Missouri Do-Not-Call Bill Passes House, Senate

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A joint committee of the Missouri House of Representatives and Senate last week passed a bill that provides for the creation of a state-run do-not-call list and also restricts the sending of unsolicited e-mail. Gov. Mel Carnahan has until July 1 to sign the bill into law.

The bill, SB 763, includes elements from a bill, HB 1172, that failed to pass the House earlier this year.

The law requires the state attorney general to establish and operate by July 1, 2001, a do-not-call list of all Missouri residents who do not wish to receive telemarketing calls. Local telecommunications companies will be required to notify their customers of their rights and tell them how to place their name on the list. The law also prohibits telemarketers from using any device that blocks the use of caller-identification services.

Companies that violate the law can be fined up to $5,000, and customers who receive more than one "objectionable solicitation" during a 12-month period can seek an injunction and damages.

The law also prohibits sending unsolicited commercial e-mails to or from a computer in the state unless the e-mail contains a return e-mail address or toll-free phone number that the recipient can use to request not to receive additional transmissions.

Recipients of e-mails that violate this rule can receive up to $500 in damages.

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