Texas DNC Bill Passes Senate, Heads to Governor

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A do-not-call list bill in Texas has passed the final step of the legislative process and will now be sent to the governor's office for final approval.

The bill was sponsored by state Rep. Burt Solomons, who angered some in the telemarketing industry in April when he was quoted during a legislative debate as saying that telemarketers would be shot if it were up to him.

Solomons, who did not deny he made the comments, has argued that telemarketers' opposition to DNC lists is hypocritical, because the industry publicly claims it does not intend to call consumers who don't want telephone solicitations.

The bill will charge telemarketers $500 per violation of the DNC list. Consumers will be charged $3 for registration, and their names will remain on the list for three years. The list will be updated quarterly and be available to telemarketers for $75. Unless vetoed by the governor, the bill will take effect Jan.1.

The Texas chapter of the AARP, a national organization representing people over the age of 50, has supported DNC list legislation in the state since a bill was first proposed in 1998. AARP officials applauded the Senate's passage of the bill on Thursday.

"The invasion of privacy and unethical practices of some telemarketers are constant sources of complaints from our members," said Jim Hooser, a member of the Texas AARP's state legislative committee.

Texas is the second most populous state in the nation. Its legislature is the fifth this year to pass a DNC list bill.

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