The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current, February 03, 1999, Page 3, Image 3

Below is the OCR text representation for this newspapers page. It is also available as plain text as well as XML.

    LB427 aims to prevent
unwanted phone calls
■ Under a new proposal,
consumers pay a small price
to be placed on a no-call list
that would protect them
from telemarketers.
By Jessica Fargen
Senior staff writer
First it is the annoying ring that
interrupts dinner, then a telemarketer
mispronounces your name and rapid
ly spits out a prepared speech to per
suade you to switch phone companies
or apply for a new credit card.
Under a new bill, what many peo
ple see as an invasion of privacy could
be a thing of the past if a no-call list
for telemarketers is established.
The Transportation Committee
heard testimony Tuesday on LB427,
which would set up a no-call list that
consumers could be added to for $5.
Telemarketing companies would
have to pay a mandatory $ 10 fee to be
listed as an onicial rirm, and these
companies could be fined $2,000 for
violating the law starting next
Lincoln Sen. Chris Beutler is
sponsoring the bill in response to
frustrated constituents who com
plained to him about unwanted tele
marketing calls. But the bill also will
save telemarketing firms time spent
calling people who don’t want to be
called, he said.
Anne Boyle, a second district
Public Service Commission repre
sentative, testified in favor of the bill
along with members of the American
Association of Retired Persons.
Transportation Committee
Chairman Curt Bromm of Wahoo
also shared his frustration with tele
marketers who call once, hang up and
then seconds later call back.
“That, to me, is extremely offen
sive, because I get up from the dinner
table not once, but twice,” he said.
“That to me is particularly intrusive.”
Beutler said current regulations
protecting consumers from unwanted
phone solicitations do not work.
“They are out there ... none of
them are particularly efficient in my
opinion,” he said. “None of them have
the legal force behind them.”
James Gordon, a lobbyist for the
Direct Marketing Association, said
Nebraska does have a mechanism to
prevent unwanted phone solicita
tions. Gordon represents 4,100 tele
marketing firms nationally - 67 of
which are in Nebraska.
Gordon said consumers can have
their names removed from telemar
keting lists by filling out forms avail
able in the attorney general’s office.
For the cost of a stamp, their names
are taken off all telemarketing lists in
the state.
Gordon also said phone cus
tomers could ask telemarketers not to
call them, and often their name would
be taken out of a large pool of phone
By July, DMA-member compa
nies will institute a policy to further
limit DMA telemarketers from call
ing phone customers who tell them
they don’t want to be called. Gordon
did not elaborate on the specific poli
cy. He said he did not know if any
Nebraska telemarketing firms were
not DMA members.
Representatives from the
Nebraska Retail Federation and
AT&T said they were opposed to the
bill, because federal regulations
already protected consumers from
unwanted phone calls.
Gordon Kissel, a lobbyist for the
Omaha-based West TeleServices,
wanted the bill to exempt companies
that are publicly traded on any nation
al exchange.
Under LB427, charitable, educa
tional, religious and educational non
profit groups could still solicit over
the phone.
Kissel said West Telemarketing
had a strict policy and should not be
“We currently have a list,” he said.
“If someone tells us don’t call, they
Alan Beerman, who testified on
behalf of the Nebraska Press
Association, wanted newspapers to
be included on the list of exemptions.
Calling potential newspaper sub
scribers is important, because news
papers print public notices, which are
essential to the public’s participation
in the community, he said.
Other telephone regulation bills
heard Tuesday included:
■ LB 150, sponsored by Grand
Island Sen. Chris Peterson, would
create the Telephone Consumer
Slamming Prevention Act. Slamming
occurs when customers’ long distance
carriers are changed without their
■ LB261, sponsored by Lincoln
Sen. David Landis, aims to cut slam
ming and loading practices through
rules set up by the Public Service
Commission. Loading occurs when
customers are charged for services
they did not receive or order.
