Lawmaker Reintroduces Do-Not-Mail Bill in NY Assembly

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A bill was reintroduced in the New York Assembly last month that would establish a do-not-mail/e-mail statewide registry.

The bill was re-introduced by Republican Assemblyman David McDonough and referred to the Committee on Consumer Affairs and Protection on Jan. 21. He first introduced the bill in the 2003-04 session. That bill died in committee last year.

If enacted, the New York state Consumer Protection Board would maintain the registry. It would include those who do not wish to receive unsolicited direct mail marketing. Fines not to exceed $2,000 per violation could be imposed upon direct mail marketers who violate the provisions of the legislation.

The registry would be modeled after the do-not-call law. Businesses that have a relationship with a customer would be able to send mail and e-mails without being fined. Charities, the government and political mailers would be exempt.

The bill would take effect six months from the date of it being signed into law.

The purpose of the bill is to "substantially reduce the amount of unwanted bulk mail people receive in their home and to reduce the more than 500,000 tons of solid waste generated by bulk mail each year in New York state," according to the bill's summary language.

Mailing industry insiders said the bill should not be ignored.

"[Though] the reasons for the legislation that were stated in the summary are not entirely well-founded, nor is their information accurate or fair, the fact that legislatures are using this kind of information and paying attention to it and that bills based on it are actually being filed suggests that the mailing industry should not ignore the problem," said Leo Raymond, director of postal affairs at the Mailing & Fulfillment Service Association, Alexandria, VA.


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