Another Installment Of The Useless Louisiana Regulatory Boards Report

Among the oodle of board-appointment announcements released by the Jindal administration this afternoon comes one which is particularly obnoxious…

Today, Governor Bobby Jindal announced the appointment of Andrea “Dru” Lamb to the State Board of Examiners of Interior Designers.

The State Board of Examiners of Interior Designers serves to regulate the practice of interior design and the use of the terms “interior designer,” “registered interior designer” and “licensed interior designer.”

According to statute, the board is comprised of seven gubernatorial appointments, subject to Senate confirmation. Two licensed or registered interior designers are selected from nominations submitted by registered interior designers and three members are selected from nominations submitted by the American Society of Interior Designers. Additionally, one member is selected from nominations submitted by the International Interior Design Association and one interior design educator is selected from nominations submitted by the Interior Design Educators Counsel.

Andrea “Dru” Lamb, of New Orleans, is a registered interior designer with the firm of Eskew, Dumez, & Ripple. Lamb will be appointed to serve as a member nominated by the International Interior Design Association, as required by statute.

We have no quarrel with Ms. Lamb, and we’ve no reason to believe she’s anything but an exemplar of her profession.

But why is it necessary for the State of Louisiana to regulate the practice of interior design?

Nobody else regulates the practice of interior design. Hiring a bad interior designer doesn’t imperil your life or safety. It might injure your feng shui, but on the other hand if you hire somebody to decorate your crib and don’t participate in the decision-making progress it’s really more your fault than anybody else’s, right? Particularly it’s your problem and not that of the other four-plus million people in Louisiana who are now being asked to regulate the interior design choices being presented to you through appointed examiners like Ms. Lamb here.

Without even looking to see whether any state dollars are expended on such a gratuitous nanny-state endeavor, we can already say that requiring a license to be an interior decorator is a dumb idea for no other reason than it’s a restraint of trade and a measure of crony protectionism for existing interior design firms in the market. This is nothing but a way for people who are in that business to throw roadblocks in the way of people who want to get in it.

Who are we protecting with this board? The consumer? Anybody who has enough money to hire an interior designer has the resources – and by extension we can assume the judgement – to avoid and absorb the risk of hiring an incompetent one.

And there is no state interest in protecting existing interior designers from wannabe interior designers.

No offense to Ms. Lamb, but rather than appoint her to this board the board should be disbanded. It’s an embarrassment to Louisiana that it ever existed in the first place.

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