AG Ferguson-requested bill prohibiting price gouging during an emergency passes Senate

Thursday, March 4, 2021

OLYMPIA — The Washington state Senate on Wednesday passed Attorney General Bob Ferguson’s bill to prohibit price gouging in Washington during an emergency by a 29-20 vote. The bill now heads to the state House of Representatives for consideration.

If signed into law, those who engage in predatory price gouging would face a penalty of $25,000 per violation for violations of Washington’s Consumer Protection Act. 

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Jeannie Darneille, D-Tacoma, prohibits price gouging during an emergency on critical necessities like health care services, medical supplies, rental housing, motel rooms, gasoline and emergency supplies, such as water, batteries, soap and toiletries.

While the COVID-19 pandemic has been an enduring state of emergency, the new law will protect consumers during other states of emergency like earthquakes, landslides or forest fires.

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