Statement: Critical Bill to Protect Consumers from Price Gouging Passes Senate Floor

Media Contacts
Claudia Deeg


SACRAMENTO – Crucial legislation to protect Californians from price gouging, Senate Bill 1196 (Umberg), passed the Senate Floor with a bipartisan 39-0 vote Friday morning. 

Senate Bill 1196 (SB 1196) would allow the Governor, Legislature, local legislative body or official to set a date prior to the proclamation or declaration of emergency as a basis for price increases, codify the Governor’s and Legislature’s authority to extend regulations on price gouging for as long as deemed necessary, and close a loophole to prevent new sellers from engaging in rampant price gouging.

In response, Claudia Deeg, CALPIRG Campaign Associate, released the following statement:

“Today the Senate acted decisively to expand consumer protections against exploitative price gouging during emergencies like COVID-19.

Price gouging is profiteering, and some sellers have been taking advantage of the COVID-19 pandemic to overcharge and rip off vulnerable Californians who are trying to buy critical supplies needed to keep themselves and their loved ones safe. We have been seeing dramatic price spikes for months on supplies like masks, gloves and hand sanitizer. Clearly existing California law needs to be strengthened.

SB 1196 is a critical step in ending this exploitative practice and ensuring all Californians can get the supplies they need to stay safe amidst the pandemic. We look forward to working with members of the State Assembly and the Governor to see SB 1196 become law as soon as possible.”