Y@K Protection Bill Bugs Com Ed and Banks --(the scumbags) Chicago Sun Times

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If this didn't make me angry (at Com Ed & Banks), it would almost be funny. The last paragraph really sums it up! Here's the


Y2K protection bill bugs ComEd,banks

February 23, 1999


Lobbyists for Commonwealth Edison and the state's banking industry are trying to block a proposed law that would protect people from being penalized for billing problems caused by the Year 2000 bug.

State Rep. Constance Howard (D-Chicago) wants to prohibit companies from imposing late fees or other penalties on people who cannot pay their bills on time because of Y2K problems. The date 2000 cannot be read by some computer systems, and many industry experts fear there will be widespread billing problems at the turn of the century.

Howard's proposal specifically cites utilities and banks but would apply to all businesses. It would prohibit foreclosures, defaults and late fees. It would also prohibit negative credit reports.

``This protects the consumer,'' Howard said. ``If it's the bank's fault, it's the bank's problem.''

Howard said that last week, 15 lobbyists met with her asking that the proposed law be dropped or at least changed. She is pressing ahead.

Among the critics were lobbyists for ComEd and the Illinois Bankers Association. ComEd has repeatedly said it is prepared for the year 2000; the financial industry is generally regarded as ready for next year.

Keith Bromery, spokesman for ComEd, said the proposed law isn't specific enough to protect companies from abuse.

Bromery said ComEd has 300 people working on the Y2K problem and is spending $60 million to make sure its computer systems will function.

Gary McCants, lobbyist for the bankers association, said the proposed law would allow people to get out of paying their bills for no good reason.

`Our concern is that people will go to their bank, any business, and just claim they have had some Year 2000 problem that prevents them from meeting their financial obligations,'' McCants said.

John Cameron of Citizen Action said he thinks Howard's proposal is reasonable, and he doesn't understand why the lobbyists are concerned about it.

``We were astounded at the level of opposition,'' Cameron said. ``I can't see why they are spending so much time lobbying to protect themselves from a problem they say is not going to happen.''


Thank you Rep. Howard!!

-- Deborah (tryingfor@little.guy), February 23, 1999


Whoops! That would be here's the LINK (blush)

-- Deborah (duh@duh.duh), February 23, 1999.

And then on the hel of that the state government are trying to wriggle out of THEIR responsibilities. Basically: "You need to get your money to us on time or else, but we have the luxury of giving you what you paid for or not".


Lawmakers Press Forward With Y2K Immunity

Almost anything could happen -- traffic lights could fail, elevators could jam, 911 services could shut down and government workers, contractors and welfare recipients could go unpaid. The list of Year 2000 computer problems is "virtually impossible to predict," said Rep. Blake Chard, R-Layton. Fearing the worst, state representatives voted 62-9 Monday to grant immunity from "Y2K" lawsuits to government agencies in Utah, even if they do nothing to fix the computer bug. Chard's bill was sent to the Senate for its consideration. Chard was confident enough to predict that without government immunity, thousands of Y2K lawsuits would clog the courts and "bankrupt" state and local governments. The immunity could still be rejected piecemeal by courts finding against government agencies that "fail to prepare for the worst," he said. -- The Associated Press

-- (Lancelot @ tavern link. com), February 24, 1999.

I'm trying to get soemthing similar through the GA legistlature now - no luck so far.

-- Robert A. Cook, P.E. (Kennesaw, GA) (cook.R@csaatl.com), February 24, 1999.

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