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 posted 10.28.19

Coalition Proposes Plan on Capital Spending
Help Needed to Urge Legislators to Act
A coalition of 12 organizations has urged Governor Cooper and the General Assembly to resume negotiations on capital spending before time runs out for this year. With the Senate making moves to close down the session for 2019 this month, numerous issues have been left unresolved, including authorization for more than $1.3 billion in non-transportation construction spendingThe state-wide groups identified below sent a letter to the Governor and legislative leaders last week outlining a possible compromise to authorize a long-term capital construction program with enormous benefits for communities in every county in the state.

We're reprinting the letter here for you to understand the concept and help lobby your State representatives to come up with a solution to the stalemate. We ask our members to contact their House and Senate representatives and make them aware that this coalition has offered a compromise and request they support action on authorizing capital spending before then end of this year. You can find your legislative representatives at this link:

Please send a note to me and our Advocacy Director,Richard Alsop, Jr. to report if you've called or written and if you've received a response.


posted 6.14.19 

AIA members who visited key House Finance Committee chairs on June 12 were given encouraging news that HB 858 would likely not be heard in Finance this session, and as such the bill will not go to the House floor for a vote during 2019.
It appears the many personal visits, letters, emails, phone calls, hall stalking, corridor cornering and attending community meetings with the legislators got our message across of the significant threat to public safety this bill poses. Legislative Day and the Legislative Wednesday participation from all across our State resulted in face to face discussions with 67 of our 120 House members and 18 of our 50 Senators. AIA was represented by 49 members, several of whom attended three or more of the events. And we know that 100% of House and Senate members received one or more emails, calls and letters from members expressing opposition to HB 858. Including all activity, almost 3% of our 2,200 members participated in some way.
The bill could still move forward next year in the Short Session. However, we have a pretty good indication, that resulting from member efforts, the bill should stay in the House for this year. 
First, further Legislative Wednesdays are on hold. In the event this bill emerges anytime in the near future, we will have a call to action and rally at the Legislature for one more "educational" session. 
Second, this frees us to pursue some other significant issues such as the historic preservation tax credits; K-12 school construction funds; energy conservation and sustainability, and duty to defend contract relief. These are all important and will need our continued support over the next month or two until the session adjourns. More on these later. 
Third, we have several pro-active initiatives that need to be given time and energy. Architects are skilled at comprehensive forward thinking action. Thousands of families remain displaced as the result of 
hurricanes impacting our state and infrastructure systems are failing. We need to be creating vibrant initiatives and not continue to be servants to dysfunctional policies. That is the part of Advocacy we need to explore.
Lastly, we are not giving up on some way to recognize interior design as a profession. It is evident that interior design, which focuses on sales of products, is different from interior design focused on codes, standards and coordination of building elements. Their organizations, ASID and IIDA, do not recognize this distinction. Additionally, there is a large gap between the minimum standards being promoted by their certification organization, CIDA, and the level of knowledge needed to protect the public good. We are open for discussion as long as public safety remains the primary focus of the bill, not business opportunity.
Thanks again to all who made the effort to be part of this defense of public safety in opposing HB 858. You can be very proud of what you were able to accomplish in only a few short weeks. 
Richard Alsop, AIA
AIANC Director of Advocacy
AIANC Section Advocacy Liaisons 
Asheville: Tripp Anderson:
Charlotte: Richard Alsop:
Winston Salem: Micah Martin:
Greensboro: Shermin Ata:
Triangle: Jim Compton:
Eastern: Hunt McKinnon:
Wilmington: Charles Boney:

