JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (KMOX) – Cell phone users would have a new tool against telemarketers under a measure the legislature sent the governor Tuesday, May 15.
The bill would allow cell phone numbers to be included in the “no-call” list maintained by the state attorney general.
With some exceptions, including political calls, telemarketers are prohibited from calling numbers on the no-call list unless there is a pre-existing business relationship with the phone subscriber.
The measure passed by the legislature also would expand the restrictions on telemarketers to include text messaging and FAXes.
Business phone lines, however, would continued to be excluded from the restrictions.
Ironically, the bill’s sponsor said he had not been subjected to a telemarketing call on his cell phone until just about two hours after his bill had cleared the legislature.
“It demonstrates that this becoming more and more prevalent,” said Rep. Todd Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff. “The telemarketers are becoming more and more aggressive about looking for cell phone numbers and putting them into their databases.”
Richardson said the attorney general’s office was getting hundreds of complaints per week concerning telemarketing calls to cell phones.
Richardson’s bill cleared the legislature without a single dissenting vote in either the House or Senate.
Previous efforts to expand the no-call law had encountered legislative resistance for including political robo calls.
Critics of those efforts argued restricting calls for political campaigns violated the U.S. Constitution’s right of free speech.