SC Bill Proposes Opt-In DNC List

State lawmakers in South Carolina are proposing a “Don't call us, we'll call you” approach to do-not-call lists.

A bill before the South Carolina legislature in its upcoming 2003 session would create a list of consumers who want to receive telemarketing calls, and ban calls to anyone who hasn't registered. Rather than a DNC list, the bill's authors dub this opt-in concept a “Telephone Solicitation List.”

And here's the kicker: The bill calls for an unspecified fee, not to exceed $10, for consumers to register for the list, and another unspecified annual or biannual fee not to exceed $5 to renew registration.

Furthermore, the bill states that if the Federal Communications Commission creates a national no-call registry, as it has proposed to do, then the state must use the Telephone Solicitation List “to determine the state's portion of the database.” That could mean the state would submit any resident not registered for the Telephone Solicitation List for registration to the FCC's national DNC list.

The bill's primary sponsor, Rep. G. Ralph Davenport, R-Boiling Springs, SC, did not return phone calls for comment.

The bill also would prohibit the sale of lists of telephone or wireless device numbers for consumers not registered to the Telephone Solicitation List. The only exemption provided by the bill is for financial institutions.

The Telephone Solicitation List would be updated quarterly. Penalties include $500 per violation for a first-time offense, $2,500 per violation for a second offense and $5,000 per violation for subsequent offense.

A more conventional opt-out DNC list, modeled after Minnesota's DNC law, has been proposed for South Carolina in a bill sponsored by state Rep. John Graham Altman, R-Charleston.

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