Consumers advocacy group criticizes repeal of item pricing
Caroline MacGregor October 3, 2012 | WGVU
In March of 2011, Governor Rick Snyder signed the Shopping
Reform and Modernization Act into law. This included a repeal of the Item
Pricing Law which required retailers to individually price most products on
store shelves. Linda Teeter with Michigan Citizen Action says advocates of the
repeal assured the public the move would not hurt employment, would save money
and improve the shopping experience for consumers.
Not the case, according to Teeter. In monthly shopping
surveys across Michigan to record prices and actual consumer experiences, she
says their group found prices remained higher and have grown faster than the
national average. The study, she says,
found wage reduction and a loss of the wage boom typically given at the end of
There are also accusations that Attorney General Bill Schuette has
not fully implemented a 100,000 dollar appropriation for a Consumer Education
“Our report shows that prices didn't go down, stores were a mess, people lost jobs and hours according to data from teh state of Michigan and the Attorney General did not implement the item pricing act but spent $6,236,77 to create this little scanner bill of rights which you can order on the web, so that was the education
Press Secretary for Michigan Attorney General
Bill Schuette, Joy Yearout, says that’s wrong.
“Well first of all the six thousand dollar figure is completely inaccurate - I'm not sure where that figure came from. To date, the attorney general's office has spent nearly half of the $100,000 appropriation and the exact figure is $46,902.14 and we've spent the tax dollar wisely and had a very aggressive education campaign for consumers on this law, you know, consumer protection is a center piece of the AG's mission here in
Yearout says they’ve conducted over 500 presentations for
seniors, made updates to their website including webinars. She says they’ve
also updated brochures and offered over 75,000 copies of their pricing bill of
rights wallet card to let consumers know their rights while shopping.
The Mackinac Center for Public Policy, meanwhile, calls the Michigan Citizen Action’s claims that the repeal of Michigan’s item pricing
law is bad for workers and consumers, anti- business rhetoric which relies on a
poor understanding of economic productivity. They also accused the group of
looking at prices in select stores, but at retailers across the state for wages
and employment statistics.
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