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Legislative News and Views - Rep. Zack Stephenson (DFL)

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Release: Minnesota House passes legislation to protect Minnesotans from price gouging

Monday, March 22, 2021

St. Paul, MN. – Today, the Minnesota House voted 71-62 to advance a consumer protection measure that would prohibit price gouging of essential goods and services during a national or local emergency. The legislation, authored by House Commerce Finance and Policy Committee Chair Zack Stephenson (DFL- Coon Rapids), would protect Minnesotans from exorbitant pricing of basic necessities, and enact a civil penalty of up to $1,000 per transaction on bad actors engaging in price gouging.

“The economic hardship the COVID-19 pandemic has placed on our residents and families is devastating,” said Rep. Stephenson. “Minnesotans deserve to be protected from bad actors seeking to profit off of the needs and fears of others in a time of crisis. Price gouging is a morally repugnant practice that hurts those who have been most impacted by this public health crisis; it’s time for our state to stand up for each other and hold bad actors accountable.”

Minnesota is one of 15 states that does not currently have a price gouging protection law. The bill has the support of Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison and the Minnesota Retailers Association.

Video recording of today’s floor session will be made available on the House Public Information YouTube channel.