Consumer Protection

Computer equipment in storage at a firm that reconditions them.

The latest ‘right to repair’ law is the broadest one yet

BY: - May 30, 2023

Do-it-yourselfers and repair shops are celebrating a victory in Minnesota with the enactment of a new law that requires many manufacturers to share parts and information with tinkerers and small businesses. The so-called right to repair law will allow equipment owners and independent shops to more easily fix devices like phones, laptops, appliances and other […]

Fighting Financial Scams Aimed at Seniors

BY: - August 18, 2014

© (Stateline/Jenni Bergal) Virginia resident Art Hurme, left, shows his wife, Sally, the reloadable debit cards that he purchased to pay scammers who conned him out of $3,000 earlier this year. States are trying to beef up consumer laws protecting seniors against financial fraud and exploitation. (Jenni Bergal/Stateline) Sally Hurme figured that if anyone knew […]

Many States Weigh GMO Labels

BY: - March 13, 2014

A man protests against genetically modified food at a rally last fall at the Oregon Capitol. This year as many as 25 states are expected to consider requiring special labels on genetically modified foods. (AP) This year, at least half the states may consider requiring special labels on food that has been genetically modified to […]

States Lag in Educating Students About Personal Finance

BY: - March 4, 2014

Students at Calera High School in Alabama surround New Orleans Saints running back Mark Ingram, center left, and Alabama Treasurer Young Boozer after playing an online game of Financial Football that teaches financial literacy. Alabama recently began requiring that high school students take a personal finance course. (Courtesy Office of Alabama State Treasurer) Students paid […]

Target Data Breach Highlights State Privacy Role

BY: - January 16, 2014

At the urging of state attorneys general, Target is offering one year of free credit monitoring in the wake of last month’s massive data breach. States are taking a more active role in protecting online privacy. (AP) The recent data breach at Target highlights the growing role of states in protecting people’s online data and […]

States Crack Down on ‘Cramming’ Phone Scams

BY: - December 19, 2013

When a mysterious, unauthorized fee appears on your cellphone bill, it’s called “cramming.” States are working with major phone carriers to prevent such scams, especially as more Americans ditch landlines for wireless phones. (AP) States are stepping up efforts to help consumers who find mysterious, and usually bogus, charges on their phone bills. Some 12,500 […]

State AGs Target Patent Trolls to Protect Businesses

BY: - November 25, 2013

Caption Vermont’s Attorney General Bill Sorrell says the patent system is broken. He was the first to go after “patent trolls” using the state’s consumer protection law. (AP) A handful of states have launched aggressive efforts to thwart so-called “patent trolls” that have bedeviled businesses ranging from giants like Amazon and Facebook to mom-and-pop stores. […]

States Bolstered by GlaxoSmithKline Settlement

BY: - July 13, 2012

The country’s largest health-care fraud settlement will send millions of dollars back into 43 state Medicaid programs. Drug maker GlaxoSmithKline has agreed to pay a record $3 billion to resolve charges of illegally marketing certain prescription drugs and overcharging government programs including Medicaid. “GlaxoSmithKline illegally marketed several prescription drugs for ailments the medications were not […]

Insurance Changes Explained: Why State Officials Are Nervous About New Federal Rules

BY: - May 15, 2012

Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, center, chairman of the Financial Stability Oversight Council, presides over an April session of the Council in Washington. State insurance regulators say there are not enough people with insurance expertise on the panel. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta) (AP) Congress passed the 848-page Dodd-Frank law two years ago to try to prevent […]

New Jersey’s Waiver Wars

BY: - May 11, 2012

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (left) and state Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin, who is overseeing his agency’s adoption of the Christie-backed “waiver rule.” (Governor’s Office/Tim Larsen) Buried under seven snowstorms in rapid succession, New Jersey communities faced a crisis in January 2011: where to put all the snow that was blocking roads, parking lots, […]

Homebrewing Laws Tapped for Change

BY: - April 16, 2012

How do you brew? For brewing enthusiasts in two states, not at all when it comes to making your own beer and wine. Many state alcohol laws have not been updated since the end of prohibition in the 1930s, well before home brewing clubs, festivals and competitions for some 1 million homebrewers even existed, says Gary Glass, […]