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Pre-buy fuel oil protection pushed
The bill will go to the Senate Finance Committee for review before a final vote.
At a public hearing last month, several dealers testified that dealers in financial trouble often solicit contracts in January or February for the next heating season and then use the money to buy fuel for the current heating season.
Under the bill, failure to deliver heating oil under a prepaid contract would be a violation of the Consumer Protection Act that would be in most instances a class B misdemeanor but could be increased to a class A misdemeanor for repeated or gross violations.
He said the real problem is how to secure pre-buy contracts. Despite the changes in the bill, “we’re still left with insufficient security with customers’ money,” he said.
Senate Minority Leader Sylvia Larsen, D-Concord, praised the compromise, adding “home heating pre-paid contracts have been before this body many, many times, but often ran into road blocks.
The bill has already passed the House.
The Senate has until May 15 to take a final vote on the bill.
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