Relates to pre-recorded political messages; prohibits automatic dialing-announcing devices unless a live operator provides certain information in the first thirty seconds; provides recipient must be asked if he or she wants to listen to such call.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the general business law, in relation to requiring certain information be provided before placing pre-recorded political messages
PURPOSE OF BILL: This bill would require companies that are in the business of placing robocalls to ask via a live operator whether the consumer would like to listen to such pre-recorded message.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: OF BILL: A new subdivision 7 is added to the General Business law prohibiting a person or political committee from delivering via an automatic dialing-announcing device a pre-recorded political message unless a live operator has first received the consent of the caller to actually listen to said message.
The bill references the definition of political committee contained within the election law as well as the definition of automatic dialing-announcing device currently in the GBL.
JUSTIFICATION: Telephone customers are receiving an ever increasing number of robocalls each year. The Federal Trade Commission now receives over 200,000 complaints about robocalls each month. However, neither federal or state law have adequate disclosure requirements regarding robocall initiators.
This bill would regulate the business of robocalls that many candidates rely on. Specifically, the bill would require companies to utilize a live operator to greet the consumer and ask if he or she would like to listen to the prerecorded message. If the voter acquiesces then the caller would be connected.
Currently, fourteen states have regulated the business of robocalls. In addition, state courts as well as federal courts have found statutes such as this to be constitutional so long as they are not overly broad.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New Bill.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: None to the State or local municipalities.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 4582 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE April 12, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sen. KRUEGER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Consumer Protection AN ACT to amend the general business law, in relation to requiring certain information be provided before placing pre-recorded political messages THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Paragraphs (d) and (e) of subdivision 1 of section 399-p of the general business law, as amended by chapter 581 of the laws of 1992, are amended and two new paragraphs (f) and (g) are added to read as follows: (d) "consumer telephone call" means a call made to a telephone number by a telephone solicitor, whether by device, live operator, or any combination thereof, for the purpose of soliciting a sale of any consum- er goods or services for personal, family or household purposes to the consumer called, or for the purpose of soliciting an extension of credit for consumer goods or services to the consumer called, or for the purpose of obtaining information that will or may be used for the direct solicitation of a sale of consumer goods or services to the consumer called or an extension of credit for such purposes; provided, however, that "consumer telephone call" shall not include a call made by a tele- phone corporation, as defined by subdivision seventeen of section two of the public service law, in response to a specific inquiry initiated by a consumer regarding that consumer's existing or requested telephone service;
[and](e) "telephone solicitor" means a person who makes or causes to be made a consumer telephone call [.]; (F) "POLITICAL COMMITTEE" SHALL HAVE THE SAME MEANING AS SUBDIVISION ONE OF SECTION 14-100 OF THE ELECTION LAW; AND (G) "PRE-RECORDED POLITICAL MESSAGE" SHALL MEAN A PRE-RECORDED AUDIO MESSAGE DELIVERED BY TELEPHONE THAT IS BY:EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD09391-02-3 S. 4582 2
I. A CANDIDATE OR POLITICAL COMMITTEE; OR II. ANY PERSON WHEN THE CONTENT OF THE MESSAGE EXPRESSLY OR IMPLICITLY ADVOCATES THE SUCCESS OR DEFEAT OF ANY PARTY, MEASURE, OR PERSON AT ANY ELECTION, OR CONTAINS INFORMATION ABOUT ANY CANDIDATE OR PARTY. S 2. Subdivisions 7, 8 and 9 of section 399-p of the general business law are renumbered subdivisions 8, 9 and 10 and a new subdivision 7 is added to read as follows: 7. (A) NO PERSON OR POLITICAL COMMITTEE SHALL DELIVER OR KNOWINGLY CAUSE TO BE DELIVERED USING AN AUTOMATIC DIALING-ANNOUNCING DEVICE A PRE-RECORDED POLITICAL MESSAGE OR CONSUMER TELEPHONE CALL UNLESS A LIVE OPERATOR PROVIDES, WITHIN THE FIRST THIRTY SECONDS OF THE MESSAGE THE FOLLOWING INFORMATION: I. THE NAME OF THE CANDIDATE OR OF ANY ORGANIZATION OR ORGANIZATIONS THE PERSON IS CALLING ON BEHALF OF; II. THE NAME OF THE PERSON OR ORGANIZATION PAYING FOR THE DELIVERY OF THE MESSAGE AND THE NAME OF THE TREASURER OF ANY SUCH COMMITTEE; AND III. ASKS THE RECIPIENT OF SUCH CALL IF HE OR SHE DOES IN FACT WANT TO LISTEN TO SUCH CALL. (B) A COPY OF ALL SUCH SCRIPTS AND SCHEDULES OF SUCH CALLS SHALL BE FILED WITH THE NEW YORK STATE BOARD OF ELECTIONS PURSUANT TO ARTICLE FOURTEEN OF THE ELECTION LAW. (C) VIOLATIONS OF THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL BE PUNISHABLE BY A CIVIL FINE NOT TO EXCEED TWO THOUSAND DOLLARS PER OCCURRENCE. S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.