April 11, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Legislature Passes Rep. Holmes Bill to Enforce Consumer Protections
“Alaska should not have its hands tied waiting for the federal government to protect our citizens”
This morning, the Alaska State Senate passed HB 274, a bill by Rep. Lindsey Holmes to bolster the state’s ability to stand up for the rights of Alaskan consumers.
Currently, a loophole in state law prevents the state from enforcing Alaska’s Consumer Protection laws in cases where federal and state responsibility overlap. Rep. Holmes’ bill would allow the state to enforce its consumer protection laws when there is shared jurisdiction with the federal government.
“Our state has great laws on the books to stand up Alaskan consumers,” said Holmes, “But we need to make sure there aren’t any inadvertent loopholes that would keep those laws from protecting our citizens.”
The state’s Consumer Protection Act has an exemption that says it does not apply to “conduct prohibited by other state or federal law.” Although some federal law automatically preempts state law, there are many areas where federal and state enforcement overlap. In these cases, the exemption could prevent the state from pursuing claims against corporations engaged in illegal business practices.
“Our State should not have its hands tied waiting for federal enforcement to protect our citizens,” Holmes said, “Passing HB 274 shows that we are going to stand up for Alaskans and protect their rights.”
HB 274 goes on to the Governor for his signature.