Okla. State Rep Urges Citizens to Report Price Gouging After Storms

December 14, 2007

Families displaced by the winter ice storm should notify state authorities of any price gouging at local hotels, state Rep. Joe Dorman says.

“I have received reports that some hotels may be gouging customers forced out of their homes due to the power outages,” said Dorman, D-Rush Springs in an announcement released by the Oklahoma House of Representatives. “While I certainly hope those reports are wrong, anyone with evidence of price gouging should call the consumer protection hotline at the Office of the Attorney General at (405) 521-2029 or contact a local district attorney.”

Under state law, price gouging has not occurred unless prices are increased by more than 10 percent in the aftermath of an emergency.

Dorman also urged citizens to contact local shelters if they need hot meals.

He said the Red Cross is also opening a large shelter in Oklahoma County for displaced families who can’t afford a hotel and lack other arrangements. Those interested should contact officials at (405) 228-9500.

In the aftermath of the storm, Dorman said he may seek increased funding for the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management.

“There are crews now working across the state in the aftermath of this ice storm,” Dorman said. “We need to make sure emergency management funding is maintained so those crews will be there when the next storm or wildfire hits Oklahoma.”

He said lawmakers should make reimbursement of those emergency funds a top priority during the first weeks of the 2008 legislative session, which convenes in early February.

Source: Oklahoma House of Representatives

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