Arkansas Attorney General Leslie Rutledge was on the phone this week with White River Now’s Gary Bridgman to discuss her office’s enforcement of price gouging laws through the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
“When the governor declared a state of emergency, that initiated our price gouging laws — which essentially mean you can’t be charged 10 percent more than you were before the emergency,” Rutledge told Gary B. “And it comes with very stiff penalties — a potential criminal conviction as well as a potential fine of up to $10,000.”
The AG said her office is working with stores and grocers across the state — not just Walmart, Kroger, and Harps — but also locally owned groceries and businesses, ensuring adherence to the law is upheld.
“We know the price of some items has gone up because they [the grocers] are being charged more for the price of eggs and beef, and we’re looking into that: why are our grocers being charged more during this time?” Rutledge said.
The attorney general noted, for the most part, the majority of businesses and other services are keeping in line with the laws, but there have been complaints.
“By and large, people are adhering to price gouging laws and not taking advantage of the folks,” Rutledge noted. “That being said, we received 3,000 calls last week alone. We’ve had 360 price gouging complaints with a couple of dozen active investigations because it applies not only to our retail stores, but it applies to individuals.”
For more information or to file a price gouging complaint, click the AG Rutledge’s COVID-19 resource page by clicking here or call her office at (800) 482-8982.
The new White River Now mobile app has started featuring regular COVID-19 updates and podcasts. In addition to the updates featured on the White River Now family of radio stations, the COVID-19 podcast section also features new interviews with Stone County Judge Stacey Avey, Batesville Mayor Rick Elumbaugh, Independence County Judge Robert Griffin, state Sen. Stu Smith, and state Sen. James Sturch. Download the free White River Now mobile app today from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store, and keep up-to-date on all local and state coronavirus information and to listen to the streams of White River Now radio stations.
We also carry live feeds of Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s COVID-19’s briefings on-air at Arkansas 103.3, online at White River Now’s Facebook page, and through the Arkansas 103.3 stream on the White River Now mobile app on Arkansas 103.3.
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