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Cuomo signs legislation banning price gouging of personal protective equipment

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Mon, Jun 8th 2020 10:40 am

Legislation will help ensure access to critical supplies like masks for health care workers and the general public

Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Saturday signed legislation (S.8189/A.10270) banning price gouging of personal protective equipment. His office said, “During the COVID-19 pandemic, there have been countless instances of egregious price gouging, particularly of critical medical supplies – such as masks and hand sanitizer – that are desperately needed by our hospitals and other health care facilities. This legislation will help ensure access to these critical supplies for health care workers and the general public.”

Cuomo said, "From the beginning of this pandemic, we've seen too many instances of retailers taking advantage of this dire situation and charging exorbitant prices for critical medical supplies. By banning price gouging on personal protective equipment, we are helping to ensure our health care workers – who have been working tirelessly to save lives at great personal danger to themselves – and the public have access to these supplies, while holding these unscrupulous retailers accountable for attempting to capitalize on the fear of others."

New York Attorney General Letitia James said, "New Yorkers can rest assured that our office will fight every day to ensure they are not taken advantage of during the coronavirus pandemic or any other emergency our state may face in the future. Since this pandemic began, we have received over 7,000 price-gouging complaints related to COVID-19 and gone after the bad actors behind these unlawful acts; but today's law will vastly expand our efforts to protect New Yorkers' wallets, as well as the bottom lines of small businesses and taxpayer dollars. We are focused on protecting all New Yorkers now and in the future. We applaud Gov. Cuomo for signing this bill into law, and Sen. Hoylman and Assemblywoman Rozic for their support and partnership in passing this important legislation so that our office can continue its work protecting New Yorkers."

New York State Sen. Brad Hoylman said, "Pandemic profiteers need to get the hell out of New York. It's outrageous that these lowlifes have tried to make a quick buck off of our state's valiant efforts to save the lives of COVID-19 patients and protect frontline medical workers from infection, so I'm glad our bill signed into law today will significantly expand New York's price gouging statute to allow Attorney General Tish James to crack down on price-gougers. I'm grateful to have worked with Attorney General James, Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Assembly Sponsor Nily Rozic to craft this bill. I applaud Gov. Cuomo for signing our legislation today, and thank Consumer Reports, AARP and NYPIRG for their support."

Assembly Member Nily Rozic said, "This legislation strengthens and expands the New York state price-gouging statute after the COVID-19 pandemic exposed glaring flaws in the law. This new law will ensure that New Yorkers have access to the products and care required without paying excessive and unreasonable prices. As we face new challenges to contain the pandemic, we must protect consumers when they are particularly vulnerable. I thank Gov. Cuomo for signing this essential legislation into law and providing the attorney general the tools to make certain that no one can prey on consumers' fears and cause widespread panic during this health crisis."

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