Lawmakers Hope to Expand No Call List

6 years 9 months 1 week ago Wednesday, February 29 2012 Feb 29, 2012 Wednesday, February 29, 2012 10:47:00 AM CST February 29, 2012 in News
By: Kristen James
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JEFFERSON CITY - Lawmakers are one step closer to adding cell phones to Missouri's No Call List.  Senate bills 484 and 594 passed in the Senate, and have been read in the House.

A number of bills were proposed this legislative session hoping to protect cell phone users in Missouri. Sen. Eric Schmitt, R-Glendale, proposed a bill hoping to protect Missourians from unwanted cell phone calls.

"Clearly now, with fewer and fewer people having landlines and more and more people having cell phones and using their cell phones more often, it's just really a way to bring that law that we have in to line with the current use of telecommunication devices," Schmitt said. 

The Federal Do Not Call list allows people to register their cell phones. But critics said telemarketers have found loopholes in the Missouri law, creating a need for state legislation. Current state law cover landline and homes phones, not cell phone and mobile technology.

"Telemarketers and marketing agencies understand that the utilization of cell phones has gone through the roof," Schmitt said. "There are thousands of people that are trying to register right now that can't because we don't have a law that protects them, so we want to make sure we get this into law this year."

Sen. Schmitt's bill was combined with similar do not call legislation this session. The bill requires political calls to include "paid for by" when contacting Missourians. Sen. Will Kraus, R-Lee's Summit, is sponsoring a separate bill that does not include wording for political ads.

"Constituents contact us for years on this bill, and it's always been lumped with robocalls, and consequently robocalls is somewhat more controversial than just banning cell phones from being added on this list," Kraus said. "I believe by decoupling the two, we'll be able to get these cell phones to pass."

Robocalls are computerized, pre-recorded political advertisements. Similar legislation has failed in the past because politicians do not want to loose the ability to call constituents during election years.

"At the end of the day it's about protecting consumers and making sure that their daily lives aren't infringed upon," Schmitt said.

Both bills have passed in the Senate, and are being read in the House.

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