Crisco votes for price gouging bill

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State Sen. Joseph Crisco, Jr. (D-17)

HARTFORD — State Sen. Joseph Crisco, Jr. (D-17) voted Wednesday, along with the majority of his peers in the Senate, in favor of a bill to prevent price gouging following emergencies.

Crisco said in a press release the legislation stems directly from the experience of some state residents after last summer’s tropical storm and last fall’s surprise snowstorm.

Crisco said existing statutes had protections in place for unconscionable price increases under comparable conditions for products and commodities, but state law clearly had to be expanded to include such services as tree removal, protection or relief from flooding, and emergency home repair.

“According to the language of this bill, a violation under these special circumstances amounts to an unfair trade or deceptive practice, and common sense assures me Connecticut consumers must be protected from those who would take advantage of people that way,” Crisco said in the release. “The idea seems particularly egregious to me given the public safety aspects of the services required under emergency conditions.”

According to the release, the state Department of Consumer Protection would be called upon to investigate any charges resulting from this bill, should it become law.

The bill gives the DCP guidelines to determine whether suspicious charges are unconscionably excessive and subject to formal charges, according to the release.

“This is an important piece of consumer protection legislation and I’m pleased it received the Senate’s support today,” Crisco said. “Now I hope our counterparts in the House will act favorably on this bill as well.”