FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) – Kentucky lawmakers have voted to update laws against price gouging in times of emergencies. The bill proposes guidelines to determine when price hikes are unlawfully excessive.
The House passed the bill 58-36 Tuesday, sending it to Gov. Matt Bevin.
The laws aim to protect people from excessive price hikes in times of emergencies for essentials such as food and emergency supplies.
Under the bill, an increase of 10 percent or less above the price on the day before the governor’s order triggering the consumer protections wouldn’t violate the law. A bill critic, Rep. Jim Wayne, says that would let companies hike prices in anticipation of an emergency declaration.
Also, total penalties against any violator could not exceed $25,000 for any 24-hour period.
Supporters say the bill adds clarity to anti-gouging laws to assist with compliance. Attorney General Andy Beshear has said the bill would weaken consumer protections.
The bill is Senate bill 160.