Thursday, April 02, 2009
Another bill moving through legislature is bad for consumers
by Larry Geller
Though I’ve concentrated on how dreadful SB1680 could be, the bill that would deregulate cable, phone, etc., it’s not the only bad bill moving forward. Here’s an anti-consumer bill that has made it almost all the way through the legislative process: HB1212.
This bill would hide complaints against professionals and regulated industries. An article in today’s Advertiser, Complaints could get secretive [by Robbie Dingeman], revealed that it is still very much alive, and still a threat:
In other words, if you want to see if there are complaints against (say) a dentist before switching, or against a real estate appraiser before hiring her/or him to help buy or sell your house, you will be kept in the dark about any problems unless they were so very serious that legal action was taken against the licensee.
If the measure becomes law, state complaints and enforcement officer Jo Ann Uchida of the Regulated Industries Complaint Office said the department "could no longer disclose the existence of pending cases or cases closed without legal action to: 1) consumers via its Web site, by telephone, or in writing; 2) investigative and expert witnesses who may possess information or documentary evidence relating to a pending investigation; 3) other divisions within the Department, including the Professional and Vocational Licensing division and the Office of Administrative Hearings; and 4) the licensing boards."
Check out the article. If you want to help stomp out this bill, better take action. Call, email, write, fax or visit your state representative. You can reach all the House member at firstname.lastname@example.org and all Senate members at email@example.com. It’s not going to be easy. So don’t expect someone else to do it.
If you don’t like this, please take action right away. Stomp now, it’s hard to get rid of a bad law later.
Oh, Speaker Calvin Say was one of the introducers. I just thought I would mention that. The other was Rep. Brian Yamane. We need to give blame where blame is due (and lots of legislators voted to move this on, so far).