A09548 Summary:

BILL NOA09548
 
SAME ASSAME AS A10013
 
SPONSORKaminsky
 
COSPNSRDinowitz, Paulin, Jaffee, Colton, Galef, Lavine, Weprin, Gunther, Hooper, Buchwald, Sepulveda, Montesano, Skoufis, Thiele, Zebrowski, Barrett, Gottfried, Arroyo, Linares, Rosenthal
 
MLTSPNSRCook, Lentol, Magee, Markey, Perry, Robinson, Steck, Weinstein
 
Add 396-xx, Gen Bus L; amd 192, add 192-i, Ag & Mkts L
 
Specifies requirements for motor fuel advertising media; requires clearly visible signs relating to the pricing of motor fuels.
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A09548 Actions:

BILL NOA09548
 
03/16/2016referred to consumer affairs and protection
05/04/2016enacting clause stricken
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A09548 Memo:

NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
 
BILL NUMBER: A9548
 
SPONSOR: Kaminsky (MS)
  TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the general business law and the agri- culture and markets law, in relation to specifying requirements for motor fuel advertising media   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: The purpose of this bill is to ensure that motorists are able to make informed decisions with respect to motor fuel purchases.   SUMMARY OF SPECIFIC PROVISIONS: This bill would update New York law related to the posting of motor fuel prices by motor fuel dealers. The bill would require dealers offering fuel to the public at different prices based on method of payment, a sign that must prominently display the higher of the prices offered. The bill would provide that failure to comply shall subject any person or firm to a civil penalty of up to five hundred dollars for a first offense, up to one thousand dollars for a second offense, and up to ten thousand dollars for a third or subsequent offense.   JUSTIFICATION: Motorists are feeling significant pain at the pump. To add insult to injury, some motorists have reported being lured to a particular gas station by the promise of reduced price fuel, only to find that the price listed on the roadside sign only applies to cash purchases. Motorists depend on roadside signs to determine which gas station to patronize, using such signs to quickly comparison shop among competing stations. Over the past several months, as an increasing number of stations have begun offering reduced prices to customers that pay cash, motorists have reported instances of unclear and unreadable discount disclosures. In some instances, the words "cash" and "credit" are posted in a font so small the words are nearly impossible to read unless the motorists is directly under or beside the sign. Similar practices have been documented in the past. In August 2008, the Attorney General revealed the results of an investigation showing that nearly one-third of gas stations operating in Nassau and Suffolk coun- ties engaged in deceptive practices. The Attorney General's investi- gation identified instances where gas stations engaged in deceptive advertising by listing the lower cash prices on their street-view signage without disclosing that the price was only for cash trans- actions. This practice can result in motorists being lured to the pumps only to find out that if they choose to use a credit card they will be charged a higher price. In order to protect consumers and to provide regulatory guidance to gasoline station operators, this bill would require operators that offer discounts to conspicuously post the higher price or; if only the discounted price is offered, clearly label the conditions of such discounted price.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2013-14- A.1752-A - Referred to Codes 2011-12- A.9927-D - Referred to Rules   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after which it shall have become a law.
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A09548 Text:



 
                STATE OF NEW YORK
        ________________________________________________________________________
 
                                          9548
 
                   IN ASSEMBLY
 
                                     March 16, 2016
                                       ___________
 
        Introduced  by  M.  of  A.  KAMINSKY,  DINOWITZ, PAULIN, JAFFEE, COLTON,
          GALEF, LAVINE, WEPRIN, GUNTHER, HOOPER, BUCHWALD, SEPULVEDA,  MONTESA-
          NO, SKOUFIS, THIELE, ZEBROWSKI, BARRETT, GOTTFRIED, ARROYO, LINARES --
          Multi-Sponsored  by  --  M.  of A. COOK, LENTOL, MAGEE, MARKEY, PERRY,
          ROBINSON, STECK, WEINSTEIN -- read once and referred to the  Committee
          on Consumer Affairs and Protection

