Senate OKs bill prohibiting price gouging during emergencies

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — The Washington Senate has approved a measure that would prohibit price gouging for certain goods and services during a state of emergency, like the current COVID-19 pandemic. Under the bill, the attorney general’s office would have investigative and enforcement authority.  Excessive price increases would be prohibited during an emergency on things like building materials, emergency supplies, gasoline, health care services and personal protective equipment, with penalties of no more than $25,000 per violation. The measure prohibits price increases of more than 15 percent in addition to the costs businesses incur during an emergency.