SB5 is bad for Missouri
If you live in Missouri, your consumer rights are under assault. By whom? Big businesses, the Chamber of Commerce, and the Missouri legislature.
Missouri currently has a strong consumer protection law: the Missouri Merchandising Practices Act or MPA. It protects consumers from those that use unfair or deceptive business practices. Unfortunately, this law is in the crosshairs of business interests who want to increase profits at the expense of citizen’s rights.
Senate Bill 5 (“SB5”) is now out of committee in Jefferson City and will be argued on the senate floor in the coming week. This bill proposes many changes designed to weaken the MPA, including
- Limit a consumer’s right to damages. This effectively would remove a consumer’s right to full recovery for all of their damages.
- Limit a consumer’s right to sue to only certain kinds of deception. Currently, the MPA allows much broader protection to fight deceptions before, during, or after, the sale.
- Exempt from MPA coverage companies or practices “regulated” by a state or federal agency. This would include title lenders, payday lenders, finance companies, banks, credit unions, you name it. This provision would effectively strip the MPA of all its power to help ordinary citizens like you. Many businesses would have a license to cheat.
- Your power to band together in a class action would be all but eliminated. This takes away one of the chief ways to stop unlawful business practices. After all, it is easier to steal a dollar from 1000 people than it is to steal $1,000 from one person.
Call or email your legislator and tell them that you disagree with SB5’s objectives. You can find your Representative here.
Evil prevails when good people do nothing. SB5 is not written for the benefit of the people. The supporters of this bill want a license to cheat. We hope your voice in the legislature will preserve all consumers’ right to fair business practices.