Aug 15, 2022 By IIDA HQ
Legislation Spotlight: Illinois
Recent legislation in Illinois allows professional interior designers permitting privileges and recognizes interior design as a distinct profession
By IIDA HQ Aug 15, 2022
Published in Advocacy

Illinois has become the latest state to pass legislation expanding the scope of practice rights for interior designers. Signed into law by Governor J.B. Pritzker on June 10, 2022, HB4715 passed the state House and Senate unanimously. This historic legislation recognizes interior design as a distinct profession in the built environment and acknowledges the crucial role professional interior designers play in protecting occupant health, safety, and well-being.

HB4715 was introduced and sponsored by Representative Margaret Croke (D) in the House of Representatives and by Senator Laura Fine (D) in the Senate, and practitioners will be regulated by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation.

Illinois Advocacy VP Morgan Maples, IIDA, joins us to discuss the interior design coalition that has worked towards achieving this goal, and what it means for designers in Illinois.

Tell us a little bit about your history – what got you interested in interior design, IIDA, and ultimately how you became interested in being involved in advocacy work?

I’ve had a bit of a circuitous career path but have happily ended up back in design where I feel I belong. As for IIDA, I previously worked with Jill Dexter, the incoming president-elect for the Illinois chapter, who asked me if I would like to become more involved in IIDA, which then became a request to be the VP of Advocacy for the chapter.

What does the team look like that worked to achieve HB 4715, and how did you get here?

It has been quite the group effort. The team is comprised of practicing professionals, members of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) Chapter Board of Directors, IIDA IL Chapter Board of Directors, the Government Relations and Advocacy Manager for CIDQ Matthew Barusch, members of the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation IDFPR Interior Design board, and our lobbyist, Liz Brown-Reeves.

Illinois Advocacy VP Morgan Maples, IIDA
Illinois Advocacy VP Morgan Maples, IIDA

This bill broadly achieves professional registration and stamp and seal – is there anything else we should know?

This has been a whirlwind experience and I’m so proud of all of the work that has been done. It has been amazing to finally come to an agreement with AIA and level the professions.

Was there any particular challenge you faced in passing the bill?

We relied heavily on the work that is being done in other states. I think it is really important to get everyone on the same page with what we are trying to do.

What advice do you have for other advocacy chapters—in terms of participation, collaboration, relationship building, or anything else you see as important?

Relationships are always the most important part. Learn from what other states are doing. Keep an open dialog with those in opposition. Meet often, and use Matthew (Barusch of CIDQ) as a resource.

What’s next? Now that you’ve achieved stamp and seal for the state, where do go from here?

Now we must get the Registered Interior Designer (RID) numbers up. There are barely over 1,000 registered interior designers in Illinois with active licenses—I would love to double that in the next twelve months.

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