        AN ACT to amend the general business law and the agriculture and markets
          law, in relation to specifying requirements for motor fuel advertising
          media
 
          The  People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
 
     1    Section 1. The general business law is amended by adding a new section
     2  396-xx to read as follows:
     3    § 396-xx. Advertising medium; motor fuel sales. 1. The term "advertis-
     4  ing medium," as used in this section, shall mean a street  sign  located
     5  within  ten  feet  of  the  main entrance of the place of business or as
     6  close as practicable.
     7    2. a. In the event that the same  grade  of  motor  fuel  is  sold  at
     8  different  prices  from  any single place of business, then the place of
     9  business must have an advertising medium that: (i)  complies  with  this
    10  section;  (ii)  displays  at  least the higher of the prices offered for
    11  that grade of motor fuel; and (iii) is a street sign, which is at  least
    12  six feet high and four feet wide and at least eight feet off the ground.
    13    b. The advertising medium shall, to the extent practicable, be clearly
    14  visible  from  each  street  or highway which has a motor vehicle access
    15  point to the place of business. When the place of business  is  situated
    16  at  an  intersection,  the  advertising medium required pursuant to this
    17  section shall, to the extent practicable, be clearly visible  from  each
    18  street  of  the intersection. All information required to be included on
    19  such advertising medium pursuant to this  section  shall  be  posted  or
    20  maintained  in a clear and conspicuous manner.  For the purposes of this
    21  section, motor fuel does not include propane.
    22    c. This subdivision shall not apply to discounts or  price  reductions
    23  not  available  to  the  general  public, including, but not limited to,
 
         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                                   LBD01557-01-5

        A. 9548                             2
 
     1  discounts or price reductions provided pursuant to an  awards,  rewards,
     2  loyalty, or promotional program.
     3    3.  All  letters,  words,  figures,  or numerals which are part of the
     4  advertising media required by subdivision two of this section shall have
     5  a heavy type face or stroke, shall be clearly visible, and of a color or
     6  tint that will contrast the letters, words, figures,  or  numerals  with
     7  the  background  of  the  advertising  media. The height of the letters,
     8  figures, and numerals, except the letter "l" and numeral one, shall  not
     9  be more than twice the width.
    10    4.  a.  Failure  to  comply  with the provisions of this section shall
    11  subject a person, firm or corporation offering for sale or  selling  any
    12  motor  fuel  to  the  public  to  a  civil penalty of up to five hundred
    13  dollars for a first offense, up to one thousand  dollars  for  a  second
    14  offense,  and  up  to  ten  thousand  dollars  for a third or subsequent
    15  offense.
    16    b. The provisions of this section may be enforced concurrently by  the
    17  director  of  a municipal consumer affairs office, or by the town attor-
    18  ney, city corporation counsel, or other lawful  designee  of  a  munici-
    19  pality  or local government, and all moneys collected under this section
    20  shall be retained by such municipality or local government.
    21    5. a. The provisions of this section shall not apply  to  any  person,
    22  firm  or  corporation offering for sale or selling any motor fuel to the
    23  public operating within a political subdivision that has already enacted
    24  and continues in effect a local law, ordinance, rule  or  regulation  in
    25  substantial conformity with this section. The provisions of this section
    26  shall  not be construed to limit in any way the authority of a political
    27  subdivision to enact, implement and continue to enforce local  laws  and
    28  regulations  governing the sale of motor fuels that were in effect prior
    29  to the effective date of  this  section,  or  to  enact,  implement  and
    30  enforce  any amendments thereto after the effective date of this section
    31  so long as the amendments remain in  substantial  conformity  with  this
    32  section.  The  provisions of this section shall be enforced in the coun-
    33  ties outside the city of New York by the  county  or  city  director  of
    34  weights and measures, as the case may be, and in the city of New York by
    35  the department of consumer affairs.
    36    b.  Any  political  subdivision  may,  by  ordinance, exempt specified
    37  geographic areas for the  provisions  of  this  section  for  scenic  or
    38  historic  preservation  purposes  upon approval of such exemption by the
    39  commissioner of agriculture and markets.
    40    c. Any person, firm or corporation offering for sale  or  selling  any
    41  motor  fuel  to the public operating within a political subdivision that
    42  has enacted a local zoning ordinance or local law regarding  advertising
    43  mediums  that  prevent  compliance with the requirements of this section
    44  may apply  to  the  commissioner  of  agriculture  and  markets  for  an
    45  exemption from the requirements of this section or a modified compliance
    46  scheme  that addresses the issue preventing compliance with the require-
    47  ments of this section.   The commissioner  of  agriculture  and  markets
    48  shall,  following  an  investigation,  at  his  or  her sole discretion,
    49  approve or deny the request for an exemption or modification.
    50    6. Nothing in this section shall apply to signs or  placards  required
    51  to  be  posted pursuant to subdivision five of section one hundred nine-
    52  ty-two of the agriculture and markets law.
    53    7. Nothing in this section prohibits any person, firm  or  corporation
    54  who  has  posted or displayed a sign or advertising medium in compliance
    55  with this section from displaying  additional  pricing  signs,  provided
    56  that  such  additional  pricing signs are of smaller size than the media

