Let’s Make History! Help us pass self-help consumer protection legislation in NY!

Let’s Make History

For the last 6 years, we have been working with lawmakers in New York State to pass self-help consumer protection legislation. If it passes, it will be the first law of its kind in the United States, aimed at protecting consumers of self-help. Let’s make history and get this done! 

Earlier this month, our Senate sponsor reached out to us for some help. Some lawmakers wanted to put more specifics into the bill, so we advised them on what kind of language to use. This updated version of the bill very clearly puts the legislation into the context of the self-help industry. We are especially pleased to see specific mention of the term “coercive control” in the bill now, which is important because so often the harm that self-help consumers incur is the result of emotional or psychological manipulation–it’s not just about physical harm.

In our latest Roundtable, we discussed the specifics of these changes. Have a watch and read on to find out how you can support this effort (Hint: it’s REALLY easy)!

So What’s Next?

Now comes the part where we need YOUR help.

The bill currently sits in the Senate and Assembly’s Consumer Protection Committees. If the Committees like the bill, they will push it onto the floor for a vote. Once both the House and Senate pass the same version of the bill, it would go to the Governor’s office to be signed into law.

It sounds like a lot of steps, but really, being in Committee is already a HUGE win for this effort. What we need now is to build the demand for this bill to become law. We do that by reaching out to legislators. If we can generate the buzz for the bill, the Committees will be encouraged to keep it moving on its way to a vote.

It’s easy to reach your Senator.
1. Go to https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/bills/2021/S1643
2. Click “Aye” on the right under “Do you support this bill?”
3. Fill in the form. When you fill in your address, the form will be sent to your Senator. You can leave a custom message or simply leave it blank, but it will still record your support for the bill.

The main thing is that we reach as many lawmakers as possible to make them aware of the bill and let them know we want to see it pass into law.

Reaching your Assembly member is also simple.

1. Find out who your assemblymember is: https://nyassembly.gov/mem/search/
2. Email or call them to express your support, saying something along the lines of:

“Hello, my name is [YOUR NAME]. I am a member of your district, and I’m calling to encourage you to support Bill A5658.

This bill amends the NY business law to protect consumers who are seeking self-improvement from non-licensed self-help providers. If passed, this would be the first law of its kind in the US.

Please consider supporting this effort it in any way you can.

Thank you for your time!”

That’s it!

What if you don’t live in NY State? Can you still support the bill?
As our Assembly sponsor Sandy Galef said, it helps when non-NYers reach out to NY lawmakers because it makes them aware of the bill if they weren’t already, and it shows them that there is broad support for this effort.

I recommend reaching out to Senator Kevin Thomas, who is the Chairman of the Senate Consumer Protection committee.

I know we’re all busy, but in just a few minutes you can reach out to a NY lawmaker and help us pass this groundbreaking legislation! Every contact has an impact! 

Thank you!

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