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Larry Thomas

Arkansas stiffens penalty for selling used bedding as new

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - Arkansas Gov. Mike Beebe has signed a bill that stiffens the penalties for knowingly selling used bedding as a new product.

The bill, which was backed by the Arkansas Homefurnishings Assn., was overwhelmingly approved by the state House and Senate earlier this month.

The bill makes it a class A misdemeanor to sell used fabric, filling material or an article of bedding with labels stating the product is new. Violators are subject to a fine of up to $1,000 and a year in prison.

Previously, the punishment was limited to a $250 fine and 90 days in jail.

Among those who helped get the bill through the general assembly were State Rep. Terry Rice, owner of Rice Furniture & Appliances in Waldron, Ark., and John Wells, a former state representative who owns Wells Furniture in Paris, Ark.

Jamie Vernon, sales and marketing director for the Arkansas Homefurnishings Assn., said the two "worked hard to educate members of the House and Senate to understand the merits of the bill."

"We are proud that our state legislators took a step in the right direction to protect the integrity of the home furnishings industry in Arkansas while protecting the rights of the consumer," Vernon said.

He said numerous association members, as well as the group's board of directors, contacted legislators and attended legislative committee meetings to show their support.

Click here to read the full text of the bill.


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