After multiple tornadoes and severe storms caused heavy damage across the state, Gov. Steve Beshear today signed a consumer protection executive order at the request of Attorney General Jack Conway to implement Kentucky's price-gouging laws statewide as of Friday, March 2.
The executive order will allow for investigation into any complaints of price gouging that may occur relative to gas, building supplies, hotels and other goods and services in the aftermath of the weekend's storms.
"We expect damage assessments and cleanup to continue for a while, and our families need to be protected from unscrupulous vendors," said Gov. Beshear. "With gas prices already painfully high, activating the price-gouging laws now ensures Kentuckians are protected from predatory pricing as the state recovers from this disaster."
"I appreciate Gov. Beshear triggering the price-gouging provision," General Conway said. "This law helps protect consumers during emergencies because it stops businesses from raising prices on things people need to weather a storm or cleanup from a natural disaster. I encourage anyone with specific information regarding possible price-gouging to email email@example.com or call my Consumer Protection Hotline at 888-432-9257."
More than two dozen tornadoes have been reported in Kentucky since Wednesday, with the most significant damage coming late Friday afternoon. Thirteen deaths have been reported to the Kentucky Department of Public Health, as well as approximately 300 injuries.
Gov. Beshear activated the same price gouging statutes after earlier disasters, including Hurricane Ike in September 2008, the January 2009 ice storm, severe winter storms in December 2009 and heavy flooding in spring 2011. After Hurricane Ike, the Attorney General fined several gas retailers $100,000 for violating the price gouging statute.