Pam Bondi on the hunt for price gougers during Hermine

in Apolitical/Top Headlines by

Thinking about making a killing during Florida’s weather emergency?

Don’t.

State law strictly prohibits price gouging. And Attorney General Pam Bondi has activated Florida’s price-gouging hotline to field reports of the same from consumers during Tropical Storm Hermine.

The law applies in the counties where Gov. Rick Scott’s state of emergency prevails. It prohibits extreme hikes in the prices of essential commodities, including food, gasoline, ice, hotel rooms, lumber, and water.

Anyone who encounters price gougers can report them to Bondi’s office by calling 1-866-NO-SCAM. In other words, 866-966-7226.

Excessive prices are judged against the average price for the commodity during the 30 days before the declaration of an emergency, unless the seller can show increases in his or her own costs or market trends that justify the hike.

Bondi pointed residents to her Hurricane Preparedness Guide for advice about how to prepare for the storm.

Michael Moline is a former assistant managing editor of The National Law Journal and managing editor of the San Francisco Daily Journal. Previously, he reported on politics and the courts in Tallahassee for United Press International. He is a graduate of Florida State University, where he served as editor of the Florida Flambeau. His family’s roots in Jackson County date back many generations.