Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105
For Immediate Release: March 6, 2013
Sen. David Holt
Senate Passes Legislation to Lower Prices
Oklahomans took a step closer to paying lower prices
this “Black Friday” and beyond with Senate passage Wednesday
of Senate Bill 550, which would legalize low-price retail sales
in Oklahoma for the first time since 1941. SB 550, authored by Sen.
David Holt, R-Oklahoma City, passed
the full Senate 28 to 15.
Senate Bill 550 would allow the free market to dictate pricing for
almost all products. Under current law, which was originally enacted
in 1941, retailers must sell products for at least six percent more
than they paid for it. A December 2011 opinion from the Oklahoma
Attorney General confirmed that state law bars all “Black
Friday” and other low-price sales, even if they are only temporary.
As a result, many retailers are shutting down their "Black
Friday" and other low-price sales until Oklahoma's laws are
modernized. It is believed that only two states have a law so restrictive
– Oklahoma and Wisconsin.
“I can’t tell Oklahomans that I think they should pay
higher retail prices for no other reason than the government says
they have to,” said Holt. “The existing law amounts
to a tax assessed on consumers. It’s an antiquated law that
forces Oklahomans to pay higher prices or travel across our borders.
We should let the free market dictate prices, not the Legislature.”
Holt said the outdated law puts Oklahomans at a competitive disadvantage
with neighboring states where retailers can legally offer significant
bargains for "Back-to-School" and holiday sales, including
"Black Friday", the biggest shopping day of the year.
By forcing Oklahomans to leave the state to shop, consumers, retailers,
and core government services are all negatively impacted.
The Oklahoma Antitrust Reform Act, which is not affected in any
way by SB 550, will continue to bar retailers from engaging in predatory
pricing that hampers competition among retailers.
SB 550 now moves to the House of Representatives.
For more information contact:
Sen. Holt: (405) 521-5636