This bill has been amended

Bill S7087-2011

Relates to the advertising medium for motor fuel sales

Relates to the advertising medium for motor fuel sales; requires appropriate signage visible from businesses for certain sales; makes provisions relating to advertising media letters, words, figures and numerals used in such signage.

Details

Actions

  • May 2, 2012: ADVANCED TO THIRD READING
  • May 1, 2012: 2ND REPORT CAL.
  • Apr 30, 2012: 1ST REPORT CAL.616
  • Apr 27, 2012: REFERRED TO CONSUMER PROTECTION

Meetings

Calendars

Votes

VOTE: COMMITTEE VOTE: - Consumer Protection - Apr 30, 2012
Ayes (8): Zeldin, Ball, Fuschillo, Little, Marcellino, Adams, Huntley, Squadron
Ayes W/R (2): O'Mara, Hassell-Thompson

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S7087

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the general business law and the agriculture and markets law, in relation to the advertising medium for motor fuel sales

PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This legislation would require any place of business offering for sale or selling any motor fuel to the public to clearly and conspicuously advertise the higher price when the same grade of motor fuel is sold at different prices from a single place of business if the price deviation exceeds seven percent for the same grade of motor fuel.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section One amends the general business law by defining advertising medium, requiring that a street side advertising medium be displayed at any place of business offering for sale or selling any motor fuel to the public if the place of business sells the same grade of motor fuel for different prices and the price deviation exceeds seven percent. This section also establishes minimum readability requirements for the letters and numerals required pursuant to this section. A first violation of this section would be punishable by a $500 fine. Any subsequent violations would result in a one thousand dollar fine. A third violation would additionally result in a shutdown of the establishment for ten days, or until the establishment comes into compliance with this provision, whichever is longer. Finally, a variance is provided for in relation to the required advertising mediums for businesses in political subdivisions that have laws or ordinances that are contrary to this provision or for scenic or historic purposes.

Section Two amends the Agriculture and Markets law to require that signs or labels that are currently required at the dispensing pump, also indicate the difference in the amount per gallon for cash and credit customers.

Section Three amends the Agriculture and Markets law to make changes that conform to Section One of this legislation.

Section Four is the effective date.

JUSTIFICATION: Some places of business offering for sale or selling motor fuel have been luring customers to their stations by deceptively advertising a reduced price for motor fuel that is actually only available to those customers who are able to pay with cash for their transaction. In other instances, motorists have reported unclear and unreadable discount disclosures. The words "cash" and "credit" are sometimes posted in a font so small, that the words are nearly impossible to read. This bill attempts to protect customers by setting advertising standards for any gas station that opts to charge more than a seven percent differential in price for the same grade of motor fuel by requiring, at minimum,

