On Friday, March 13, 2020, U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) announced he is an original cosponsor of bipartisan legislation to protect against price gouging during a state of emergency.
This bipartisan bill makes it illegal to sell goods and services that are vital and necessary for the health, safety, and welfare of consumers at an unconscionably excessive price during a declared state of emergency.
Earlier this week, the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs said it has received about 160 complaints of alleged price gouging or other "unfair practices" related to concerns over coronavirus.
“As our communities, hospitals, and front-line medical professionals are continuing to work to contain the outbreak and keep residents safe, we must ensure that hardworking families in North Jersey are also protected from price gouging of essential goods and services during this emergency,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5).
This bipartisan bill is being introduced by U.S. Congressman Jason Smith (MO-8).
The bill defines "goods and services vital and necessary for the health, safety, and welfare of consumers" as all materials and services related to, but not limited to, medical treatment during a declared public health emergency as determined by the Secretary of Health and Human Services.