Saturday, February 12, 2005

Amendment being considered regarding agriculture and markets law, in relation to kosher for Passover product price gouging - anyone have more info?

6 Comments:

At 11:56 PM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

Anyone have details as to the proposed amendments?

This is what I have so far from contacts:
NY SB 822, 2005-2006, Diaz, Sr. AN ACT to amend the agriculture and markets law, in relation to kosher for Passover product price gouging
13 February 2005
LegAlert

20050120 - (S) INTRODUCED AND REFERRED TO COMMITTEE ON SENATE CONSUMER PROTECTION

 
At 12:11 AM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

http://assembly.state.ny.us/leg/?bn=S00822

S00822 Summary:
SAME AS No same as
SPONSOR DIAZ
COSPNSR ANDREWS, BROWN,
HASSELL-THOMPSON, KRUEGER, KRUGER, OPPENHEIMER,PARKER, SAMPSON
MLTSPNSR
Add S201-k, Ag & Mkts L

Prohibits price gouging on kosher for Passover products; authorizes the department of agriculture and markets to investigate instances of price gouging on such products and to conduct an annual Passover price survey to determine
instances of price gouging; authorizes the attorney general to bring an action to stop the alleged price gouging and provides for a civil penalty of $10,000 for an instance of price gouging; establishes a defense to the charge.

S00822 Actions:
01/20/2005 REFERRED TO CONSUMER PROTECTION
S00822 Votes:
S00822 Memo:

Bill text:
STATE OF NEW YORK
822
2005-2006 Regular Sessions
IN SENATE
January 20, 2005 ___________
Introduced by Sens. DIAZ, ANDREWS, BROWN, HASSELL-THOMPSON, KRUEGER,KRUGER, OPPENHEIMER, PARKER, SAMPSON -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Consumer
Protection

AN ACT to amend the agriculture and markets law, in relation to kosher for Passover product price gouging

THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEMBLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:
Section 1. The agriculture and markets law is amended by adding a new section 201-k to read as follows:
S 201-K. KOSHER FOR PASSOVER PRODUCT PRICE GOUGING. 1. DURING THE PASSOVER SEASON, NO PARTY WITHIN THE CHAIN OF DISTRIBUTION OF KOSHER FOR PASSOVER PRODUCTS SHALL SELL OR OFFER TO SELL ANY SUCH PRODUCTS FOR AN AMOUNT WHICH REPRESENTS AN UNCONSCIONABLY EXCESSIVE PRICE. THE DEPARTMENT IS HEREBY AUTHORIZED TO INVESTIGATE INSTANCES OF KOSHER FOR PASSOVER PRODUCT PRICE GOUGING DURING THE PASSOVER SEASON. SUCH INVESTIGATION SHALL INCLUDE, BUT NOT BE LIMITED TO, AN ANNUAL PASSOVER PRICE
SURVEY TO EXAMINE THE PRICES OF KOSHER FOR PASSOVER PRODUCTS BEFORE, DURING AND AFTER THE PASSOVER SEASON.
2. WHETHER A PRICE IS UNCONSCIONABLY EXCESSIVE IS A QUESTION OF LAW FOR THE COURT.
(A) THE COURT`S DETERMINATION THAT A VIOLATION OF THIS SECTION HAS OCCURRED SHALL BE BASED ON ANY OF THE FOLLOWING FACTORS: (I) THAT THE AMOUNT OF THE EXCESS IN PRICE IS UNCONSCIONABLY EXTREME; OR (II) THAT THERE WAS AN EXERCISE OF UNFAIR LEVERAGE OR UNCONSCIONABLE MEANS; OR
(III) A COMBINATION OF BOTH FACTORS IN SUBPARAGRAPHS (I) AND (II) OF THIS PARAGRAPH.

B) IN ANY PROCEEDING COMMENCED PURSUANT TO SUBDIVISION THREE OF THIS SECTION, PRIMA FACIE PROOF THAT A VIOLATION OF THIS SECTION HAS OCCURRED SHALL INCLUDE EVIDENCE THAT:

EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets { } is old law to be omitted.

