It looks like Arizonans won’t get any relief from unwanted telephone calls, at least not this year.
State Rep. Gary Pierce, RMesa, has persuaded 54 of his 59 House colleagues to sign on as sponsors of legislation to study through the end of this year the issue of restricting telemarketers. And that doesn’t count 12 of the 30 senators who also are sponsors.
While some sponsors say they support immediate telemarketing restrictions, House Minority Leader John Loredo, D-Phoenix, said legislation to do that is "dead on arrival" at the House. Loredo, who signed the bill, said he and others want to make sure there is continued public pressure to do something next year.
Pierce said he does not believe there is enough time to properly craft legislation that will accomplish what it is touted to do.
But Pierce conceded that one purpose behind his plan is to get colleagues to consider whether they should protect constituents from unwanted calls.
He said that telemarketers that locate here have a positive economic impact, and the business they generate should not be ignored.
That’s also why House Majority Leader Eddie Farnsworth, R-Gilbert, signed the bill.
The proposal, HB2442, angered Senate Majority Leader Tim Bee, R-Tucson. He is sponsoring legislation creating immediate limits on telemarketers.
"His bill is being pushed by the industry and those who lobby for them," Bee said of Pierce’s plan.
Bee’s legislation allows Arizonans to sign up for a no-call list.
Companies that want to sell products and services by phone must subscribe to the list and could face penalties for calling someone on that list.
Last year, the Arizona Chamber of Commerce objected to several provisions, including the size of potential fines.
Bee said his legislation addresses most of those concerns.
But now, chamber spokesman Farrell Quinlan said his organization wants to see what rules the Federal Trade Commission proposes later this year.