Substitute House Bill No. 6925

Public Act No. 01-43

AN ACT CONCERNING ALTERNATIVE RETAIL PRICING SYSTEMS.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 21a-79a of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof:

(a) Notwithstanding the provisions of section 21a-79 and any regulations adopted under said section, the Commissioner of Consumer Protection may, within available appropriations, establish a pilot program for the test audit of alternative electronic retail pricing systems that maintain and display the item and unit price of consumer commodities, as defined in subsection (a) of section 21a-79. The commissioner shall select one or more retailers to participate in any such pilot program in accordance with the following requirements: (1) [The] A retailer participating in the pilot program shall conduct business from one or more stores in this state on October 1, [1998; (2) the] 2001. The retailer shall submit to the commissioner a written request to participate in the pilot program and [indicate in such written request the retailer's willingness to] pay all costs associated with a test audit under such pilot program. [; and (3) the] The retailer or retailers shall implement a system to be test audited that, at a minimum, [(A)] (1) maintains the retailer's current item prices and unit prices for each product in an electronic database, [(B)] (2) prints shelf tags that meet all applicable requirements for item pricing and unit pricing in effect on October 1, [1998] 2001, and [(C)] (3) operates in such a way that [(i)] (A) price decreases are immediately transmitted directly to the point of sale, and [(ii)] (B) price increases are transmitted to the point of sale only after such shelf tags are posted and such posting has been verified in the electronic database.

(b) The commissioner may designate a private auditing organization to conduct any such test audit and shall charge the cost of such test audit to the selected retailer or retailers. No such test audit shall be conducted for a period exceeding [six months. The retailer shall designate one store in which the test audit will be conducted] twelve months. During the test audit, such store shall be exempt from the provisions of subdivision (1) of subsection (b) of section 21a-79 and any applicable regulations adopted under said section.

(c) The commissioner shall report the results of each test audit conducted under any such pilot program and any recommendations to the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to consumer protection not later than three months after the completion of such test audit. Such report shall include a copy of any audit report prepared by the commissioner or any such private auditing organization.

Approved May 31, 2001