LBD05187-01-5
S. 822
(I) THE AMOUNT CHARGED REPRESENTS A GROSS DISPARITY BETWEEN THE PRICE OF THE GOODS OR SERVICES WHICH WERE THE SUBJECT OF THE TRANSACTION AND THEIR VALUE MEASURED BY THE PRICE AT WHICH SUCH KOSHER FOR PASSOVER
PRODUCTS WERE SOLD OR OFFERED FOR SALE BY THE DEFENDANT IN THE USUAL COURSE OF BUSINESS IMMEDIATELY PRIOR TO THE PASSOVER SEASON; OR (II) THE AMOUNT CHARGED GROSSLY EXCEEDED THE PRICE AT WHICH THE SAME OR SIMILAR KOSHER FOR PASSOVER PRODUCTS WERE READILY OBTAINABLE BY OTHER CONSUMERS IN THE TRADE AREA. A DEFENDANT MAY REBUT A PRIMA FACIE CASE WITH EVIDENCE THAT ADDITIONAL COSTS NOT WITHIN THE CONTROL OF THE DEFENDANT WERE IMPOSED ON THE DEFENDANT FOR THE PRODUCTS.
3. WHERE A VIOLATION OF THIS SECTION IS ALLEGED TO HAVE OCCURRED, THE ATTORNEY GENERAL MAY APPLY IN THE NAME OF THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK TO THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK WITHIN THE JUDICIAL DISTRICT IN WHICH SUCH VIOLATIONS ARE ALLEGED TO HAVE OCCURRED, ON NOTICE OF FIVE DAYS, FOR AN ORDER ENJOINING OR RESTRAINING COMMISSION OR
CONTINUANCE OF THE ALLEGED UNLAWFUL ACTS. IN ANY SUCH PROCEEDING, THE COURT SHALL IMPOSE A CIVIL PENALTY IN AN AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED TEN THOUSAND DOLLARS AND, WHERE APPROPRIATE, ORDER RESTITUTION TO AGGRIEVED CONSUMERS.

4. THE COMMISSIONER SHALL PROMULGATE ANY ADDITIONAL RULES AND REGULATIONS AS ARE NECESSARY TO IMPLEMENT THE PROVISIONS OF THIS SECTION,
INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A KOSHER FOR PASSOVER PRODUCTS HOTLINE FOR CONSUMERS TO REPORT PRICE COMPLAINTS.

S 2. This act shall take effect on the sixtieth day after it shall have become a law.

.SO DOC S 822

 
At 12:19 AM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

Questions and comments:
1) Will this law pass in time for this Pesach?
2) Feel free to post any price gouging you see in this thread.

 
At 12:20 AM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

Early reminder:
http://www.nyc.gov/html/dca/html/passover02.html

Commissioner Dykstra Also Encourages New Yorkers to Donate Their Chometz to City Harvest
In order to protect New Yorkers observing the Passover holiday, New York City Consumer Affairs Commissioner Gretchen Dykstra announced today that the Department has established a Passover Hotline for consumers to report any suspected price gouging on Kosher-for-Passover Items. In addition, the Commissioner announced that there would be a squad of designated Consumer Affairs inspectors to investigate any suspected price gouging.

"Protecting New Yorkers from price gouging is always a priority for the Department of Consumer Affairs, but that mission takes on a special significance when it comes to items that people purchase for religious observances," said Commissioner Dykstra. "Starting today, and throughout the holiday, there will be a dedicated squad of inspectors and a hotline that consumers can call if they feel they are being gouged on Kosher for Passover items."

"This year, Consumer Affairs has gone beyond the usual price survey of stores throughout the city hoping to catch price gouging," said Commissioner Dykstra. "In previous years, once the survey was conducted and released, Consumer Affairs had no immediate and effective way to battle price gouging. By having the hotline for consumers to call, and inspectors ready to go out on a moment's notice, New Yorkers can rest assured that Consumer Affairs will protect them from vendors who may seek to take advantage of them during the holiday."

Consumer who wish to report suspected price gouging should call the Consumer Affairs main Complaint Hotline at (212) 487-4444 and then press 1-2-1-1 to speak to an operator. Once the complaint has been logged, inspectors will be dispatched from the department to investigate the alleged price gouging.

Chometz Donations

Additionally, Commissioner Dykstra encouraged New Yorkers who are searching for a way to dispose of any chometz or other non-Kosher items to donate those items to City Harvest. For the third year in a row City Harvest has organized a chometz collection before Passover.

"City Harvest provides a unique opportunity to remove your chometz before Passover and feed hungry New Yorkers," said Commissioner Dykstra. "City Harvest will pick up donated food and deliver it to one of the 700 community programs they serve throughout New York City.

City Harvest was founded in 1981 and is the world's largest and oldest food rescue program. City Harvest delivers nearly 40,000 pounds of food daily - about 15 million pounds this year - to food pantries, soup kitchens, day care and senior centers, homeless shelters and charitable organizations serving low-income families and individuals in New York's five boroughs. New Yorkers should have their chometz ready and scheduled for pickup by March 25th so that City Harvest can assure that it is off of their premises before Passover.
New Yorkers who wish to make food pick-up arrangements should contact Angela Morrissey of City Harvest at (917) 351-8700 ext. 151.

 
At 7:36 AM, Blogger Reb Yudel said...

You ask: Will this pass? If so, when?

Calls to make:

* Office of a sponsoring senator. Which organization(s) support the measure?
* Sen. Majority leader Bruno's office -- what's his view?
* Assembly leader Sheldon Silver's office -- what does he think?
* Governor Pataki's office -- what does he think?

It's an easy story. Someone might want to pitch it to Ami Eden at the Forward if they want to pick up a few extra bucks.

 
At 7:56 AM, Blogger jewishwhistleblower said...

>It's an easy story. Someone
>might want to pitch it to Ami
>Eden at the Forward if they want
>to pick up a few extra bucks.

As with all my material on this blog, feel free to use it. Use the research freely for news articles.

I require no credit.

 

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