California halts bill allowing for electric-only dissemination of insurance-related information that would assign additional fees to the receipt of paper documents; Consumers for Paper Options says decision secures rights for consumers

WASHINGTON , September 6, 2012 (press release) – Legislation Represented Short-Sighted Effort to Cut Costs by Depriving Citizens of Paper Information

Consumers for Paper Options, a coalition of individuals and organizations advocating for paper-based communications, today announced a major victory after California Senate Bill 1212 was pulled from further consideration this year. SB 1212 would have allowed for electronic-only dissemination of important insurance-related information without protecting citizens, who wish to continue receiving paper-based information, from additional fees.

“Policymakers and businesses alike must resist the urge to go paperless when the vast majority of Americans still rely on paper-based information and services,” said John Runyan, executive director of Consumers for Paper Options. “This California bill is a prime example of the short-sighted policies that save corporate dollars, but disenfranchise millions of consumers who prefer paper-based information, don’t have Internet access or are unable to use a computer. As California legislators recognized, it’s time to think before making decisions that will penalize millions of citizens who want and need paper-based information.”

Consumers for Paper Options joined the California Department of Insurance in opposing California SB 1212, and helped promote the adoption of language to prevent consumers from being charged if they chose to remain with paper distribution of policy-related material. In response, sponsors of the bill decided not to accept the changes, and as a result, the bill was pulled from further consideration in 2012.

Consumers for Paper Options invites interested individuals and organizations to contact members of the California State Legislature and request that SB 1212 not be reconsidered during the next legislative session.


About Consumers for Paper Options

Consumers for Paper Options is a new coalition of individuals and organizations who believe paper-based communications are critically important for millions of Americans, especially seniors and the 30 percent of Americans without Internet access. While regulated entities and governments at every level need to streamline services, cut costs and improve efficiencies, preserving paper-based options for information and essential services for those who need or want them should remain a crucial priority. The goal of Consumers for Paper Options is to preserve access to information in a way that neither hinders the natural evolution of technology nor discriminates against those who may not, or cannot, use it. For more information, visit www.paperoptions.org.

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