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Eye On Boise

House votes 65-5 in favor of phone companies’ bill to revise ‘do not call’ rules

There was no debate at all in the House this morning as HB 55, making changes to the rules for Idaho’s “do not call list,” passed on a 65-5 vote. The measure would lift the current ban on telephone companies, cellular or cable companies making solicitation calls to their existing customers if they’re on the list; under the bill, those companies could call those customers, but if the customers ask them to stop, they must, or they face penalties including a $500 fine. The bill extends that requirement to all businesses that make solicitation calls to their existing customers who have chosen to be on the “do not call” list.

“A telephone corporation, unlike all other businesses, may not call its existing customers to let them know about new services or products that are available in the customer’s area,” Rep. Vito Barbieri, R-Dalton Gardens, told the House. “This bill removes the discriminatory provision.”

The bill was sought by two phone companies, Frontier Communications and Century Link. It’s opposed by the Idaho Attorney General’s office, which operates the current “do-not-call” program, and reported that Idahoans are asking for fewer telephone solicitations at their homes, not more. All House members backed the bill except for Reps. Maxine Bell, R-Jerome; Grant Burgoyne, D-Boise; Sue Chew, D-Boise; Donna Pence, D-Gooding; and Shirley Ringo, D-Moscow. The measure now heads to the Senate side for consideration.

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Betsy Z. Russell covers Idaho news from The Spokesman-Review's bureau in Boise.

Named best state-based political blog in Idaho for 2013 by The Fix

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