Prior to the discovery of the first confirmed case of coronavirus in Idaho, Governor Brad Little signed an emergency declaration to help ensure Idaho would be prepared for the inevitable arrival of the virus in the state. Only a few hours later on Friday afternoon the first case of COVID-19 was verified in Idaho. As part of the emergency declaration, Idaho's price gouging law went into effect.

According to a press release from Idaho's Attorney General, Lawrence Wasden, this statute in the law prohibits businesses from selling goods at an elevated or excessive price. This applies to food, fuel, drugs, or even water. Otherwise in a time like now where everyone is buying toilet paper like it determines their life or death, businesses could (an have) jack up the price for necessary commodities. Rather than $3 for a pack of TP they could charge double or triple the price and people would have to pay it because they need it. That's a great way to make an extra few dollars but a terrible thing to do as a human being. This statute keeps that from happening.

The statute is part of the Idaho Consumer Protection Act, which protects consumers and businesses from unfair competition and deceptive practices.

If you feel you have been charged a highly exaggerated price during the emergency you can file a consumer complaint at the attorney general's website or by email at consumer_protection@ag.idaho.gov.

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