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Dead DNC Bill Resurrected in Colorado

A proposed do-not-call list bill that had died in the Colorado Legislature in April was passed this week after its supporters did some last-minute campaigning.

Although state Senate Bill 93, the original DNC list proposal, died in the House of Representatives after approval in the Senate, House supporters offered another proposal, House Bill 1405, on April 30. It passed the House May 8 and received Senate approval on May 9, the last day the Colorado Legislature was in session.

Unless Colorado Gov. Bill Owens vetoes the bill, the DNC list will take effect July 1, 2002. Registration will be free to the public, and the list will be available to telemarketers for $500.

One telecommunications company, McLeodUSA, Cedar Rapids, IA, protested the bill on the grounds that it favored established companies and denied fair competition. The bill provides an exemption for calls made to consumers with whom companies have had a prior business relationship in the past 18 months, even if that relationship has since ceased.

McLeodUSA argued that telecommunications providers such as Qwest, AT&T and Worldcom, which have a history of doing business in Colorado, would have access to consumers that newcomers trying to break into the state market would not.

Thirty-three states have considered or are considering DNC list legislation this year. Earlier this year, Wyoming passed a bill requiring telemarketers to use the Direct Marketing Association's do-not-call list. Another DNC list bill is on the desk of the Indiana governor awaiting signature or veto.

The Indiana bill, which received final approval from the state House of Representatives May 3, exempts nonprofits, newspapers and insurance telemarketers from the list. Unless vetoed by the governor, the bill will become effective no later than Jan. 1, 2002. It carries fines of $10,000 for the first violation and $25,000 for each subsequent violation.

The consumer protection division of the Indiana attorney general's office will handle consumer registration, maintenance and enforcement of the list. The list will be available to telemarketers for an unspecified fee.

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