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Archive for Thursday, May 16, 2002

No-call compromise wins legislative OK

Senate passage sends bill to governor’s desk

May 16, 2002

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— A bill aimed at reducing unwanted telemarketing calls to Kansans is on its way to Gov. Bill Graves.

The Senate voted 39-0 Wednesday for the measure that would require telemarketing companies to purchase a "no-call" list. The House had approved it Tuesday on a 117-4 vote.

The bill would let telephone customers put their phone numbers on a no-call list that would be maintained by the Direct Marketing Assn. an industry group and sold to telemarketers.

House and Senate negotiators drafted the final bill after both chambers approved versions that differed in some aspects but were both based on an industry-backed proposal.

The AARP, representing more than 350,000 Kansans aged 50 or older, had backed a version that would have had the state create, maintain and enforce adherence to a list.

Negotiators said the bill wasn't perfect but would provide some protection to consumers.

Under the compromise, placement of one's name on the no-call list would not provide airtight protection against telemarketing calls.

Charities could continue to solicit by phone. And companies could call consumers with whom they have an "existing business relationship," created through some kind of transaction a purchase for example in the previous three years.

Kansans would be able to sign up for the list for five years at a time at no cost by mail or for $5 over the Internet.

Other provisions state that the attorney general would have the power to negotiate a contract with the Direct Marketing Assn., and that there must always be a free method of getting one's name on the list.

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