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Maryland: Bill on unsolicited telephone calls introduced to House of Delegates

House Bill 37 for An Act concerning Commercial Law - Consumer Protection - Telephone Solicitation (Stop the Spam Calls Act of 2023) was introduced, on 11 January 2023, to the Maryland House of Delegates, where it was read for the first time and thereafter referred, on the same date, to the Economic Matters Committee. In particular, the bill establishes that, without the prior express written consent of the telephoned party, a person may not make, or cause to be made, a telephone call that involves:

  • an automated system for the selection or dialling of telephone numbers; and
  • the playing of a recorded message when a connection is completed to the number called.

Moreover, the bill provides, among other things, that a person may not make, or cause to be made, a telephone solicitation by intentionally altering the voice of the caller in an attempt to disguise or conceal the identity of the caller in order to:

  • defraud, confuse, or financially or otherwise injure the called party; or
  • obtain personal information from the called party that may be used in a fraudulent or unlawful manner.

Notably, the bill clarifies that any violation of its provisions qualifies as an unfair, abuse, or deceptive trade practice, subject to the enforcement and penalties under the Maryland Consumer Protection Act.

Separately, the bill is a companion to Senate Bill 90.

You can read the bill here and track its progress here.

UPDATE (9 March 2023)

Bill approved with amendments by House of Delegates Committee

The bill was approved, on 8 March 2023, with amendments by the Economic Matters Committee, during its second reading in the House.

You can read the bill here and track its progress here.

UPDATE (14 March 2023)

Bill passes House of Delegates, proceeds to Senate Committee

The bill passed, on 10 March 2023, the House, following three readings. Thereafter, the bill proceeded, on 13 March 2023, to the Senate, where it was referred to the Finance Committee on the same date.

You can read the bill here and track its progress here.

UPDATE (31 March 2023)

Bill passes two readings in Senate

The bill was approved, on 30 March 2023, with amendments by the Finance Committee, during its second reading in the Senate.

You can read the bill here, the amendments here, and track the progress here.

UPDATE (3 April 2023)

Bill passes third reading in Senate

The bill passed, on 31 March 2023, its third reading in the Senate, and thereafter proceeded to the House for final review.

You can read the bill here and track its progress here.

UPDATE (11 April 2023)

Bill returned to House without amendments by Senate

The bill was returned, on 10 April 2023, to the House, further to the withdrawal by the Senate of the amendments introduced during the readings therein. In particular, the House refused to concur with the Senate's amendments and requested the Senate to recede.

You can read the bill here and track its progress here.