UPDATE: Washington Latest State to Pursue DNC List

Washington has joined Mississippi in moving closer to creating a state do-not-call list, while Virginia legislators have put a state DNC list on hold.

In Washington state, three bills have been introduced that would create a DNC list. The bills differ in that they would assign responsibility for maintaining the list to different agencies. One would assign the responsibility to the state attorney general, while the others would entrust list maintenance to the state Department of Licensing or the Utilities and Transportation Commission.

The proposals in Washington state would allow for civil penalties of $500 to $2,000 for each violation. Two bills would provide for additional penalties under the state's unfair business practices law and would also permit consumers to seek an additional $1,000 in damages for each violation.

The public utilities committees in both the Mississippi Senate and the state House of Representatives passed a bill this week that would create a DNC list. In addition, the bill would ban telemarketing in the state on Sundays.

The proposal — sponsored by state Sen. Tommy Robertson, R-Moss Point, and state Rep. Les Barnett, R-Biloxi — would allow the state to fine telemarketers up to $5,000 for each violation. The bill is awaiting a vote by both houses of the state Legislature that could come this month.

In Virginia, a House of Delegates committee on Jan. 25 indefinitely postponed consideration of a proposed statewide do-not-call list law. The bill, H.B. 2427, proposed by Rep. George Grayson, D-Williamsburg, would have allowed Virginia consumers to sign up for a state DNC list for a $10 fee and a $5 annual renewal fee.

Thirteen states, including New York and Florida, have passed DNC list laws. Twenty-six states — including California, New Jersey and Texas — are considering DNC list legislation.

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