News release: Statewide Consumers Hui Prompts Grocery Stores to Abide Emergency Price Controls
Governor Josh Green's July 17 proclamation declaring a state of emergency looks to provide one additional but likely unexpected benefit to Hawaii consumers.
News Release from Hawai'i Working Consumers Hui
Wailuku -- The Hawai'i Working Consumers Hui reminded Hawai'i's leading grocery stores that state law prohibits them from increasing prices on basic goods during Governor Green's State of Emergency.
On July 17, 2023, Governor Josh Green issued a proclamation declaring a state of emergency throughout the state. State law prohibits all retailers and wholesalers from increasing the price of commodities during the duration of the state of emergency.
State law prohibiting unfair trade acts or practices protect consumers in situations such as declared emergencies. During the early days of the COVID pandemic emergency, some retailers engaged in price gouging contrary to state law. Hui members have not seen such overt acts in the last two weeks. However, consumers, including those affected by housing shortages, noticed price increases in certain basic goods since the proclamation was issued.
The Hui's attorney Lance D. Collins said, "Price controls during emergency periods are designed to protect both the pocketbook of the individual consumer as well as the economy as a whole. We look forward to consistent compliance with the law during this time."
The letter to Hawai'i leading grocery stores also asks that they retain all documents and data regarding pricing from the July 17, 2023 proclamation through the end of the Governor's emergency.
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HRS[§127A-30] -- Rental or sale of essential commodities during a state of emergency; prohibition against price increases.
July 17 2023, ‘Emergency Proclamation on Housing’
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