readable street side signs that clearly and conspicuously advertises the higher of the prices offered.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None to the state.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall have become law; provided that the commissioner of agriculture and markets is authorized to promulgate any rules or regulations necessary to implement this act on or before its effective date.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 7087 IN SENATE April 27, 2012 ___________
Introduced by Sen. ZELDIN -- 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 and the agriculture and markets law, in relation to the advertising medium for motor fuel sales THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The general business law is amended by adding a new section 396-ff to read as follows: S 396-FF. ADVERTISING MEDIUM; MOTOR FUEL SALES. 1. THE TERM "ADVERTIS- ING MEDIUM," AS USED IN THIS SECTION, SHALL MEAN A STREET SIGN, WHICH IS AT LEAST SIX FEET HIGH AND FOUR FEET WIDE AND AT LEAST EIGHT FEET OFF THE GROUND. 2. A. IN THE EVENT THAT THE SAME GRADE OF MOTOR FUEL IS SOLD AT DIFFERENT PRICES FROM ANY SINGLE PLACE OF BUSINESS, AND THE PRICES DEVI- ATE BY MORE THAN SEVEN PERCENT FOR THE SAME GRADE OF MOTOR FUEL, THEN THE PLACE OF BUSINESS MUST HAVE AN ADVERTISING MEDIUM THAT COMPLIES WITH THIS SECTION AND WHICH DISPLAYS THE HIGHER OF THE PRICES OFFERED FOR THAT GRADE OF MOTOR FUEL. B. THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL NOT APPLY TO DISCOUNTS OR PRICE REDUCTIONS NOT AVAILABLE TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, DISCOUNTS OR PRICE REDUCTIONS PROVIDED PURSUANT TO AWARDS, REWARDS, LOYALTY, OR PROMOTIONAL PROGRAMS. 3. AN ADVERTISING MEDIUM REQUIRED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION MUST BE CLEARLY VISIBLE FROM EACH STREET OR HIGHWAY WHICH HAS AN ACCESS POINT TO THE PLACE OF BUSINESS. ANY AND ALL INFORMATION REQUIRED TO BE INCLUDED ON SUCH ADVERTISING MEDIUM PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION SHALL BE POSTED OR MAINTAINED IN A CLEAR AND CONSPICUOUS MANNER. 4. ALL LETTERS, WORDS, FIGURES, OR NUMERALS WHICH ARE PART OF THE ADVERTISING MEDIA REQUIRED BY SUBDIVISION TWO OF THIS SECTION SHALL HAVE A HEAVY TYPE FACE OR STROKE, SHALL BE CLEARLY VISIBLE, AND OF A COLOR OR TINT THAT WILL CONTRAST THE LETTERS, WORDS, FIGURES, OR NUMERALS WITH THE BACKGROUND OF THE ADVERTISING MEDIA. ANY FONT USED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION MUST BE AT LEAST SIX INCHES IN HEIGHT. THE HEIGHT OF THE
LETTERS, FIGURES, AND NUMERALS, EXCEPT THE LETTER "1" AND NUMERAL ONE, SHALL NOT BE MORE THAN TWICE THE WIDTH. 5. A. FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION SHALL SUBJECT A PERSON, FIRM OR CORPORATION OFFERING FOR SALE OR SELLING ANY MOTOR FUEL TO THE PUBLIC TO A CIVIL PENALTY OF FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS FOR A FIRST OFFENSE. SUBSEQUENT OFFENSE SHALL RESULT IN A FINE OF ONE THOU- SAND DOLLARS. UPON A THIRD OFFENSE, NON-COMPLIANCE SHALL ADDITIONALLY RESULT IN THE BUSINESS BEING SHUT DOWN FOR A PERIOD OF TEN DAYS OR UNTIL THE BUSINESS COMES WITHIN COMPLIANCE, WHICHEVER IS LATER. B. THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION MAY BE ENFORCED CONCURRENTLY BY THE DIRECTOR OF A MUNICIPAL CONSUMER AFFAIRS OFFICE, OR BY THE TOWN ATTOR- NEY, CITY CORPORATION COUNSEL, OR OTHER LAWFUL DESIGNEE OF A MUNICI- PALITY OR LOCAL GOVERNMENT, AND ALL MONEYS COLLECTED UNDER THIS SECTION SHALL BE RETAINED BY SUCH MUNICIPALITY OR LOCAL GOVERNMENT. 