ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — New York State lawmakers are trying to get a head of price gouging during the coronavirus outbreak.
Lawmakers from across the state said examples of price gouging on hand sanitizers and disinfectant wipes is a public health issue.
“If people cannot buy the necessary supplies they need, it is a public health crisis that they will not be protected from or be able to protect others from the coronavirus,” Sen. Todd Kaminsky said.
New legislation would limit stores from increasing prices on consumer medical supplies by more than 10 percent when there is a public health emergency.
“New York already has a price gouging statute, but it doesn’t clarify what unconscionable excessive prices are,” Sen. Brad Hoylman said.
The bill would also allow the Attorney General to fine retailers, manufacturers and distributors who are in violation by up to $25,000.
“It is an absolute disgrace that we even have to do this, that there are despicable people in our society that would price gouge, but we have to,” Sen. Jim Gaughran said. “We need to do it quickly.”
The legislation has multiple co-sponsors.