Consumer Protection

CONSUMER PROTECTION – Unfortunately, Colorado ranks as one of the top states for the prevalence of scams that target seniors, veterans, and others.  Shady business practices hurt consumers and also hurt honest businesses that treat people the right way.  State laws should empower law enforcement as well as impacted individuals to seek redress against those who’ve done wrong through abusive business practices.

Below are bills I’ve sponsored to help keep Coloradans from getting ripped off.

Prohibitions Against Price Gouging in Disaster Emergencies (HB20-1414) – At the outset of COVID-19, Colorado was one of only about 15 states with no specific prohibition against price gouging – charging unconscionable or abusive prices to rip off consumers.  I sponsored this bill to update the Colorado Consumer Protection Act to empower the attorney general and each district attorney to take action against sellers engaging in price gouging.  Because retailers themselves may sometimes be victims of price gouging by another actor in the supply chain, the bill also makes clear that just passing on prices directly attributable to costs imposed by suppliers is not a violation of the new law.  STATUS:  signed into law.

Continue HOA Information Office & Create Alternative Dispute Resolution Process (HB20-1200) – Millions of Coloradans including many in Aurora and Arapahoe County live in HOAs.  Sometimes questions arise concerning homeowners’ rights in matters of covenants, fines and disputes.  I sponsored this bill to extend by 5 years the HOA Information Office as a hub for HOA residents to seek information and lodge complaints if necessary.  To contact the HOA information office, visit https://colorado.gov/pacific/dora/hoa-information-and-resource-center. STATUS:  signed into law.

Consumer & Employee Dispute Resolution Fairness Act (SB20-093) – Forced arbitration practices in consumer and employment contracts abridge people’s rights. Instead of resolving a debate before a neutral judge, arbitration privatizes the justice system, lacks transparency, and lacks protections against conflicts of interest by arbitrators and companies that force arbitration on consumers. I sponsored this bill to require greater disclosures and transparency in arbitration and to provide remedies for non-compliance.  STATUS – postponed indefinitely due to COVID-19.

Strengthening the Colorado Consumer Protection Act (HB19-1289) – Until this year, Colorado’s consumer protection laws were rated among the weakest in the nation. I sponsored this bill to strengthen protections for consumers harmed by irresponsible corporations by removing barriers to enforcement, updating penalty amounts for the first time in decades, and allowing action against reckless anti-consumer conduct. STATUS – signed into law.

Consumer protection bill signing, May 2019.
Consumer protection bill signing, May 2019.

Arbitration Fairness Act (HB18-1261) – Forced arbitration practices in consumer and employment contracts abridge people’s rights. Instead of resolving a debate before a neutral judge, arbitration privatizes the justice system, lacks transparency, and lacks protections against conflicts of interest by arbitrators and companies that force arbitration on consumers.  I sponsored this bill to require greater disclosures and transparency in arbitration and to provide remedies for non-compliance.  STATUS: killed on a party-line vote in GOP state senate.

I’ve also supported consumer protection legislation to: