Header, the Administration of the Honorable Lincoln C. Almond
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  2002 Signature
2002 Veto
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August 7, 1996


In accordance with the provisions of R.I. Gen. Laws § 43-1-4, I am transmitting herewith, with my disapproval, 96-H-7565, "An Act Relating to Commercial Law Trade Practices."

This bill would require all gas and electric appliance repair persons to inform consumers "prior to such servicing or repair, of the need to use and the type of any new, used, rebuilt, or other replacement pans used by the person to effectuate such servicing or repair." A violation would constitute a misdemeanor and carry a fine up to five hundred dollars ($500).

Last year, I vetoed nearly identical legislation. That legislation required repair persons to notify consumers in writing of the need for and type of replacement parts. This legislation would not require notification to be in writing, but my concerns are not obviated by removing the requirement that notice be in writing. The apparent intent of the legislation is to protect consumers from the use of used parts in repairing appliances without their knowledge. As drafted, however, the bill goes far beyond what is necessary to protect consumers. Moreover, requiring a list of all new and used parts prior to servicing becomes onerous where numerous small parts are necessary or in situations where internal inspection reveals that additional parts are necessary to complete the repair. As such, the bill could easily result in an increased cost to consumers and delay in completing repairs. Also, criminal, as opposed to civil, penalties do not appear appropriate.

As I indicated in last year's veto message, the apparent goal of the bill could be achieved by laws requiring that consumers be given me option to choose new or used (when available) parts for repair and that a written estimate be provided, which estimate could only be exceeded upon notification and approval. Presently, nothing prevents consumers from insisting on both conditions or taking their business elsewhere.

For the foregoing reasons, I again disapprove of this legislation and respectfully urge your support of this veto.


Lincoln Almond