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This bill would create another "false, misleading, or deceptive acts or practices" in the Business and Commerce Code. (b)(28) Mailing an unrequested solicitation in connection with a good or service that simulates a check, negotiable instrument, or invoice, falsely suggesting the solicitation is sent on behalf of a governmental entity, or resembles a government notice stating or suggesting that a criminal penalty may be imposed if the recipient does not remit payment. Delivering or distributing a solicitation in connection with a good or service that resembles a check or other negotiable instrument or invoice, unless the portion of the solicitation that resembles a check or other negotiable instrument or invoice includes the following notice, clearly and conspicuously printed in at least 18-point type: "SPECIMEN-NON-NEGOTIABLE".
The language in exception (b)(20) is amended from "guarantee" to "guaranty", matching the rest of the code.
This bill is has been substantively updated since we reported on it in its original chamber. However, we continue to support this legislation. The second chamber sponsor is Sen. Eltife.
First chamber recommendation below:
This bill would protect people from soliciting money through the mail under the false pretense of doing so on behalf of a government entity and under the threat of possible criminal penalty for failure to comply.
The reason this type of false advertising is egregious because it relies on creating the false presumption on the part of the potential customer that the solicitation is coming from the government. Private business should not be allowed to falsely impersonate a government entity and co-opt its power of coercion for the purpose of soliciting money. We support this legislation.