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CS/CS/HB 1223 — Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices

by Judiciary Committee; Civil Justice Subcommittee; and Reps. Grant, Spano, and others (CS/SB 716 by Children, Families, and Elder Affairs Committee; and Senators Simpson, Abruzzo, Bradley, Hays, Ring, Evers, Benacquisto, Dean, Gibson, Detert, Richter, Soto, Garcia, Sachs, Diaz de la Portilla, and Sobel)

This summary is provided for information only and does not represent the opinion of any Senator, Senate Officer, or Senate Office.

Prepared by: Military and Veterans Affairs, Space, and Domestic Security Committee (MS)

The bill provides military servicemembers and their spouses and dependent children the same heightened protections senior citizens and persons with disabilities have against deceptive or unfair trade practices. The bill provides that a person who willfully uses a method, act, or practice to victimize or attempt to victimize a military servicemember, or the spouse or child of a military servicemember, through a deceptive or unfair trade practice, is liable for a civil penalty of not more than $15,000 for each violation. The bill defines “military servicemember” as a person who is on active duty in, or a veteran of, the U.S. Armed Forces. The bill also replaces the term “handicapped person” in the affected statute with the currently accepted term “person who has a disability.”

If approved by the Governor, these provisions take effect July 1, 2013.

Vote: Senate 38-0; House 116-0