As Hurricane Sandy approaches the Connecticut region beginning Sunday, City Councilwoman Dante Bartolomeo is informing residents of the 13th District that they are now legally protected from having to pay excessively inflated prices for goods or services related to weather emergencies. Bartolomeo is also the Democratic candidate for State Senate in the 13th District that includes Meriden, Cheshire, Middletown, Middlefield and Rockfall.
The practice of raising prices on goods and services during periods of inclement weather is known as “price gouging” and can endanger vulnerable populations such as seniors and lower-income families by forcing them to pay inflated sums for storm repairs, snow removal or household necessities. Earlier this year, Democrats in the General Assembly proposed and helped pass legislation that prevents distributors from selling or offering goods or services for an overly excessive price.
“Our residents have enough to worry about without having to deal with unfair costs for services they need to keep their families safe,” Bartolomeo said. “Thanks to this legislation, our citizens our now protected from this practice during and after storms such as the one we are about to face.”
During a morning stop at the Meriden Senior Center today, Bartolomeo discussed this recent initiative with senior citizens from the area in an effort to protect and enforce their rights against predatory practices. Bartolomeo will also visit additional senior facilities and events during the coming week to inform senior citizens throughout the 13th District about their rights under the new law.
“This initiative is just one more way we can ensure the safety of our senior citizens when our District faces dangerous weather conditions,” Bartolomeo said. “Taking advantage of vulnerable individuals such as seniors during a time of crisis is unethical, and I am pleased that individuals who engage in this practice will now be held accountable.”
This year’s legislation expands on a previous law that addressed price gouging in Connecticut. Following the passage of these bills, it is illegal to excessively raise the price of the following goods and services during storm conditions:
- Snow removal
- Flood abatement
- Post-storm cleanup or repairs
- Gasoline and Home Heating Fuel
- General family or household goods
If you or someone you know believes they have been a victim of price gouging, please call the Consumer Protection division of the Attorney General’s office at (860) 808-5400.