The Assembly Consumer Affairs Committee is charged with protecting consumer rights in New Jersey, particularly issues such as safeguarding against identity theft, restricting telemarketing, and protecting cell phone and calling card consumers against fraud.
Democratic Research Aide:  Gary R. Williams   
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Moriarty, Benson, Wimberly & Andrzejczak Bill Outlawing Unsolicited Text Message Ads Gets Assembly OK

Asm. Paul Moriarty Updated legislation Assembly Democrats Paul Moriarty, Daniel R. Benson, Benjie Wimberly and Bob Andrzejczak sponsored to prohibit advertisers from sending unwelcome and unsolicited text advertisements to consumers was approved 76-0 Thursday by the Assembly.

"Unwanted text messages not only tax consumers' patience, but they are a drain on cell minutes and bank accounts," said Moriarty (D-Gloucester/Camden). "Just as telephone customers have been able to close their homes to unwanted telemarketing calls, cell customers should be able to be free of unwanted text ads. What we're trying to do here is assist consumers in avoiding unnecessary charges as a result of receiving messages that are unsolicited and over which the user has no control..."

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Assembly Passes Diegnan, Mukherji & Moriarty Bill to Protect Consumers & Businesses from Invasive and Burdensome Gift Card Data Collection Requirements

(TRENTON) - Legislation Assembly Democrats Patrick J. Diegnan Jr., Raj Mukherji and Paul Moriarty sponsored to protect both consumers and businesses from invasive and burdensome data collection requirements for gift cards was given final legislative approval by the Assembly on Thursday, 73-1.

The bill (A-3480) eliminates consumer data collection requirements for certain gift cards.

"The purpose of this bill is to relieve merchants of the responsibility to collect personal consumer data on gift card purchases before the requirement goes into effect in July 2016," said Diegnan (D-Middlesex). "This is invasive, burdensome and, above all, unnecessary."

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THURSDAY - Expanded Tuition Equality, Veterans Tuition Assistance, UEZ Boost, Meadowlands Reform, Atlantic City Help & Rutgers Reform Top Assembly Session

Bills to expand tuition equality, provide tuition help for veterans, send more money back to Urban Enterprise Zones, reform Meadowlands tax sharing and governance, help Atlantic City's economy and reform the Rutgers board of trustees top Thursday's Assembly voting session.

Bills to reform New Jersey's expungement laws, create Gold Alerts for missing people with developmental disabilities, establish a motor vehicle surcharge payment plan, ban unsolicited text ads and checks, require ATM operators to disclose balance inquiry fees, expand use of DNA as crime evidence, eliminate consumer data collection requirements for gift cards and limit access to motor vehicle recording data are also to be considered...

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Assembly Approves Pinkin, DeAngelo & Eustace Bill to Stop Unwanted, Unsolicited Telemarketing Calls to Residents' Cell Phones

(TRENTON) - Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Nancy Pinkin, Wayne DeAngelo and Timothy Eustace to prohibit unsolicited telemarketing sales calls to commercial mobile service devices was given final legislative approval in the Assembly on Monday, 76-0.

Currently, the national "no call list" law prohibits all telemarketing sales calls from being made to cell phones, except that a cell phone service provider may call its own customers.

"The statewide "no call list" has helped to end intrusive telemarketing calls to New Jersey homes," said Pinkin (D-Middlesex). "The law must be expanded to stop telemarketing companies from now targeting residents' cell phones."

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Singleton, Caputo, Jasey, Lagana & Quijano Bill to Strengthen Consumer Protections against Security Breaches Clears Assembly

Asm. Troy Singleton Legislation sponsored by Assembly Democrats Troy Singleton, Ralph Caputo, Mila Jasey, Joseph Lagana and Annette Quijano to ensure that consumers are informed of security breaches made to their account was approved 75-0 Monday by the Assembly. Between 2005 and 2014, there have been 4,695 breaches exposing 633 million records, according to the nonprofit Identity Theft Resource Center. The average cost of a breach to an organization is estimated at $3.5 million.

"Identity theft is one of the fastest growing crimes in the country," said Singleton (D-Burlington). "What we have learned from the recent security breaches at major retailers is that they can happen to anywhere and to virtually any company, large or small. It is essential for consumers to be kept informed of data breaches so that they can take the necessary steps to protect their information..."

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Assembly Approves Garcia, Caputo, Eustace & Jimenez Bill to Criminalize Caller ID Spoofing

(TRENTON) - Legislation Assembly Democrats Carmelo Garcia, Ralph Caputo, Tim Eustace & Angelica Jimenez sponsored to bolster protections for residents against caller ID fraud was approved, 76-0, by the full Assembly in a Monday afternoon session.

Sponsors note in the legislation (A-3002) that most companies that offer basic telephone service also offer a caller ID service that can provide their customers with the telephone number or name of the calling party. Some callers, however, are employing technology to alter the name or number that appears on the recipient's caller ID display. This practice is known as "ID spoofing."

"Spoofing infringes on a resident's right to privacy," said Garcia (D-Hudson). "Caller ID gives residents a choice whether to take a call or not, to assess its importance by recognizing the name. ID spoofing takes away that right from residents."

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MONDAY - Fining Colleges that Fail to Respond to Sexual Assault Allegations, Military Dependent Scholarship Act, E-Insurance for Drivers, Gold Alert System & Online Security Breach Notice Top Assembly Session

Truth in Caller ID, Combating Animal Cruelty, Easing Generators for Gas Stations & Health Care Facilities, Improved School Bus Driver Training & Youth Cardiac Exams Also on Tap

Bills to authorize the Attorney General to fine an institution of higher education that fails to appropriately respond to a student's allegation of sexual assault by another student, create the Military Dependents Scholarship Fund Act, allow drivers to use electronic proof of insurance, establish a Gold Alert system for missing persons with developmental disabilities and require consumer notice of online security breaches top Monday's Assembly voting session...

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MONDAY - Assembly Panel to Consider 5-Bill Package to Help Atlantic City & Measures to Reduce Rutgers Board of Trustees & Allow More Use of DNA as Crime Evidence

The Assembly Appropriations Committee will meet Monday morning to consider, among other bills, legislation to help Atlantic City's struggling economy, reduce membership of the Rutgers board of trustees and allow more use of DNA as crime evidence...

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