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A05488 Summary:

Amd 399-p, Gen Bus L
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.
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A05488 Memo:

submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
SPONSOR: Seawright
  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 opera- tor 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 General Business Law.   DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ORIGINAL AND AMENDED VERSION (IF APPLICABLE): Not applicable.   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: 2015: A06026 -Referred to Consumer Affairs and Protection 2016: A06026 -Referred to Consumer Affairs and Protection   FISCAL IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: None to the State or local municipalities.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
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A05488 Text:

                STATE OF NEW YORK
                               2017-2018 Regular Sessions
                   IN ASSEMBLY
                                    February 9, 2017
        Introduced  by  M.  of A. SEAWRIGHT, HARRIS -- read once and referred to
          the Committee on Consumer Affairs and Protection
        AN ACT to amend the general  business  law,  in  relation  to  requiring
          certain  information be provided before placing pre-recorded political

          The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and  Assem-
        bly, do enact as follows:
     1    Section 1. Paragraphs (d) and (e) of subdivision 1 of section 399-p of
     2  the general business law, as amended by chapter 581 of the laws of 1992,
     3  are  amended  and  two  new  paragraphs (f) and (g) are added to read as
     4  follows:
     5    (d) "consumer telephone call" means a call made to a telephone  number
     6  by  a  telephone  solicitor,  whether  by  device, live operator, or any
     7  combination thereof, for the purpose of soliciting a sale of any consum-
     8  er goods or services for personal, family or household purposes  to  the
     9  consumer called, or for the purpose of soliciting an extension of credit
    10  for  consumer  goods  or  services  to  the  consumer called, or for the
    11  purpose of obtaining information that will or may be used for the direct
    12  solicitation of a sale of consumer goods or  services  to  the  consumer
    13  called  or  an extension of credit for such purposes; provided, however,
    14  that "consumer telephone call" shall not include a call made by a  tele-
    15  phone corporation, as defined by subdivision seventeen of section two of
    16  the public service law, in response to a specific inquiry initiated by a
    17  consumer  regarding  that  consumer's  existing  or  requested telephone
    18  service; [and]
    19    (e) "telephone solicitor" means a person who makes  or  causes  to  be
    20  made a consumer telephone call[.];
    21    (f)  "political  committee" shall have the same meaning as subdivision
    22  one of section 14-100 of the election law; and
    23    (g) "pre-recorded political message" shall mean a  pre-recorded  audio
    24  message delivered by telephone that is by:

         EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                              [ ] is old law to be omitted.

        A. 5488                             2
     1    i. a candidate or political committee; or
     2    ii. any person when the content of the message expressly or implicitly
     3  advocates  the success or defeat of any party, measure, or person at any
     4  election, or contains information about any candidate or party.
     5    § 2. Subdivisions 7, 8 and 9 of section 399-p of the general  business
     6  law  are  renumbered subdivisions 8, 9 and 10 and a new subdivision 7 is
     7  added to read as follows:
     8    7. (a) No person or political committee  shall  deliver  or  knowingly
     9  cause  to  be  delivered  using an automatic dialing-announcing device a
    10  pre-recorded political message or consumer telephone call unless a  live
    11  operator  provides,  within  the first thirty seconds of the message the
    12  following information:
    13    i. the name of the candidate or of any organization  or  organizations
    14  the person is calling on behalf of;
    15    ii.  the name of the person or organization paying for the delivery of
    16  the message and the name of the treasurer of any such committee; and
    17    iii. asks the recipient of such call if he or she does in fact want to
    18  listen to such call.
    19    (b) A copy of all such scripts and schedules of such  calls  shall  be
    20  filed  with  the  New  York state board of elections pursuant to article
    21  fourteen of the election law.
    22    (c) Violations of this subdivision shall be punishable by a civil fine
    23  not to exceed two thousand dollars per occurrence.
    24    § 3. This act shall take effect immediately.
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