6. A. THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION SHALL NOT APPLY TO ANY PERSON, FIRM OR CORPORATION OFFERING FOR SALE OR SELLING ANY MOTOR FUEL TO THE PUBLIC OPERATING WITHIN THE POLITICAL SUBDIVISION THAT HAS ALREADY ENACTED AND CONTINUES IN EFFECT A LOCAL LAW, ORDINANCE, RULE OR REGU- LATION IN SUBSTANTIAL CONFORMITY WITH THIS SECTION. THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION SHALL NOT BE CONSTRUED TO LIMIT IN ANY WAY THE AUTHORITY OF A POLITICAL SUBDIVISION TO ENACT, IMPLEMENT AND CONTINUE TO ENFORCE ANY AMENDMENTS THERETO AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SECTION. THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION SHALL BE ENFORCED IN THE COUNTIES OUTSIDE OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK BY THE COUNTY OR CITY DIRECTOR OF WEIGHTS AND MEAS- URES, AS THE CASE MAY BE, AND IN THE CITY OF NEW YORK BY THE DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS. B. ANY POLITICAL SUBDIVISION MAY, BY ORDINANCE, MODIFY PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION FOR SPECIFIED GEOGRAPHIC AREAS FOR SCENIC OR HISTORIC PRES- ERVATION PURPOSES UPON APPROVAL OF SUCH MODIFICATION BY THE COMMISSIONER OF AGRICULTURE AND MARKETS. C. ANY POLITICAL SUBDIVISION MAY, BY ORDINANCE, LOCAL LAW, OR LOCAL REGULATION CREATE ALTERNATE SIGNAGE SIZE AND FONT REQUIREMENTS IF THE REQUIREMENTS CONTAINED IN THIS SECTION WOULD VIOLATE LOCAL ZONING RULES, REGULATIONS, OR ORDINANCES. 7. NOTHING IN THIS SECTION SHALL APPLY TO OR INTERFERE WITH SIGNS OR PLACARDS REQUIRED TO BE POSTED PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION FIVE OF SECTION ONE HUNDRED NINETY-TWO OF THE AGRICULTURE AND MARKETS LAW. 8. NOTHING IN THIS SECTION PROHIBITS ANY PERSON, FIRM OR CORPORATION WHO HAS POSTED OR DISPLAYED A SIGN OR ADVERTISING MEDIUM IN COMPLIANCE WITH THIS CHAPTER FROM DISPLAYING ADDITIONAL SIGNS OR ADVERTISING MEDIA, SO LONG AS THE ADDITIONAL SIGNS OR ADVERTISING MEDIA ARE OF SMALLER SIZE THAN THE MEDIA REQUIRED PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION TWO OF THIS SECTION AND THE ADDITIONAL SIGNS OR MEDIA DO NOT OBSTRUCT OR INTERFERE WITH THE REQUIRED ADVERTISING MEDIUM, WHICH STATE EITHER: A. THE AMOUNT OF DISCOUNT IN CENTS OR DOLLARS PER GALLON, OR B. THE PRICE OF ONE OR MORE BRANDS OR GRADES OF MOTOR FUEL SOLD OR OFFERED FOR SALE, PROVIDED THE CONDITIONS AND ANY LIMITATIONS OF THE DISCOUNT OR PRICE OF THE BRAND OR GRADE OF MOTOR FUEL ARE INCLUDED IN THE ADDITIONAL ADVERTISING MEDIA IN LETTERS NOT LESS THAN ONE-THIRD THE SIZE OF THE NUMERALS INDICATING THE DISCOUNT OR PRICE. S 2. Subparagraph (iii) of paragraph a of subdivision 5 of section 192 of the agriculture and markets law, as amended by chapter 101 of the laws of 1986, is amended and a new subparagraph (iv) is added to read as follows: (iii) where a multiple product dispensing device is capable of dispensing multiple products at multiple prices, then the selling price