 posted 6.11.19 


With the budget discussion drawing to a close, the House and Senate are going to get back to reviewing open items on their agenda, including the Interior Designer License Bill, H858. 
After multiple attempts, our members have obtained appointments with key members of the House for June 12, and we need to encourage our Charlotte section members to attend and be part of these meetings.
We meet at CfAD, 14 East Peace Street in Raleigh at 10:00 each Wednesday until the end of June for the orientation and then proceed to meet with legislators. We still have nine House members representing the Charlotte Section we have yet to speak with. We need their votes to stop this bill. And we need to speak with them before this hits the House floor for a vote. Please make plans to join us. Your participation at this juncture is vital. 
If you need a lift, please plan to meet us at the Cracker Barrel at exit 60 on I-85. We depart at 7:00 sharp.  Please contact to let us know you want to ride with us. 
Thanks to all who are continuing to write and meet with legislators, and to Gary Hubler and Rebecca Fant who represented the Charlotte Section in Raleigh this past week while others were at the AIA Conference.
Richard Alsop, AIANC Director of Advocacy

 posted 6.3.19 


Legislative Wednesday coming up on Week 4… Charlotte Section's 1% solution

With only one member participating in Legislative Wednesday from the Charlotte section this past week, we missed an opportunity to tip the balance in favor of stopping H858, the interior design license bill. Or did we? The bill has not as yet shown up on the Finance Committee agenda. Three key members of that committee are from the Charlotte section. We still have a chance to influence the outcome. With 900 members in the Charlotte Section, participation by 1% of our section members on Wednesday, June 5 could be enough to put this bill to rest. Can you spare the time?
All we have to do is present the facts: H858 will allow CIDQ Certificate holders who from 1974 to 2018 were required to have only 40 credit hours in Interior Design classes in a community college, who could self report their work experience which may have only included sales of interior finishes or furnishings, who passed an exam they studied for through a correspondence course and who then received their CIDQ certificate, the right to seal drawings and submit them with engineering drawings they are not qualified to coordinate, so as to obtain a permit for a project in any occupancy classification in the Building Code for an unlimited area interior space.  And do so under the administration of the Department of Insurance, which has no ability to monitor oversight.
Jim Compton, AIA will be conducting the orientation for new attendees this Wednesday at 10:00 at CfAD. From there you will go in teams of two or three to meet with legislators to share our message of concern.
Car pooling has been successful in the past. If you meet at exit 60 on I-85 at the Cracker Barrel restaurant there are typically persons who are willing to drive. You will need to depart by 7:00 to ensure a 10:00 arrival at CfAD. Please contact if you can make it. Richard will share background and the list of the key persons we need to speak with, along with helping to set up the car-pool arrangements.
Richard Alsop, AIA
AIANC Director of Advocacy