        A. 9548                             3
 
     1  required pursuant to subdivision two of this section and the  additional
     2  pricing signs do not obstruct or interfere with the required advertising
     3  medium.
     4    § 2. Subparagraph (iii) of paragraph a of subdivision 5 of section 192
     5  of  the  agriculture  and  markets law, as amended by chapter 101 of the
     6  laws of 1986, is amended and a new subparagraph (iv) is added to read as
     7  follows:
     8    (iii) where  a  multiple  product  dispensing  device  is  capable  of
     9  dispensing  multiple products at multiple prices, then the selling price
    10  per gallon [may] shall be posted thereon with numerals at least one-half
    11  that height and one-half that width required by subparagraph (i) of this
    12  paragraph, although numerals  representing  tenths  of  a  cent  may  be
    13  displayed  at  no less than one-half those dimensions which disclose the
    14  selling price per gallon of such motor fuel dispensed therefrom[.]; or
    15    (iv) where a cash discount is offered, at  least  one  sign  or  label
    16  shall  be  conspicuously displayed on the dispenser indicating the price
    17  per gallon of the fuel after the cash discount. Such sign or label  must
    18  display  such  price in letters and numerals not less than one-half inch
    19  high.
    20    § 3. The agriculture and markets  law  is  amended  by  adding  a  new
    21  section 192-i to read as follows:
    22    §  192-i. Advertising medium; motor fuel sales. 1. The term "advertis-
    23  ing medium," as used in this section, shall mean a street  sign  located
    24  within  ten  feet  of  the  main entrance of the place of business or as
    25  close as practicable.
    26    2. a. In the event that the same  grade  of  motor  fuel  is  sold  at
    27  different  prices  from  any single place of business, then the place of
    28  business must have an advertising medium that: (i)  complies  with  this
    29  section;  (ii)  displays  at  least the higher of the prices offered for
    30  that grade of motor fuel; and (iii) is a street sign, which is at  least
    31  six feet high and four feet wide and at least eight feet off the ground.
    32    b.  The advertising medium required pursuant to this section shall, to
    33  the extent practicable, be clearly visible from each street  or  highway
    34  which  has  a  motor vehicle access point to the place of business. When
    35  the place of business is situated at an  intersection,  the  advertising
    36  medium  shall,  to  the extent practicable, be clearly visible from each
    37  street of the intersection. For the purposes of this section, motor fuel
    38  does not include propane.
    39    c. This subdivision shall not apply to discounts or  price  reductions
    40  not  available  to  the  general  public, including, but not limited to,
    41  discounts or price reductions provided pursuant to an  awards,  rewards,
    42  loyalty, or promotional program.
    43    3.  All  letters,  words,  figures,  or numerals which are part of the
    44  advertising media required by subdivision two of this section shall have
    45  a heavy type face or stroke, shall be clearly visible, and of a color or
    46  tint that will contrast the letters, words, figures,  or  numerals  with
    47  the  background  of  the  advertising  media. The height of the letters,
    48  figures, and numerals, except the letter "l" and numeral one, shall  not
    49  be more than twice the width.
    50    4.  a.  Failure  to  comply  with the provisions of this section shall
    51  subject a person, firm or corporation offering for sale or  selling  any
    52  motor  fuel  to  the  public  to  a  civil penalty of up to five hundred
    53  dollars for a first offense, up to one thousand  dollars  for  a  second
    54  offense,  and  up  to  ten  thousand  dollars  for a third or subsequent
    55  offense.

