Tuesday, March 3, 2009

The House is back at it

Back on the Floor after caucus and a lunch break. Very soon we will run a package of consumer protection bills including the following:

1011 – Prohibits a government or business entity from remotely reading an identification device using RFID technology that they did not issue. Builds upon our successful efforts last year that made it a Class C felony to scan another person's identification device remotely for the purpose of fraud or identity theft without that person's knowledge and consent.

1140 – Strengthens the Mobile Home Dispute Resolution Program by creating informal and formal dispute-resolution procedures. As the Attorney General has always emphasized, the purpose of the dispute resolution process is to avoid legal fights and punitive actions whenever there is a hope of resolving issues agreeably. We all have the same goal here.

1215 – Strengthens and expands our state’s “Lemon Law” for people who purchase a new or nearly new vehicle and experience two or more serious safety defects in a year.

– Reverse mortgages are one way older homeowners can borrow against the equity in their home. In today’s tough times, we expect more seniors will look to these useful, but complex and sometimes expensive, loans to help them financially. HB 1311 ensures we have a thoughtful framework for regulating reverse mortgage lending practices in our state so seniors and their heirs aren’t stuck with an enormous tab.

1683 – Stiffens punishment against those who violate terms of the Consumer Protection Act.

1816 – Allows cellular phone customers to request their number not be included in a directory database. This opt-out option ensures cell phone users can keep their contact information private if they choose.

2013 – Self-service storage facilities are a fast-growing industry. Many consumers, however, don’t realize their belongings are not insured from theft or damage unless they purchase their own insurance. HB 2013 allows the owner of a self-service storage facility to offer self-service storage insurance, an easy and convenient way for customers to become educated about their options and, if they choose, to protect their belongings.