The Vermont House of Representatives yesterday passed H. 254, a bill to protect Vermonters against deceptive business practices. The practices outlawed in H.254 include, misleading consumers into authorizing on-going credit card charges, adding unwanted charges to residential or business phone bills, and out-of-state companies masquerading online as a Vermont florists.‘Businesses actively attempting to perpetrate scams on Vermonters is simply unacceptable,’ said Speaker Shap Smith. ‘This bill will outlaw a number of the unscrupulous strategies some out-of-state companies use, as well as strengthen the security of the state’s personal information database.’The key components of H. 254 include:Protection against Misleading Business Practicesâ ¢ Phone Bill Cramming: The bill makes it illegal to charge consumers for goods or services in a phone bill unless they are explicitly authorized; legitimate supplemental phone bill charges are still protected.â ¢ Discount Membership Charges: The bill requires that consumers be notified of their right to cancel membership, requires periodic reminder notifications that the consumer is subscribed and prohibits membership programs lasting longer than 18 months.â ¢ Masquerading: The bill will make it an unlawful and deceptive act to advertise as a ‘local’ or ‘Vermont’ florist if the business isn’t currently located in Vermont. This will protect both consumers and the Vermont florist industry, which is threatened when revenue is siphoned to out-of-state online-order flower businesses.Notification of Security Breachesâ ¢ In the event of a security breach’when consumers’ personal data is lost or stolen’the bill requires the data collector to notify the Vermont Attorney General. Consumers already receive mandatory notification, but notifying the Attorney General will improve law enforcement’s capacity to act on the security breach.Information Technology Securityâ ¢ Strengthens the security of data held by state-level agenciesâ ¢ Clarifies that the Agency of Administration is responsible for Information Technology Security regimens.The bill passed the House unanimously. It now heads to the Senate for consideration.Source: Speaker’s office. 3.30.2011
ELLSWORTH — Eight Down East Family YMCA gymnasts were all-around champions on Sunday as the team faced the Waterville YMCA in the first meet of the season at Spriners Gymnastics Center.Champions included:Eleanor Bannerman, first on uneven bars, vault and floor exercises and second on balance beam at the Excel Platinum Level.Paige Butler, first on uneven bars and balance beam and second on vault and floor exercises at the Excel Silver Level.This is placeholder textThis is placeholder textMontana DiJulio, first in all events at the Excel Bronze Level.Gilly Rice, first in all events at Level 7.Maddie Nida, first on vault, balance beam and floor exercises and second on uneven bars at Level 6.Elli Kane, first on uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercidses and scond on vault at Level 4 for ages 10-12.Lily James, first on vault, second on uneven bars, third on floor exercises and fifth on uneven bars at Level 4 for ages 7-9.Aliyah Washburn, first on vault and floor exercises, second on balance beam and third on uneven bars at Level 3 for ages 8-9.Others winning championships in individual events:Excel Platinum – Mary Lou Ross on balance beam.Excel Silver – Brooke Davis on floor exercises and Grace Morey on vault.Level 6 – Paige Sawyer on vault.Level 5 – Kajsa-Brown Morrison on balance beam.Level 4, ages 10-12 – Elena Springer on vault.Level 3, ages 10-12 – Abi Parker on vault and balance beam, ad Ashly Emerson on uneven bars.Level 3, ages 8-9 – Kaela Springer on uneven bars.Sixteen girls also attained their first of two qualifying scores for the YMCA Regional Championship, which will be held in Massachusetts next May.The next meet for the DEFY gymnasts is Saturday, Jan. 3, at Springers Gymnastic Center against the Lewiston YMCA.