        A. 9548                             4
 
     1    b. The provisions of this section may be enforced concurrently by  the
     2  director  of  a municipal consumer affairs office, or by the town attor-
     3  ney, city corporation counsel, or other lawful  designee  of  a  munici-
     4  pality  or local government, and all moneys collected under this section
     5  shall be retained by such municipality or local government.
     6    c.  Any  person,  firm or corporation offering for sale or selling any
     7  motor fuel to the public operating within a political  subdivision  that
     8  has  enacted a local zoning ordinance or local law regarding advertising
     9  mediums that prevent compliance with the requirements  of  this  section
    10  may  apply to the commissioner for an exemption from the requirements of
    11  this section or a modified compliance scheme that  addresses  the  issue
    12  preventing  compliance  with  the  requirements  of  this section.   The
    13  commissioner shall, following an  investigation,  at  his  or  her  sole
    14  discretion,  approve  or  deny the request for an exemption or modifica-
    15  tion.
    16    5. The commissioner shall promulgate rules and  regulations  necessary
    17  or  appropriate  to  carry out the provisions of this section, and shall
    18  make available on the department's website a summary of  the  provisions
    19  of this section and any regulations promulgated thereunder.
    20    6.  a.  The  provisions of this section shall not apply to any person,
    21  firm or corporation offering for sale or selling any motor fuel  to  the
    22  public operating within a political subdivision that has already enacted
    23  and  continues  in  effect a local law, ordinance, rule or regulation in
    24  substantial conformity with this section. The provisions of this section
    25  shall not be construed to limit in any way the authority of a  political
    26  subdivision  to  enact, implement and continue to enforce local laws and
    27  regulations governing the sale of motor fuels that were in effect  prior
    28  to  the  effective  date  of  this  section,  or to enact, implement and
    29  enforce any amendments thereto after the effective date of this  section
    30  so  long  as  the  amendments remain in substantial conformity with this
    31  section. The provisions of this section shall be enforced in  the  coun-
    32  ties  outside  the  city  of  New York by the county or city director of
    33  weights and measures, as the case may be, and in the city of New York by
    34  the department of consumer affairs.
    35    b. Any political  subdivision  may,  by  ordinance,  exempt  specified
    36  geographic  areas  for  the  provisions  of  this  section for scenic or
    37  historic preservation purposes upon approval of such  exemption  by  the
    38  commissioner.
    39    7.  Nothing  in this section shall apply to signs or placards required
    40  to be posted pursuant to subdivision five of section one  hundred  nine-
    41  ty-two of this article.
    42    8.  Nothing  in this section prohibits any person, firm or corporation
    43  who has posted or displayed a sign or advertising medium  in  compliance
    44  with  this  section  from  displaying additional pricing signs, provided
    45  that such additional pricing signs are of smaller size  than  the  media
    46  required  pursuant to subdivision two of this section and the additional
    47  pricing signs do not obstruct or interfere with the required advertising
    48  medium.
    49    § 4. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after
    50  it shall have become a law; provided that the commissioner  of  agricul-
    51  ture  and  markets is authorized to promulgate any rules and regulations
    52  necessary to implement this act on or before its effective date.
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