Bill Text: AZ SB1584 | 2022 | Fifty-fifth Legislature 2nd Regular | Introduced


Bill Title: Price gouging; emergencies

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 1-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2022-02-02 - Senate read second time [SB1584 Detail]

Download: Arizona-2022-SB1584-Introduced.html

 

 

 

REFERENCE TITLE: price gouging; emergencies

 

 

 

 

State of Arizona

Senate

Fifty-fifth Legislature

Second Regular Session

2022

 

 

SB 1584

 

Introduced by

Senator Quezada

 

 

AN ACT

 

amending title 44, chapter 9, Arizona Revised Statutes, by adding article 27; relating to trade practices.

 

 

(TEXT OF BILL BEGINS ON NEXT PAGE)

 


Be it enacted by the Legislature of the State of Arizona:

Section 1. Title 44, chapter 9, Arizona Revised Statutes, is amended by adding article 27, to read:

ARTICLE 27. PRICE GOUGING

START_STATUTE44-1383. Definitions

In this article, unless the context otherwise requires:

1. "Building materials" means lumber, construction tools, windows and anything else used in the building or rebuilding of property.

2. "Consumer food items" means any item that is used or intended to be used by a person or animal for food, drink, confection or condiment.

3. "Emergency supplies" includes water, flashlights, radios, batteries, candles, blankets, soaps, diapers, temporary shelters, tape, toilet paper, tissues, paper towels, toiletries, plywood, nails and hammers.

4. "Gasoline" means any fuel used to power any motor vehicle or power tool.

5. "Local emergency" means a natural or man-made emergency resulting from an earthquake, flood, fire, riot, storm, drought, epidemic, plant or animal infestation or disease or other natural or man-made disaster for which a local emergency has been declared by a local authority.

6. "Medical supplies" includes prescription and nonprescription medications, bandages, gauze, isopropyl alcohol and antibacterial products.

7. "Repair or reconstruction services" means services performed by any person who is required to be licensed as a contractor under title 32, chapter 10 for repairs to residential or commercial property of any type that is damaged as a result of a disaster.

8. "State of emergency" means a natural or man-made emergency resulting from an earthquake, flood, fire, riot, storm, drought, epidemic, plant or animal infestation or disease or other natural or man-made disaster for which a state of emergency has been declared by the president of the United States or the governor.

9. "Transportation, freight and storage services" means any service that is performed by any company that contracts to move, store or transport personal or business property or that rents equipment for those purposes, including towing services. END_STATUTE

START_STATUTE44-1383.01. Emergency periods; excess pricing; prohibition

A. During a state of emergency or local emergency, and for a period of thirty days after the end of that emergency period, it is unlawful for a person to sell or offer to sell any building materials, consumer food items, emergency supplies, gasoline, home heating oil, medical supplies, repair or reconstruction services or transportation, freight and storage services for a price that is more than ten percent above the price that was charged by that person for those goods or services immediately before the declaration of emergency. If a person did not sell the goods or services immediately before the declaration of the emergency, the price may not be more than ten percent above the average price that was charged in that county immediately before the declaration of emergency except that a greater price increase is allowed if the seller can prove that the increase in price was directly attributable to additional costs imposed on the seller by the supplier of the goods or directly attributable to additional costs for labor or materials used to provide the services if the price is not more than ten percent above the total of the cost to the seller plus the markup customarily applied by the seller for that good or service in the usual course of business immediately before the onset of the state of emergency or local emergency.

B. During a state of emergency or local emergency, and for a period of thirty days after the end of that emergency period, it is unlawful for an owner or operator of a hotel, motel or other room-renting service to increase the regular rates, as advertised immediately before the declaration of emergency, by more than ten percent except that a greater price increase is allowed if the owner or operator can prove that the increase in price is directly attributable to additional costs imposed on the owner or operator for goods or labor used in its business, to seasonal adjustments in rates that are regularly scheduled or to previously contracted rates.

C. If deemed necessary to protect the lives, property or welfare of citizens, the governor, the legislature or a local authority may apply subsections A and B of this section for additional thirty-day periods as needed.

D. A business that offers an item for sale at a reduced price immediately before the declaration of emergency may use the price at which it usually sells the item to calculate the price requirement's prescribed in this section.END_STATUTE

START_STATUTE44-1383.02. Unlawful practices; civil penalty; right of action

A. A violation of this article is an unlawful act or practice pursuant to section 44-1522 and is subject to a civil penalty of up to $10,000 for each violation. The attorney general may investigate the unlawful act or practice and take appropriate action pursuant to chapter 10, article 7 of this title.

B. A person who loses monies or property due to a violation of this article has a right of action. In an action under this section, the court, in addition to any other appropriate legal or equitable relief, shall award threefold the damages sustained by the person. The court shall also award reasonable attorney fees, filing fees and reasonable court costs.END_STATUTE

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