Assemblymember Cahill Submits Testimony Supporting Local Checkout Accuracy Law

December 5, 2006

On the eve of their consideration of changes to Ulster County Local Law Number 5 of 2000, Assemblymember Kevin A. Cahill (D-Ulster, Dutchess) submitted written testimony to the Ulster County Legislature supporting the existing law and calling for new measures to strengthen public and vendor awareness.

This measure, also referred to as the Super Refund Law, was crafted by the late Jonathan Van Vlack, former Ulster County Consumer Affairs Director. It requires checkout accuracy and the clear display of prices on most grocery goods and provides a SUPER REFUND for customers and tough fines against supermarkets where register scanners fail to accurately reflect a food item’s marked price.

Over the years, Mr. Cahill's office has distributed thousands of flyers that give a clear explanation of how this law works and include a handy clip-out coupon that consumers can carry in their wallets to ensure they understand the law and receive a super refund when one is due. “This law works, and works well,” noted Mr. Cahill. “We have received an extremely positive reaction from our outreach to Ulster County residents who are grateful for the feeling of empowerment that results from understanding how to demand their rights as shoppers.”

Noting that no single publication of his office has generated as much interest or positive feedback, Mr. Cahill stated that if general sentiment still supports changing the language of Local Law Number 5, consideration should be given to amendments requiring conspicuous posting of the refund policy and documented training of store staff as to its implementation.

“I urge anyone who has contacted my office in the past to offer their support of this measure to reach out to their Ulster County Legislator to advise them of the same,” he added. “I will continue in my effort to make the Ulster County Super Refund Law statewide legislation both as a tribute to the late Jon Van Vlack and because it is the best way to protect consumers from deceptive and negligent pricing practices of some retailers," Assemblymember Cahill concluded.