|Posted:||February 15, 2022 10:19 AM|
|From:||Senator Amanda M. Cappelletti|
|To:||All Senate members|
|In the near future, I intend to introduce legislation that would prohibit price gouging during periods of market disruption in the Commonwealth, including pandemics.
As new variants continue to arise in the state, nation and around the world, at-home COVID-19 tests serve as an important tool, helping Pennsylvanians return to work and school while preventing the unnecessary proliferation of COVID-19 throughout communities. Unfortunately, exorbitant retail prices have rendered such test kits unaffordable for many residents. Current law, however, prevents the Attorney General’s Office from investigating potential instances of price gouging in the absence of an emergency declaration. Under the recently-terminated COVID-19 emergency declaration, the Office received more than 5,000 complaints of overpricing within the first four months of the disaster.
To help ensure equitable access to at-home COVID-19 test kits and other products, my legislation would allow the Office of Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection to investigate unconscionably excessive prices of goods and services during a pandemic, even if a state of disaster emergency has not been declared. This would offer Pennsylvanians continued protection from profiteering during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as other periods of market disruption that result in the uneven flow of consumer goods.
Please join me in supporting this important legislation.
Introduced as SB1148