A bill seeking to stifle unsolicited telemarketing phone calls is headed for a House vote after passing its final committee hurdle.
The legislation (HB 1307) reported favorably in the House Commerce Committee on Monday, setting it up for a final floor vote. The measure would curb the epidemic of spam phone calls that plague the phone lines of Floridians and prohibit certain telemarketing sales calls without prior express written consent.
The barrage of robocalls, many of which come from scammers attempting to fleece people out of money, has led many to simply not answer their phone when the caller id displays ‘unknown.’ While not all acts of telemarketing is illegal, consumers often associate the practice with fraudulent activity, scams, and identity theft.
According to a survey conducted by Hiya, three out of four Americans said they were targeted by phone fraudsters over the past year.
The bill’s sponsor, State Representative Mike Beltran, said the bombardment of Florida phone lines by unwanted and often fraudulent calls need to be curtailed.
“Nearly everybody in Florida has received an annoying robocall regarding a home or car warranty,” Beltran told The Capitolist following the passage of his proposal. “This bill will prohibit those calls unless consumers provide explicit consent.”
Joining Beltran in limiting the invasion of Florida phones is Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis. A strong advocate of the legislation since its inception, Patronis highlighted the importance of HB 1307 and noted the heavy lifting it took to get the bill close to the finish line.
“Unsolicited telemarketing calls have become an epidemic in our state. Not only are these calls extremely annoying, they can often lead to fraudulent activity and even identity theft. We have got to put an end to bad actors trying to make a quick buck,” Patronis said. “I’m proud to support House Bill 1307 to empower Floridians to fight back against unwanted calls and end the practice of incessant telemarketer solicitation. Thank you to Speaker Sprowls, Chair Ingoglia and Representative Beltran for making this issue a top priority to protect all Floridians.”
The Senate’s version of the bill (SB 1120), spearheaded by State Senator Audrey Gibson, will be on the agenda in the Senate Rules Committee on Tuesday.