per gallon [may] SHALL be posted thereon with numerals at least one-half that height and one-half that width required by subparagraph (i) of this paragraph, although numerals representing tenths of a cent may be displayed at no less than one-half those dimensions which disclose the selling price per gallon of such motor fuel dispensed therefrom[.]; OR (IV) WHERE A DISCOUNT FOR CASH IS OFFERED, AT LEAST ONE SIGN OR LABEL SHALL BE CONSPICUOUSLY DISPLAYED ON THE DISPENSER INDICATING THE DIFFER- ENCE IN AMOUNT PER GALLON IN NUMERALS NOT LESS THAN ONE-HALF INCH HIGH AND LABELING THE DIFFERENCES IN LETTERS OF THE SAME SIZE FOR CASH AND CREDIT CUSTOMERS. S 3. The agriculture and markets law is amended by adding a new section 192-h to read as follows: S 192-H. ADVERTISING MEDIUM; MOTOR FUEL SALES. 1. THE TERM "ADVERTIS- ING MEDIUM," AS USED IN THIS SECTION, SHALL MEAN A STREET SIGN, WHICH IS AT LEAST SIX FEET HIGH AND FOUR FEET WIDE, AND AT LEAST EIGHT FEET OFF THE GROUND. 2. A. IN THE EVENT THAT THE SAME GRADE OF MOTOR FUEL IS SOLD AT DIFFERENT PRICES FROM ANY SINGLE PLACE OF BUSINESS, AND THE PRICES DEVI- ATE BY MORE THAN SEVEN PERCENT FOR THE SAME GRADE OF MOTOR FUEL, THEN THE PLACE OF BUSINESS MUST HAVE AN ADVERTISING MEDIUM THAT COMPLIES WITH THIS SECTION AND WHICH DISPLAYS THE HIGHER OF THE PRICES OFFERED FOR THAT GRADE OF MOTOR FUEL. B. THIS SUBDIVISION SHALL NOT APPLY TO DISCOUNTS OR PRICE REDUCTIONS NOT AVAILABLE TO THE GENERAL PUBLIC, INCLUDING, BUT NOT LIMITED TO, DISCOUNTS OR PRICE REDUCTIONS PROVIDED PURSUANT TO AWARDS, REWARDS, LOYALTY, OR PROMOTIONAL PROGRAMS. 3. AN ADVERTISING MEDIUM REQUIRED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION MUST BE CLEARLY VISIBLE FROM EACH STREET OR HIGHWAY WHICH HAS AN ACCESS POINT TO THE PLACE OF BUSINESS. ANY AND ALL INFORMATION REQUIRED TO BE INCLUDED ON SUCH ADVERTISING MEDIUM PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION SHALL BE POSTED OR MAINTAINED IN A CLEAR AND CONSPICUOUS MANNER. 4. ALL LETTERS, WORDS, FIGURES, OR NUMERALS WHICH ARE PART OF THE ADVERTISING MEDIA REQUIRED BY SUBDIVISION TWO OF THIS SECTION SHALL HAVE A HEAVY TYPE FACE OR STROKE, SHALL BE CLEARLY VISIBLE, AND OF A COLOR OR TINT THAT WILL CONTRAST THE LETTERS, WORDS, FIGURES, OR NUMERALS WITH THE BACKGROUND OF THE ADVERTISING MEDIA. ANY FONT USED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION MUST BE AT LEAST SIX INCHES IN HEIGHT. THE HEIGHT OF THE LETTERS, FIGURES, AND NUMERALS, EXCEPT THE LETTER "L" AND NUMERAL ONE, SHALL NOT BE MORE THAN TWICE THE WIDTH. 5. A. FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION SHALL SUBJECT A PERSON, FIRM OR CORPORATION OFFERING FOR SALE OR SELLING ANY MOTOR FUEL TO THE PUBLIC TO A CIVIL PENALTY OF FIVE HUNDRED DOLLARS FOR A FIRST OFFENSE. SUBSEQUENT OFFENSE SHALL RESULT IN A FINE OF ONE THOU- SAND DOLLARS. UPON A THIRD OFFENSE, NON-COMPLIANCE SHALL ADDITIONALLY RESULT IN THE BUSINESS BEING SHUT DOWN FOR A PERIOD OF TEN DAYS OR UNTIL THE BUSINESS COMES WITHIN COMPLIANCE, WHICHEVER IS LATER. B. THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION MAY BE ENFORCED CONCURRENTLY BY THE DIRECTOR OF A MUNICIPAL CONSUMER AFFAIRS OFFICE, OR BY THE TOWN ATTOR- NEY, CITY CORPORATION COUNSEL, OR OTHER LAWFUL DESIGNEE OF A MUNICI- PALITY OR LOCAL GOVERNMENT, AND ALL MONEYS COLLECTED UNDER THIS SECTION SHALL BE RETAINED BY SUCH MUNICIPALITY OR LOCAL GOVERNMENT. 6. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL PROMULGATE RULES AND REGULATIONS NECESSARY OR APPROPRIATE TO CARRY OUT THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION, AND SHALL MAKE AVAILABLE ON THE DEPARTMENT'S WEBSITE A SUMMARY OF THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION AND ANY REGULATIONS PROMULGATED THEREUNDER.
