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From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

This session's knock-down, drag-out fight is over commerical interior design



The young woman stepped to the podium, eager for a chance to address Florida lawmakers.

"I came to this country for two reasons. I came for freedom, and I also came for a dream, a dream which you want to take away from me," LLilian Perez said, her voice shaking. "You just don't care. I see your faces."

You might expect such passion to be about education, taxes or immigration.

Her plea? Save interior design.

Forget about the tussles between unions and lawmakers, the Legislature and governor, Democrats and Republicans. The real knock-down, drag-out fight this session is over commercial interior design.

Tears and cheers have punctuated hours of testimony as licensed interior designers warn lawmakers that lives will be lost to flammable fabrics and paints if they don't keep regulation of the profession in place. Read more here.

[Last modified: Friday, April 1, 2011 8:45am]


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