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I Will Support Anti-Price Gouging Bill Introduced in Senate

[ Return To Senator Roy Dyson's Newsletter ]

Posted on January 27, 2006:

Senator Dyson After Hurricanes Katrina and Rita reaped almost apocalyptic damage to the Gulf Coast States of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama, allegations of price gouging be it at the gas pump or other businesses were reported as far away as Maryland.

Unfortunately, the citizens of this great State could file for no relief from this practice because there was no law preventing it.

I believe that will change this year with the introduction of Senate Bill 320 which addresses this serious issue.

This bill sets clearly defined standards for price increases that would not be tolerated during a State of Emergency.

It is legislation based on laws in effect in nearly 30 other states and prohibits a price increase for essential good and service of more than 10 percent over what the seller charged not more than 60 days nor less than 15 days before the State of Emergency was declared.

While the business community may have some concerns about this bill, the legislation addresses their questions. It allows the governor to exclude items from the list of “essential good and services” that are subject to the law.

Senate Bill 320 is strictly aimed at nefarious businesses who seek to use disaster such as Rita, Katrina or Isabel to take unfair advantage of those who are in need of essential services such as gasoline. Major oil companies were making record profits while we were waiting in line to pay $3 for gas. Don’t tell me we weren’t being gouged by some in big oil.

We need to protect our consumers from price gouging during hurricanes and other natural disasters. Hurricane Katrina was one of the worst natural disasters in this nation’s history --and to be followed by instances of price gouging is just appalling.

Contrast this deplorable greed with the unbelievably generous and charitable effort by many in Southern Maryland who helped victims of the catastrophes in the Gulf Coast States. They provided aid by either taking in refugees from those hard hit areas, donating money to the effort or in the case of the St. Mary’s County Hurricane Relief Fund went down to personally help assist the townspeople of D’Iberville MI recover.

A price gouging bill was introduced by the Attorney General last year, but did not pass. After the terrible events of this past year, I hope my colleagues in both chambers of the General Assembly pass this anti-price gouging legislation.

Senate Bill 123- Department of Natural Resources- Licensing of Tree Experts

Senate Bill 123 is being introduced by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. It addresses an important issue by altering the qualifications for licensure as a tree expert.

Considering the new licensing requirements for tree experts, Senate Bill 123 gives anyone who has been working as a “tree expert” the opportunity to immediately take the exam to be licensed as a tree expert in the state of Maryland. Previously there were a lot of obstacles for tree experts to take the test. This bill will cut through all of that bureaucracy.

In order to be able to take the exam immediately, one must provide two of five forms of proof that he or she is actively in the business of tree removal. They include:

1. A liability insurance certificate
2. A business registration filing
3. An income tax return
4. A binder or certificate of insurance for worker’s compensation
5. A worker’s compensation commission certificate of compliance

For those who have experience as a tree expert, this bill alleviates many of the obstacles one would face when attempting to take the licensing exam.

[ Return To Senator Roy Dyson's Newsletter ]

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