“Two years ago, amid the early panic of the pandemic, grocery store shelves were empty of hand sanitizer, toilet paper and other essentials. Colorado lawmakers quickly realized the state was one of only a few that didn’t have a law prohibiting price gouging during a disaster.
A law that year, passed along party lines, fixed the oversight, said Aurora state Rep. Mike Weissman, who sponsored the bill, but two years later, “the prices are still high.”
“It shouldn’t be okay and it’s not okay for bad actors to engage in price gouging years after a disaster,” Weissman, a Democrat, told The Sentinel. He plans to introduce legislation that takes that 2020 bill further.
The 2020 law, enforceable by the state attorney general’s office, applies to items and services such as building materials, gas, medical supplies, repair services and consumer food items. The disaster period is defined as 180 days from the date when a disaster declaration begins. Weissman said his legislation, still in the drafting stages, would prohibit price gouging outside of that six-month time window. It’s particularly important now, he said, because inflation has already increased the costs of many goods and services.”
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