Texas House Bill 2649 Passes


Texas House Bill 2649 just passed through the Texas Senate with 31 ayes, no nays. We’re working on figuring out what the next step is, and will need your help.

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  1. HB 2649 originally did not have the lighting license provision; it addressed only engineering on foundations, this was viewed as necessary because Texas has a lot of construction in hurricane zones and it was done to make windstorm insurance cheaper.

    Well, the section about lighting design got tacked on in a Senate committee. It was the amended version that got through the Senate today, but I believe it has to go back to the House to approve the amendment. Moreover, I have heard that the governor may call a special session to reconsider any windstorm insurance legislation that is not passed in the regular session. Maybe the House won’t approve the amended HB 2649. Best to start contact legislators in the House.

  2. Thanks, Roger. Great info! I will add contacting representatives to our list of recommended actions.

  3. This seems like a very strange provision. Perhaps someone’s cousin thought he could help design the architectural lighting for a senator’s house and burned it down. After reading the language, I am interested in how this would apply to a temporary installation for a live event. Anyone have any thoughts on that?

    • From our studies at the IALD, the issue is that the language is vague and doesn’t actually indicate what type of lighting design they are referring. It isn’t that this bill probably intended to go after entertainment or temporary, but it doesn’t exclude it either which is what is typical in all non-life safety areas of lighting code.

      The point being that if someone WANTED to enforce this on a theatrical lighting designer, there is no legal reason they could not. There is no protection for a person who just does entertainment.

      Those of us who do both like me, are just screwed. I have 20 years of lighting, endured the NCQLP, the rigors of IALD professional membership submittal, the USGBC LEED exam, but in Texas, a landscape architect is apparently more qualified than me to do lighting.

      Who knew?

  4. It did pass in the Senate but now it has to go to the House. Please call the sponsors of the bill and register your opposition NOW!

    Wayne Smith 512. 463.0733
    Bob Deuell 512.463.0122
    Kip Averitt 512.463.0102

    • Texas Senator Kip Averitt. He wrote the language specific to the Lighting Design portion. The information we have received is that he has a constituent who had a bad experience with a lighting designer. Yes, you read that right…we are all being punished for something one person is upset about and that should have been handled in a civil suit.

      We have gotten this from lobbyists from the Architecture world who were in on the negotiations. Unofficially, it was said that the ramifications were mentioned to this senator and he did not care to consider them.

      Just to really blow everyone’s mind, this information came from one single Architect/ Lighting Designer in Austin who just happened to be following the Architect/Engineering issues surrounding this legislation. He caught it yesterday morning and called the IALD. If he hadn’t, this would have passed under our noses and we would be fighting in the courts. The committee issued the changes on May 23rd and the vote was on May 27th. There was no time to react at all.

      That is government at its finest.

        • I hope people watch Mr. Averitt’s campaign events very closely and sic the inspectors on him if he ever has any lighting beyond the sun for any events. His moonlit concession speech ought to be a youTube hit in the theatre community.

  5. We have a 15000 foot showroom. We are asked for lighting advice all day long. We also amend standard builder style plans to improve efficiency ,quality and design of the generally poor lighting layouts provided to home buyers. We do the same for restaurants and other projects to save the owners from themselves and the poor choices that are made by or for them.
    This bill seems to prevent us offering even the most basic lighting advice and appears to force the public to consult ,at a cost, the people who are most often asking US for meaningful advice.

    This must be one of the most ill-considered bills to come before the Legislature in a long time!

  6. For those who are interested, we have started a Yahoo group site. It is comprised of any industry people affected and we are posting information as it gets passed back and forth. The URL is
    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/NOHB2649/ If that doesn’t work, email me at deborah@fourpointlighting.com for an invitation.
    We are encouraging people to contact Rep. Wayne Smith to request that he contest the senate version and put back into committee. We will probably not know until Friday whether we are successful.

    Thanks to everyone who has called/emailed.

    • just went to the URL above and yahoo says

      “There is no group called NOHB2649. Please make sure you typed the web address correctly. If you have done so, the group may no longer exist.”

  7. I just spoke with someone at Wayne Smith’s office. She stated that Senator Averitt will be stripping the amendment out of the bill.

    Thought everyone would like to know.

  8. So it’s been a week since all this noise. What’s the current status? Nothing? It passed? People say the LD language has been removed. So what IS the actual verbiage on the bill that finally passed? Are we really worried that a nation of LDs will be turned into outlaws overnight because one Texas politician (probably corrupt) had one problem (probably personal) with one LD?

    One more reason on my list to move permanently to Europe. Thanks for the heads up…

  9. I am an entertainment LD, transforming out of the business…
    Talk about just in time, why we’re getting such a bad rap in a tough time, I’m outa’ here, but will always support.

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