Gov. Quinn signs new laws to protect consumers

August 26, 2013 (CHICAGO)

Monday's actions are part of Quinn's commitment to protect consumers.

"We must protect consumers from abusive telephone solicitations and from hidden usage fees on reloadable purchasing cards," Governor Quinn said. "These new laws will give Illinois citizens more peace of mind at home and in the marketplace."

Sponsored by State Senator Pamela Althoff (R-Crystal Lake) and State Representative C.D. Davidsmeyer (R-Jacksonville), Senate Bill 2136 requires those who operate an automatic telephone dialer for commercial purposes to keep a record of all calls they make. It also requires the auto-dialer to sufficiently document any calls they make that they claim are exempt from the Restricted Call Registry Act. The law is designed to add teeth to existing laws and to curb abusive practices that some companies use. The legislation also increases the damages that may be sought by consumers for violations that occur.

Senate Bill 2136 takes effect immediately.

Senate Bill 1829, sponsored by State Representative Robert Rita (D-Blue Island) and State Senator Emil Jones, III (D-Chicago), requires specific disclosure requirements regarding fees for general-use, pre-paid purchasing cards. The "fine print" on these cards is often complicated and confusing, resulting in many consumers paying more to use the cards than they realize. The law applies to any card sold to a consumer after January 1, 2015 to give businesses ample time to dispose of existing card inventories and become compliant.

Senate Bill 1829 goes into effect January 1, 2014.

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