Kentucky and Indiana lawmakers pushing to stop robocalls

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Lawmakers in both Kentucky and Indiana are trying to tighten restrictions on telemarketers and robocalls.

Rep. Kevin Bratcher, a Republican representing a portion of southern Jefferson county, filed a bill last week that would require any telemarketer to display their true telephone number and not a spoofed or copied number.

“I was trying to talk to people about pension reform and different things,” Bratcher said of campaigning prior to his reelection in November. “But so many people talked about 'Why can't you stop people calling me on telemarketing issues?'”

Penalties for not abiding would begin with a $500 fine for a first offense and $3,000 for each subsequent offense.

“They're using numbers that may be my neighbor’s number or my own number one time,” Bratcher said. “It's just ridiculous. If you're trying to sell me something, then, by golly, put your correct number on the phone.”

According to a group of attorneys general from 35 states, U.S phone customers received more than 30 billion robocalls in 2017.

Bratcher’s bill would include some exemptions for police investigations, domestic violence issues or if the identity of a whistleblower is at issue.

Legislators in Indiana are working on a similar measure as well. Right now, breaking Indiana’s Do Not Call law carries hefty fines of up to $10,000 for a first offense and $25,000 for each subsequent offense.

State Rep. Jeff Ellington, a Republican from Bloomington, is proposing a measure that would double those fines.

Both Indiana and Kentucky’s legislatures gavel in for the 2019 session in early January.

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