AUGUSTA — The Legislature’s Innovation, Development, Economic Advancement and Business Committee voted unanimously in a vote of 10-0 on Thursday to approve a bill introduced by Sen. Justin Chenette, D-Saco, to ban automated and prerecorded voice robocalls to residential numbers in the state of Maine.
LD 277, "An Act To Ban Telephone Solicitations Using an Artificial or Prerecorded Voice and Enhance Caller Identification," gives the Attorney General the authority to enforce this ban on automated and prerecorded voice robocalls as an unfair trade practice, specifically on the grounds that the telemarketer’s intent is to defraud, cause harm, or wrongfully profit off the communication.
“The Attorney General’s office now has something to prosecute when going after those who spam your phone,” said Sen. Chenette. “While this bill isn’t going to immediately stop all of the annoying calls, it does give state government an important set of tools to ensure accountability for robocalling, spoofing of numbers and telemarketing harassment.”
This bill would also treat interconnected voice over Internet protocol and text messaging, types of telecommunication services, as telemarketing under the law and clarify misleading or inaccurate caller ID information.
The amendments to this bill that came out of the committee’s work session placed a number of exceptions to the ban, including nonprofits, services acting on behalf of nonprofits, telecommunications carriers, schools, emergency messages from government agencies and individuals who have provided consent to receive this type of communication.
LD 277 now moves to the Maine House and Senate for additional votes.