JEFFERSON CITY - The restrictions on telemarketers would get even tougher under legislation proposed Tuesday by Missouri's attorney general.
"People are allowed to put a 'no trespassing' sign in their yard. This will be a 'do not disturb' sign for their dinner table," Jay Nixon said in announcing the revisions supported by the American Association for Retired People.
Last year, the Missouri legislature established a program by which Missourians can have their phone numbers included on a no-call list maintained by the attorney general's office.
Under a requirement that will take effect in July, telemarketers will be prohibited from calling any number on that list.
However, the new law contains a number of exemptions including any business regulated by the federal government and those who sell from their homes.
The bill, sponsored by freshman Rep. Rick Johnson, D-High Ridge, would remove many of those exemptions -- extending the no-call list to businesses such as telephone companies and insurance companies. The bill still grants public access to not-for-profit organizations and politicians.
Johnson said the new legislation was prompted by public demand for more privacy.
"Before, the exceptions seemed larger than the rules," he said.
Johnson stated that the new bill is cosponsored by both Republicans and Democrats.
"This is a gut check for the legislature to determine whose side they're on," he added.
The bill has drawn praise and support from the AARP as well.
"Seniors are sick and tired of having their day interrupted with rude calls. This would benefit all the seniors within the state," said AARP Chairperson Pat Donehue.
The No Call list opened to the public on Dec. 11th and has already registered 250,083 telephone lines, about one-tenth of the state. Saint Louis County has the highest registration total with 45,810 phone numbers. Boone County has a registration total of 6,725 numbers.
Registration can be accessed by dialing 866-NOCALL1. Enforcement of the law will begin July 1st.