|SAME AS||SAME AS S04457|
|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; requires registration; authorizes attorney general to investigate violations.|
|01/07/2021||referred to consumer affairs and protection|
|01/05/2022||referred to consumer affairs and protection|
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NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY
MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION
submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A1163 Revised 6/28/2021 SPONSOR: Seawright
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the general business law, in relation to pre-recorded political messages   PURPOSE OR GENERAL IDEA OF BILL: This bill would require before delivery of a pre-recorded political message, a live operator to name the candidate and/or organizations the person is calling on behalf of and who paid for the call, within thirty seconds of the call's start. In addition, the Attorney General is grant- ed the power to investigate violations including the power Subpoena records.   SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: A new subdivision 7 is added to the General Business law to require before delivery of a pre-recorded political message, a live operator to name the candidate and/or organizations the person is calling on behalf of and who paid for the call, within thirty seconds of the call's start. The bill references the definition of political committee contained within Election Law Section 14-100. Copies of scripts and schedules of calls would be required to be filed with the New York State Board of Elections. Persons or political committees operating automatic dialing announcing devices or placing any consumer telephone calls pre-recorded political messages must register with the Secretary of State and NYS Board of Elections The State Attorney-General would also be given power to investigate potential violations including the power to subpoena records in further- ance of the investigation.   DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ORIGINAL AND AMENDED VERSION (IF APPLICABLE): Amended version adds the requirement that persons and/or political committees must register with the Secretary of State and NYS Board of Elections. Amended version adds power to the Attorney General to investigate poten- tial violations with the ability to subpoena records. Requirement of consent is deleted from the amended version.   JUSTIFICATION: Telephone customers are receiving an ever increasing number robocalls of each year. The Federal Trade Commission now receives over 200,000 complaints about robocalls each month. However, neither federal nor state law provide adequate disclosure requirements regarding robocall initiators. This bill would regulate the business of robocalls that many candidates rely upon but which many constituents loath. Specifically, the bill would require companies to utilize a live operator to greet the consumer and within thirty seconds of the call to name the candidate and/or organizations the person is calling on behalf of and who paid for the call. 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.   PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2017-2018: A5488 (Seawright)/S4162 (Krueger) - Referred Assembly and Senate Committees on Consumer Affairs and Protection 2015-2016: A6026 (Seawright)/S2559 (Krueger) - Referred to Assembly and. Senate Committees of Consumer Affairs and Protection 2013-2014: 54581   FISCAL. IMPLICATIONS FOR STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS: To be determined.   EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
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STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1163 2021-2022 Regular Sessions IN ASSEMBLY January 7, 2021 ___________ Introduced by M. of A. SEAWRIGHT -- read once and referred to the Committee on Consumer Affairs and Protection AN ACT to amend the general business law, in relation to pre-recorded political messages 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: 25 i. a candidate or political committee; or EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD05641-01-1A. 1163 2 1 ii. any person when the content of the message expressly or implicitly 2 advocates the success or defeat of any party, measure, or person at any 3 election, or contains information about any candidate or party. 4 § 2. Subdivisions 7, 8 and 9 of section 399-p of the general business 5 law are renumbered subdivisions 8, 9 and 10 and a new subdivision 7 is 6 added to read as follows: 7 7. (a) No person or political committee shall deliver or knowingly 8 cause to be delivered using an automatic dialing-announcing device a 9 pre-recorded political message unless a live operator provides, within 10 the first thirty seconds of the message the following information: 11 i. the name of the candidate or of any organization or organizations 12 the person is calling on behalf of; and 13 ii. the name of the person or organization paying for the delivery of 14 the message and the name of the treasurer of any such committee. 15 (b) A copy of all such scripts and schedules of such calls shall be 16 filed with the New York state board of elections pursuant to article 17 fourteen of the election law within twenty-four hours of such calls 18 being made. 19 (c) Any person or political committee operating an automatic dialing- 20 announcing device or placing any consumer telephone calls or pre-record- 21 ed political messages shall register with the secretary of state as well 22 as the New York state board of elections. 23 (d) The attorney general shall have the power to investigate 24 violations of this subdivision. Such power shall also include the abili- 25 ty to subpoena records in furtherance of any such investigation. 26 (e) Violations of this subdivision shall be punishable by a civil fine 27 not to exceed two thousand dollars per occurrence. 28 § 3. This act shall take effect immediately.