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Oklahoma State Senate
Communications Division
State Capitol
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105

For Immediate Release: March 6, 2013

Sen. David Holt
Sen. David Holt

Senate Passes Legislation to Lower Prices for Oklahomans

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 Under current law, which was originally enacted in 1941, retailers must sell products for at least six percent more than they paid for it.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Holt said the outdated law puts Oklahomans at a competitive disadvantage with neighboring states where retailers can legally offer significant bargains for "Back-to-School" and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

Inon: Horizontal Blue Band

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