Senate Bill 260
151st General Assembly (2021 - 2022)
The General Assembly has ended, the current status is the final status.
AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 6 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO THE CONSUMER PROTECTION FUND.
The Consumer Protection Fund covers a substantial portion of the costs and expenses to run the Department of Justice’s Fraud and Consumer Protection Division, which serves all Delawareans, handles hundreds of consumer complaints every year, and is continually taking on more cases on behalf of Delawareans who have been victims of fraud and deceptive business practices. During the COVID-19 pandemic, a period of dramatically increased scams against Delaware's most vulnerable populations, including our seniors, the Fraud and Consumer Protection Division has been on the front lines. The Division brings money into the Consumer Protection Fund by investigating and enforcing Delaware’s consumer protection and financial fraud laws, and the amounts obtained, often through settlements, can be large but are unpredictable. Despite a significant expansion of the work and jurisdiction of the Fraud and Consumer Protection Division, the Consumer Protection Fund retention cap has not been increased since 2014. This Act increases the maximum amount of money the Department of Justice can keep in the Consumer Protection Fund at the end of each fiscal year from $3 million to $10 million. Increasing the retention cap from $3 million to $10 million will promote greater stability in funding the Division’s operations even during periods of volatility in the amount of money the Division brings in through its investigation and enforcement work, and will reduce the risk that the Division needs to seek funding for its critical operations out of General Fund appropriations. Increasing the retention cap will not affect ASF spending authorization for the Consumer Protection Fund, which will remain subject to the existing appropriations process.
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