Arkansas senator withdraws do-not-mail bill

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Arkansas State Rep. George Overbey, a Democrat, has withdrawn his do-not-mail bill.

The bill, HB2725, was introduced March 5. The bill called for the state attorney general to establish and maintain a do-not-mail registry similar to the do-not-call registry.

This is the third do-not-mail bill to be withdrawn this year.

Maryland State Senator Jamie Raskin, a Democrat, withdrew his bill, SB548, March 6. The bill, introduced Feb. 2, required the division of consumer protection of the office of the attorney general to establish and provide for the operation of a restricted mailing registry similar to the do-not-call registry.

Recently, legislators in Colorado and Montana also pulled do-not-mail bills. On March 1, State Rep. Sara Gagliardi, a Democrat, tabled her bill, the Colorado Junk Mail Opt-Out List Act, HB1303, saying that it could be introduced at a later time. On Feb. 22, Rep. Franke Wilmer, a Democrat, killed her bill, the Montana Do-Not-Mail Act, HB718.

Currently, do-not-mail bills that include a do-not-mail registry are pending in Connecticut, Hawaii, Michigan, Missouri, New York, Texas, Vermont and Washington.

In most cases, marketers who mail solicitations to people on these lists would have to pay fines of several thousand dollars per violation. In all cases, nonprofits and politicians would be exempt. There would be a business relationship exemption as well.

Several other bills - in New York, Virginia, New Jersey and Washington - offer related measures, including the creation of a do-not-mail registry of certain senior citizens and people with mental illness. Another would prohibit mailing credit-card solicitations to
people under 21.

The direct mail community is keeping a close eye on do-not-mail bills that have been introduced to state legislators this year in hopes that passage of the bills is blocked.

The Direct Marketing Association, for example, is working with its state lobbyists and the Mail Moves America Coalition to educate consumers and states. The coalition, spearheaded by the DMA, is comprised of major mailing associations and other groups.

Reps. Gagliardi and Wilmer said they pulled their bills after they were approached by unions and associations - as well as paper companies and other members of the mailing industry - about the harm the bills would cause.

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