A bill that would make price-gouging illegal in Minnesota — one of Democrats’ top priorities for early-on in the legislative session — is moving forward in the Minnesota House after clearing its first committee today (Monday).  It would prohibit selling an essential consumer good or service for an “unconscionably excessive price” during an “abnormal market disruption.”  North Branch Republican Anne Neu Brindley asked:

“What is ‘unconscionably excessive’?  Is this exclusively to the subjective purview of the attorney general?”

Stephenson:  “No, it is not….  By creating that safe harbor, you’re also saying that, if you increase prices beyond that, you’re in this territory.  The attorney general doesn’t get to decide, though.  The attorney general gets to bring civil action against a retailer.”

…bill sponsor, Coon Rapids Democrat Zack Stephenson.