The legislature is taking its annual run at snuffing out those annoying automated telephone calls we get, especially during campaigns.

One of those behind the effort, Senator Scott Rupp, is a victim of his own campaign’s robocalls. He says he did not know friends work working his behalf with automated phone messages when he ran for the senate in 2006…until he got calls at home from people angry at the robocalls. One even played the call back to him from an answering machine. As he put it, "people are sick of these."

His bill does not ban the calls. But it lets people avoid them. Missourians can still get robocalls if they have given permission for the calls; if they have a current or business relationship with the caller; or if the call is preceded by a real person announcing the recording is about to start.

The legislation adds cell-phones and other forms of electronic messaging to the no-call list, which now only covers land-line phones.

Senator David Pearce of Warrensburg has a similar bill. It requires a "live" operator to start the call, and requires the caller to disconnect within ten seconds after the hang-up.

A senate committee is likely to recommend debate in a few days.


download Bob Priddy’s story (:60 mp3]