PIERRE, S.D. (KELO) — Legislation that would make a crime of using someone else’s phone number without permission for a telemarketing call advanced Tuesday at the South Dakota Capitol.
The Senate Commerce and Energy Committee voted 9-0 to endorse HB1214. Its prime sponsor is the House speaker, Representative Spencer Gosch, R-Glenham. He said he’s been called twice from his own number, once to talk about insurance and once about an extended vehicle warranty.
“If you sent it to the people,” Gosch said, “you’d get one hundred percent approval.”
A violation would be a Class-1 misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in county jail and a $2,000 fine
A former opponent turned supporter, Terra Larson, testified for it. She represents the South Dakota Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. “We think the amendment has addressed our concerns,” she said.
The bill had no opponents Tuesday. After the committee’s unanimous recommendation, Senator Casey Crabtree, R-Madison, placed it on the Senate consent calendar for possible final passage Wednesday.
“There are so many warranty opportunities you miss out on,” Senator Lee Schoenbeck, R-Watertown, joked.
The amendment to which Larson referred came in the House, when Gosch added the word “intentionally.” During the bill’s earlier hearing by the House State Affairs Committee, Larson had said there could be some “unintended consequences.”
She gave the example of the Pierre law firm where she works. She said the firm had a former associate’s name still coming up on recipients’ phones when the firm made calls. She said it took more than two years to straighten out with various service providers. She acknowledged that the Hughes County state’s attorney would have discretion whether to charge but it would still technically be a crime.
Representative Arch Beal, R-Sioux Falls, called for the committee that day to endorse the bill. Beal said he’s received telemarketing calls from his number and from the number at his residence. “I’d like to make a consequence of this,” Beal said.