7. A. THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION SHALL NOT APPLY TO ANY PERSON, FIRM OR CORPORATION OFFERING FOR SALE OR SELLING ANY MOTOR FUEL TO THE PUBLIC OPERATING WITHIN A POLITICAL SUBDIVISION THAT HAS ALREADY ENACTED AND CONTINUES IN EFFECT A LOCAL LAW, ORDINANCE, RULES OR REGULATIONS IN SUBSTANTIAL CONFORMITY WITH THIS SECTION. THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION SHALL NOT BE CONSTRUED TO LIMIT IN ANY WAY THE AUTHORITY OF A POLITICAL SUBDIVISION TO ENACT, IMPLEMENT AND CONTINUE TO ENFORCE ANY AMENDMENTS THERETO AFTER THE EFFECTIVE DATE OF THIS SECTION. THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION SHALL BE ENFORCED IN THE COUNTIES OUTSIDE OF THE CITY OF NEW YORK BY THE COUNTY OR CITY DIRECTOR OF WEIGHTS AND MEASURES, AS THE CASE MAY BE, AND IN THE CITY OF NEW YORK BY THE DEPARTMENT OF CONSUMER AFFAIRS. B. ANY POLITICAL SUBDIVISION MAY, BY ORDINANCE, MODIFY PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION FOR SPECIFIED GEOGRAPHIC AREAS FOR SCENIC OR HISTORIC PRES- ERVATION PURPOSES UPON APPROVAL OF SUCH EXEMPTION BY THE COMMISSIONER. C. ANY POLITICAL SUBDIVISION MAY, BY ORDINANCE, LOCAL LAW, OR LOCAL REGULATION CREATE ALTERNATE SIGNAGE SIZE AND FONT REQUIREMENTS IF THE REQUIREMENTS CONTAINED IN THIS SECTION WOULD VIOLATE LOCAL ZONING RULES, REGULATIONS, OR ORDINANCES. 8. NOTHING IN THIS SECTION SHALL APPLY TO OR INTERFERE WITH SIGNS OR PLACARDS REQUIRED TO BE POSTED PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION FIVE OF SECTION ONE HUNDRED NINETY-TWO OF THIS ARTICLE. 9. NOTHING IN THIS SECTION PROHIBITS ANY PERSON, FIRM OR CORPORATION WHO HAS POSTED OR DISPLAYED A SIGN OR ADVERTISING MEDIUM IN COMPLIANCE WITH THIS CHAPTER FROM DISPLAYING ADDITIONAL SIGNS OR ADVERTISING MEDIA, SO LONG AS THE ADDITIONAL SIGNS OR ADVERTISING MEDIA ARE OF SMALLER SIZE THAN THE MEDIA REQUIRED PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION TWO OF THIS SECTION AND THE ADDITIONAL SIGNS OR MEDIA DO NOT OBSTRUCT OR INTERFERE WITH THE REQUIRED ADVERTISING MEDIUM, WHICH STATE EITHER: A. THE AMOUNT OF DISCOUNT IN CENTS OR DOLLARS PER GALLON, OR B. THE PRICE OF ONE OR MORE BRANDS OR GRADES OF MOTOR FUEL SOLD OR OFFERED FOR SALE, PROVIDED THE CONDITIONS AND ANY LIMITATIONS OF THE DISCOUNT OR PRICE OF THE BRAND OR GRADE OF MOTOR FUEL ARE INCLUDED IN THE ADDITIONAL ADVERTISING MEDIA IN LETTERS NOT LESS THAN ONE-THIRD THE SIZE OF THE NUMERALS INDICATING THE DISCOUNT OR PRICE. S 4. This act shall take effect on the thirtieth day after it shall have become a law; provided that the commissioner of agriculture and markets is authorized to promulgate any rules and regulations necessary to implement this act on or before its effective date.

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