In Louisiana, Rep. Cameron Henry (D-82) introduced H.B. 151, which would repeal the exemptions for political calls from the restrictions on automated calls (R.S. 45:816(8)) and the state do not call registry (R.S. 844.12(6)(f)).

Current Louisiana law restricts most automated calls, including for survey and opinion research, but exempts calls “Pursuant to political campaigns.” Present law also, under the Telephone Solicitation Relief Act of 2001, prohibits telephone solicitation to Louisiana residents on the state and federal do not call lists. Various categories are currently exempt, including “Calls connected with political activity: a) For the sole purpose of urging support for or opposition to a political candidate or ballot issue as long as the caller identifies self. b) For the sole purpose of conducting political polls or soliciting opinions, ideas, or votes. c) By an official journal of the state, parish, municipality, school board, or political subdivision.”

H.B. 151 repeals present law exemptions for calls made pursuant to political campaigns, thus requiring those making automated calls pursuant to political campaigns, including survey and opinion research, to introduce such calls with live operators, and follow other restrictions. It also repeals the “calls connected with political activity” exemption from the do not call list restrictions, which would severely restrict survey and opinion research conducted by or on behalf of campaigns.

Thankfully, the current do not call list exemption for “Calls conducting marketing research or public opinion polling, as long as not for sales” would remain intact.

However, because H.B. 151 would restrict survey and opinion research calls by or on behalf of political campaigns, MRA will seek to amend or defeat this legislation.