior design services through a firm). Subjects firms holding firm certificates of licensure or registration to all applicable rules and regulations of the Board and disciplinary powers of the Board applicable to individual licensees or registered interior designers (was licensees only). Makes organizational and conforming changes. 

Specifies that the Chapter does not apply to persons holding themselves out as interior decorators or offering interior decorating services who provide services that are not subject to regulation under applicable building codes (previously did not specify such individuals must also not be subject to regulation under applicable building codes). Further specifies that the Chapter does not apply to persons engaging in professional services limited to the planning, design, and implementation (was the planning) of commercial kitchen and bath spaces within the construction area and costs set forth in  GS 83A-13(g). Makes further clarifying and organizational changes. 

Regarding the disciplinary grounds set forth in GS 83A-15, considers conduct of the registrant resulting in the imposition of other disciplinary action by a regulatory body of another state for any cause other than failure to pay applicable fees as grounds for disciplinary action by the Board (previously more generally the imposition of other disciplinary action by a regulatory body of another state, except for failure to pay applicable fees). Makes a technical change.

Expands conduct considered a violation of the Chapter, punishable by a Class 2 misdemeanor and a penalty of up to $500 per day, to include unlicensed persons presenting his or her own license of another, giving false or forged evidence to the Board or any member thereof in obtaining a license, falsely impersonating any other practitioner of like or different name, and attempting to use a license that has been revoked. Allows the Board to charge costs of a disciplinary proceeding to a registered interior designer against whom the proceedings were brought (was limited to investigations of licensees). Makes a technical change. 

Changes the effective date of the proposed changes to the Chapter, now providing that the provisions apply to applications received on or after the date the act becomes law from persons appointed to the Board pursuant to the act, and on or after January 1, 2022, from other applicants. 

Regarding initial appointments of the Board, as amended, requires each initial member to obtain registration under the act on or before December 31, 2021 (previously required registration upon appointment).

Directs the Department of Insurance to review and update all relevant documents, material, and applications and promulgate necessary rules concerning the practice of registered interior designers pursuant to the act. No longer directs the Board to adopt implementing rules. 

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