Senate Joint Resolution No. 14

Introduced By mccarthy, shea, benedict, doherty, tuss, pavlovich, hertel, emerson, crismore, bohlinger, thomas, simon

A Joint Resolution of the Senate and the House of Representatives of the state of Montana requesting the legislative council to appoint an interim committee to study the effects of and possible remedies to telemarketing fraud; and requiring a report of the findings of the study to the 56th legislature.

WHEREAS, telemarketing fraud is an increasing problem in this state and throughout the country, with serious financial consequences for Montana citizens; and

WHEREAS, the perpetrators of telemarketing fraud prey on senior citizens, as well as others, using sophisticated methods of deception; and

WHEREAS, other states have enacted laws designed to deter and prosecute abuses by telemarketing firms and have met with mixed success; and

WHEREAS, federal laws and regulations aimed at protecting consumers from telemarketing fraud may be inadequate to the task of preventing and punishing this type of crime; and

WHEREAS, members of the Montana Legislature have introduced bills in this and previous sessions to counter telemarketing fraud, but none have been passed into law.


That the Legislative Council be requested to designate an appropriate interim committee to:

(1) identify the types, frequency, and consequences of telemarketing fraud that are occurring in Montana;

(2) consider the pace of technological change and the constitutional protection afforded to free speech and interstate commerce and the effects these conditional elements may have on available methods of countering telemarketing fraud;

(3) examine and evaluate the methods adopted in other states to curb and punish telemarketing fraud;

(4) consider the value and effectiveness of federal laws and regulations with respect to various types of telemarketing;

(5) explore practical methods of deterring and prosecuting telemarketing fraud; and

(6) analyze the feasibility of legislation that would effectively enforce restrictions on telemarketing in Montana.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the interim committee seek and welcome information and other constructive input from the Department of Commerce, the Department of Justice, the Public Service Commission, telecommunications companies, senior citizens' groups, federal agencies, and other interested persons in the process of evaluation and before reaching conclusions and making recommendations for future legislative action.

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the committee report its findings, conclusions, and recommendations to the 56th Legislature.