A Kansas price-gouging law that prohibits profiteering by raising prices on items consumers find necessary because of the COVID-19 virus outbreak is now in effect statewide, Kansas Attorney General Derek Schmidt announced today.
Schmidt said the law is rarely invoked, but is designed to prevent opportunistic greed from "overcoming" the public need for virus-response products and services.
The law generally prohibits unjustifiably raising prices for goods and services for which consumer demand is likely to increase because of the virus outbreak. A price increase is presumed unjustified if it exceeds by 25 percent or more the price at which the goods or services were available on March 11 or the price for which the same goods or services are available from other sellers in the trade area.
Examples of consumer goods and services governed by the anti-profiteering law include, but are not limited to, food items, sanitary and cleaning supplies such as hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes, emergency supplies, medical supplies and services, lodging, and any other property or service for which consumer demand may increase in response to the virus outbreak. The law carries a penalty of up to $10,000 per violation.