Archive for Tuesday, February 26, 2002

House OKs no-call bill, ag contracting measure

February 26, 2002


— A bill to both help consumers avoid telemarketers and give farmers protection in contracts with large agribusinesses won narrow House approval Monday.

The 65-53 vote sent the legislation to the Senate. Supporters had only two votes more than the number needed to pass a bill in the 125-member House.

Some representatives worried about the cost of creating a state "no call" list that telemarketers would be required to use.

Others objected to the provision putting contracts between farmers and companies that buy their crops or livestock under the Consumer Protection Act  a step that would let farmers go to district court if they feel abused.

Critics said the state shouldn't interfere in the marketplace and that enacting such a provision might discourage companies from seeking contracts in Kansas.

The "no call" proposal would require telemarketers to buy a state list for each of Kansas' four area codes every three months. Each quarterly list would cost $25, with some telemarketers paying up to $400 each year.

The Information Network of Kansas, which maintains the state's Internet site, would maintain the lists. Kansans could register free of charge.

No estimate of the costs of creating and updating the lists was available to legislators. Some believe the fees paid by telemarketers would cover expenses; others do not.

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