■ LB469, sponsored by Lincoln
Sen. La Von Crosby, is geared to stop
fraud over phones and through mail.
Some of the regulations include veri
fiable authorization from a consumer
before a mail or phone solicitor col
lects money for goods or services,
and documented details of a sale such
as a solicitor’s phone number and
written confirmation of the transac
tion sent to the consumer.
Home-schooling bill
fails in heated debate
By Shane Anthony
Staff writer
An amendment to a home-school
ing bill failed in the Legislature today
after spirited debate.
LB268, a bill introduced by
Hastings Sen. Ardyce Bohlke, passed
the first round of debate on a 35-0
vote. The bill would allow parents to
home-school their children for rea
sons other than religious objection.
But an amendment to the bill drew
sharp criticism from Omaha Sen.
Ernie Chambers.
The amendment, added in com
mittee, would have clarified parents’
rights to exempt their children from
state-required immunization it they
had a religious objection. Bohlke said
current statutes allow this exemption
for children in public schools, and
families who home-school their chil
dren already assume such rights. The
amendment would merely clarify it.
In arguing against the amend
ment, Chambers said in this instance,
the state’s interest in children took
precedence over religious interests.
“This bill is a session-stopper for
me,” he said. “I’m concerned about
these children for real.”
Bohlke said the amendment was
not necessary for the bill to advance.
Without the amendment, she said,
parents who had a religious objection
to immunizing their children would
still assume the exemption right.
“It was merely an effort to clear
up a technicality,” she said.
But Chambers said he would
work to change laws in the interest of
children’s health.
“I am going to try to remove from
the statues this so-called Christian
Science Amendment,” he said.
The amendment failed on a 13-18
vote. Thirteen senators who were pre
sent did not vote. Bohlke was among
those who voted no on the amend
Chambers, however, did vote for
the bill when it came up. In an inter
view after the vote, he said he was
concerned that the bill would open
home-schooling for anyone and for
any reason. The issue of home
schooling, in general, was settled
long ago, though, he said.
Bohlke said the bill’s intent was to
allow parents to be honest about why
they wanted to home-school their
Omaha Sen. Pam Redfield spoke
in favor of the measure. She used the
example of a family wanting to keep
a child who recently completed reha
bilitation out of a drug-using crowd
as one legitimate reason parents
might want to home-school for non
religious reasons.
Families with legitimate reasons
for home-schooling should not have
to lie about religious objections, she
“I think we ought to give them the
opportunity to home-school them
and be honest about it.” she said.
The number of UNL yearbooks sold was reported incorrectly in
Thursday’s Daily Nebraskan. Yearbook Editor Sherri Neall said Monday
she did not know how many yearbooks were sold.
..— .... ■ ..■■■«•....... h —i—
The Gift of Choice...
Estee Lauder Free 7-Piece Gift
Exclusively at Dillard’s!
Yours with any Estee Lauder
purchase of $19.50 or more.
This fabulous 7-piece gift, worth 50.00, includes a choice of powder shades:
• Lucidity Translucent Loose
Choose your shade:
Light or Light-Medium
• 2 All-Day Lipsticks
(Full Size)
• DayWear Protective
Anti-Oxidant Creme SPF 15
• Splash Away
Foaming Cleanser
• Lip Defining Pencil
• Navy Cosmetics Bag
Stop by the Estee Lauder Counter today!
Tote Bag Set
This 5-piece set is yours for JUST $15 with B
any Estee Lauder purchase of 35.00 or more.B
Includes: B
• Two-In-One Eyeshadow Compact
Wet/Dry Formula
• Your choice of dazzling GOLD or dazzling
SILVER Mini Parfum Spray
• Hairbrush
• Folding Mirror
• Navy Tote
...and of course you’ll receive your free 7-piece gift.
We will not be undersold on identical merchandise...guaranteed!
For Your Convenience We Accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Carte Blanche, Diner's Club Or Your Dillard's Charge.