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15 December 2011

Rupp: Protecting Privacy in Missouri

There is almost nothing more annoying than when you are about to sit down and enjoy a meal with your family and the telephone rings, alerting you to a robotic, soliciting phone call, asking for your time or business. My friends in the 2nd Senatorial District have voiced their concerns to me regarding their privacy, and I want to help ensure that Missourians won’t continue to be bothered by impersonal, automated “robo-calls.” To address this matter, I have prefiled SB 484, which would modify Missouri’s No-Call list and create “paid for by” requirements for political phone calls.

My bill has the ability to expand our state's No-Call list to include personal cell phone numbers. The legislation would also prohibit similar methods of programmed solicitations via text messaging or faxing. Furthermore, entities that make automated calls would be banned from preventing the appearance of their number on any caller ID service. Certain types of automatic calls would be exempt from the act, including calls that a person has given his or her permission to receive, and from public safety agencies notifying a person of an emergency.

If you’re not aware of Missouri’s No-Call list, allow me to share some information with you. According to the attorney general’s website, there are more than 2.7 million phone lines in Missouri registered on the list. The No-Call law gives Missourians the opportunity to decrease unwanted telemarketing calls made to their homes by signing up on the complimentary No-Call list, which is overseen by the attorney general's office. Although not all robo-calls are illegal, the No-Call list is effective in eliminating some irritating phone calls. At this time, the attorney general's office has acquired court orders requiring telemarketing companies that violated the No-Call law to pay $3,793,000 to the state.

I’m thankful our state has the No-Call law. When I come home from work to spend some quality time with my family, or enjoy a
get-together with friends, the last thing I want is to be bothered by a robo-call. My legislation will help protect our time from misuse and waste, and I hope you will support this bill as it goes before lawmakers in the Senate in January. If you’d like to learn more about robo-calls and the No-Call law, please visit

If you have any questions or concerns regarding this bill, please feel free to share them with me. You are welcome to e-mail me, or call my Capitol office at (573) 751-1282.

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