The Pennsylvania Floral Industry Association (PFIA) recently conducted a legislative Day on the Hill at Pennsylvania’s capitol building to lobby in favor of Senate Bill (SB) 198. This bill prohibits the use of deceptive advertising while still promoting a competitive floral industry.
PFIA, representing retail florists, flower growers and related businesses in Pennsylvania, has long sought a restriction on out-of-state florists that disguise their origin when advertising in local telephone directories. SB 198 protects Pennsylvania consumers from deceptive business practices within the floral industry that mislead or deceive them into believing that they are purchasing flowers directly from local florists. According to the association, current law enables a non-PA business to place a listing in the telephone book using a local exchange and a fictitious name meant to sound like a local florist. This practice results in higher floral prices for the consumers, less business for local florists and loss of sales tax revenue for the Commonwealth.
PFIA lobbyist Vince Phillips said, “This day on the hill marks a milestone in the history of floral advocacy in Harrisburg. We were able to communicate with both staff and key legislators on an unfair trade practice bill that is critical to the industry.”
Senate Bill 198 was introduced by Senator Stewart Greenleaf (R-Montgomery) and passed through the Senate unanimously. State Senator Greenleaf has represented the 12th Senatorial District in the Pennsylvania Senate since 1978. PFIA commends Senator Greenleaf’s dedication and persistence. Beyond his assistance to the Pennsylvania Floral Industry Association, he chairs the Senate Judiciary Committee, is vice chair of the Senate Law & Justice Committee, and is a member of the Senate committees on Appropriations, Banking and Insurance, Consumer Protection and Professional Licensure, and Environmental Resources and Energy.
Several members of the association were in attendance to thank their representatives in the Senate for passing the bill, while speaking with members of the House of Representatives about the urgency of this political issue. “The Pennsylvania Floral Association should be very proud of the fact that legislation that florists have fought for since 1996 has passed the Senate. Now the challenge is House concurrence,” commented Phillips. PFIA hopes that the House of Representatives will see the need for this piece of legislation. The bill is scheduled to appear before the House at the end of June.