 posted 5.27.19 

Week 2 of our Legislative Wednesday program netted some surprises.  
The first was that the Interior Design Licensing bill had not yet shown up in the House Finance Committee, the second of three stops before hitting the House floor for a full vote. This was likely because legislators were working on the budget more than due to any opposition. But this bought us more time! 
The second was the availability of the legislators to meet with our members. Typically, we are held at the door by Legislative Assistants. But drop-ins proved to be very effective. Legislators are telling us they want to hear our position.  And what we found was that when we could speak to them directly, they understood our concerns and many said they would vote against H858.
And third, it was a pleasant surprise to see the number of women professionals in the halls of the Legislature. Our thanks to Jen Sisak, Alicia Kirwan and Rhonda Angerio for their stirring letter to women members which went viral (well, as viral and anything gets in an architectural newsletter) across all seven sections. Trying to negate the significant difference in education, training and examination of architects over interior designers, the ID's have made it a major point to state that their ranks are primarily composed of women. When our women architects meet with legislators, it speaks volumes. 
Before getting to the challenges and opportunities we see for Week 3, let's thank those who attended Week 2: 
From Triangle: Megan Bowles, Tom Wells, Jenn Truman, David Daniel, Allison Blanks, Matthew Konar, Lynn Dunn, Andrea Gupton, Jen Sisak and Jim Compton 
From Eastern: Hunt McKinnon
From Wilmington: Charles Boney 
From Charlotte, William Rakatansky and myself.  
Week 3 of Legislative Wednesdays may be crucial with respect to the House vote.   
What we are finding is that if we can get in front of the legislators, face to face, we can tell a compelling story. To date we have hit about 25% of the legislators. Which means that we have built more opposition to HB 858 this year than we were able to do in the House last year under HB 590. However, based on what we know, if the vote were taken this week, H858 would pass handily. Clearly, the challenge is to get to every legislator in the House and as many of the Senate members as possible. 
For that, we need you!  We have 2,200 members in AIANC. There are 120 members of the House, 50 in the Senate. There are probably 300 CIDQ certified interior designers in NC and they are getting their message to the legislators. We are not yet there. Many of you are writing well-founded letters based on your personal experience. Please keep doing this! But nothing had a greater impact than you speaking directly to the legislators, face to face. Need we say more?
Orientation to H858 will be conducted Wednesday the 29th at 10:00 am at CfAD, 14 E. Peace Street Raleigh. If you have never met with legislators we will pair you with someone with that experience. While it may seem daunting to meet with an elected official, you will find they are very much just like each of us. And you will find that they want to be "in-the-know" about issues they are voting on. They saw over 1,000 bills in the House this year. They rely on persons like us to bring important points to their attention. 
Please contact your section representative and let them know you will be there.  It helps up plan if we know you are coming.
Asheville: Tripp Anderson:
Winston Salem: Micah Martin:
Piedmont: Shermin Ata:
Triangle: Jim Compton:
Eastern: Hunt McKinnon:
Wilmington: Charles Boney:
Charlotte: Richard Alsop:
Final Words: Public Safety is at extreme risk with H858. Meet with us in Raleigh to learn why and become an advocate for a better bill to represent the talents and professional capabilities of our Interior Design colleagues.
Thank you,
Richard Alsop, AIA
AIANC Director of Advocacy



 posted 5.21.19 

Update on Negotiations with Interior Designers No agreement reached with Interior Designers to limit their practice of architecture as permitted by House Bill 858. 

In opposition to House Bill 858, the Interior Designer License Bill, AIANC is mounting an extensive initiative to reach legislators in both the House and Senate. H590, the predecessor bill from 2017-2018 passed overwhelmingly in the House and this fact is being touted by proponents of H858 who see passage of this bill clearly within their grasp. No doubt, another large win in the House will certainly give them leverage in the Senate.  

The difference this year is that we have more eyes on the ball with members from all sections agreeing to meet with, writing to and calling legislators to oppose this bill. Or do we?  READ MORE >>>

 posted 5.23.18 Back room Deals on K-12 P3's

The General Assembly has returned to Raleigh and is intent on wrapping up their short session in a hurry. The annual budget tweaking process has been condensed into a sprint that will wrap up within the next couple of days. Legislators will not be holding any public hearings on the bill and will insert non-budget related matters into the special provisions section of the measure.

We have learned that the Senate is proposing to insert a special provision that establishes a brand new statute to allow for capital leasing of privately developed K-12 public schools. If this sounds familiar, it is. There have been a number of bills in the past few years dealing with this issue, but most have not survived to get passed by the Legislature and signed by the Governor.

Last year AIA and AGC were involved in a negotiated effort to put this issue to rest and allow for adoption of K-12 P3s that meet the standards of good government, transparency and legitimate competition. HB 600 was the vehicle that was used and the bill was passed from the House, but the Senate decided not to take it up. This measure is still alive for passage during this current short session, but proponents of K-12 P3s have chosen to skirt this negotiated process and instead use a process that no one from the public will see.

Last year for our Legislative Day we produced a briefing paper on this very issue. It is still relevant today and the message of transparency and open competition is what's at stake with the language being included in the budget compromise. From what we have been able to see, the budget amendment will create a new law that allows for privately built public K-12 school leasing without any mechanism for a public procurement process. This would allow for sole source contracts that can be negotiated in back rooms without any public process.

There are two ways we are attempting to fix this, 1) pass HB 600 as is, or 2) require this new idea in the budget to follow the rules for P3 procurement in G.S. 143-128 passed in 2013.


  posted 5.1.18 Legislative Day

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