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Bill to Eliminate Hidden Fees Secures Strong Bipartisan Victory on VA State Senate Floor

"Pro-Consumer Legislation Targets Surprise Charges in Transactions such as Phone Bills, Concert Tickets, and Hotel Stays"

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From Freedom Virginia:

Bill to Eliminate Hidden Fees Secures Strong Bipartisan Victory on Senate Floor

Pro-Consumer Legislation Targets Surprise Charges in Transactions such as Phone Bills, Concert Tickets, and Hotel Stays

RICHMOND, Va. — Today, Freedom Virginia praised the bipartisan Senate passage of Senator Stella Pekarsky’s (D-Fairfax) bill aimed at eliminating junk fees. The legislation passed on a 28-11 vote.

Senate Bill 388 aims to eliminate unexpected additional charges in various transactions, including purchases like phone upgrades, concert tickets, car rentals, and hotel stays. The bill requires businesses to disclose any obligatory fees upfront, fostering fair market competition and ensuring hardworking Virginians are not burdened with surprise hidden fees.

Hidden “junk” fees are usually not revealed until the end of a transaction, and often are significantly higher than the initially advertised price. According to a poll conducted by Data for Progress, an overwhelming majority of voters – including 81% of Democrats and 72% of Republicans – strongly support initiatives to end the practice of junk fees.

“This bill will protect consumers and hardworking Virginians from hidden fees and will level the playing field for honest businesses,” said Senator Stella Pekarsky (D-Fairfax). “The average family of four spends $3,200 every year on useless junk fees – this is price-gouging, plain and simple. Virginian families deserve to know what they’re paying for upfront. Today’s bipartisan vote to shed light on these junk fees was a huge win for Virginia families.”

“By eliminating junk fees, we empower Virginians to keep more of their hard-earned money. I commend the Virginia Senate for standing with hardworking Virginians and passing Senator Stella Pekarsky’s legislation on an overwhelmingly bipartisan vote,” said Rhena Hicks, Executive Director of Freedom Virginia. “I am hopeful the members of the House of Delegates, and the Governor recognizes the will of the people and signs this bill into law.”

Delegate Adele McClure (D-Arlington) is carrying the companion bill, HB 1320, in the House of Delegates. The House bill has been assigned to Labor and Commerce Subcommittee #2 and is scheduled to be heard on Thursday.

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Freedom Virginia is a nonpartisan 501(c)4 organization committed to building a Commonwealth where all Virginia families have the freedom to thrive. Freedom Virginia advances economic security policies through grassroots activism, voter engagement and legislative advocacy. Our efforts began in 2020 and since then we’ve pushed for a more economically secure Virginia by sharing real stories about Virginians’ lack of access to affordable healthcare, education, energy, and the need for policies that foster more safety for families. Visit our website at freedomva.org to learn more. 
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