With gas prices continuing to soar, Assemblyman John Ceretto today helped pass legislation to prevent price gouging at the pump. The legislation, Assembly bill 1970, prohibits gas stations from changing the price of a gallon of gasoline more than once in a 24-hour period.
"While the state Legislature has little control over the wholesale price of gas, we do have the ability to protect consumers from being illegally gouged at the pump," Ceretto said. "Gasoline is the lifeblood of our economy, and it is incumbent upon us as lawmakers to prevent retailers in the Empire State from unfairly hiking their prices on hard-working New Yorkers."
Ceretto noted that the bill is intended to stop merchants from arbitrarily raising gas prices over a 24-hour period, often in clear disregard of market forces, dramatically increasing consumer costs. According to the terms of the legislation, gas stations that violate the 24-hour provision will be fined up to $500. The measure is awaiting passage in the State Senate.
"This bill is about protecting New York families who already pay above the national average for gasoline and who are facing higher food and transportation costs," Ceretto said. "It is important in these tough economic times to prevent working families from being gouged at the pump by unscrupulous gas distributors and to save them more of their hard-earned dollars."