Protecting Consumers and Preventing Fraud
- A law sponsored by Senator Sweeney revised the “Contractors’ Registration Act” to require state-issued identification badges for home improvement contractors. The law is intended to help consumers avoid fraud, particularly in light of Hurricane Sandy. It requires a home improvement contractor to wear a state-issued identification badge whenever the contractor is performing, engaging, or attempting to engage in selling home improvements.
- In response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Sandy, Assemblyman Burzichelli has introduced legislation that requires wholesalers, terminal facilities, motor fuel retail dealers, grocery stores, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and residential rehabilitation facilities to install appropriate wiring for use of generators during power outages.
- Assemblyman Taliaferro is the sponsor of a law that will ensure the fairness of project deadlines, enhance transparency, and create foreclosure protections for Superstorm Sandy victims. As a result of the law, the Department of Community Affairs extended the completion deadline for projects funded through certain grants for applicants who can demonstrate the delay was the fault of their builder or due to delays in approval of the project. The law also offers temporary protections against foreclosure to certain Sandy victims.
- Assemblyman Taliaferro is sponsoring legislation which would increase the criminal offense for financial exploitation of the elderly. The measure would grade financial exploitation of the elderly one degree higher than an ordinary theft offense when the amount involved is $500 or less. Under the bill, theft involving an amount less than $500 would be a third degree offense, which currently falls in the $500 to $75,000 range.
- Assemblyman Burzichelli authored legislation, now law, regarding price-gouging during a state of emergency. The prior statutory language prohibited excessive price increases during a state of emergency or within 30 days of the termination of that state of emergency in the area for which the state of emergency has been declared. This law allows for greater flexibility because it permits the Governor to tailor the price control period to specifically fit each emergency. These protections will deter businesses from taking advantage of consumers during a natural disaster by spiking prices for necessities, such as gasoline and groceries, but also strike a balance between protecting consumers during a natural disaster and supporting businesses once the emergency is over.