Is 'hostage' mover bill HB 2145 in jeopardy?

Posted at 8:02 PM, Mar 07, 2017
and last updated 2017-03-07 22:02:37-05
Right now you have no protections if a bad moving company decides to charge more than it quoted and hold your things until you pay up.
It's a big problem.
Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich says his office has received more than 150 complaints from consumers who have fallen victim and hoped House Bill 2145 would help.
If passed, the bill would prohibit moving companies from legally being able to hold a customer's goods in order to get them to pay more money.
Instead, the billing dispute would have to be settled in court.
"We knew that there was a gap in the law we wanted to make it consistent, we mirrored it after some of the landlord tenant provisions," Brnovich said.
The bill unanimously passed the House in mid-February.
But Brnovich says it's being held up in the Senate. 
And he thinks he knows why.
"There's no reason for it not to (pass) other than a bunch of lobbyist and their representatives trying to squash consumer protection laws," he said. " There's no reason why this bill should not have a hearing and there's no reason why it should not have a straight up and down vote."
No groups are on record with the Legislature as being opposed to the bill.  
Officially, the Arizona Trucking Association lists itself as 'neutral' about the bill.  
The group did not respond to us in time for our story but its website urges members to ask senators to either oppose or amend the bill. 
Saying in part, "ATA is concerned that, as written, will hurt legitimate movers who will have little recourse against customers who refuse to pay for services.ATA agrees with the intent of the bill. We want to eliminate bad movers who undermine the public trust. However, HB2145 has unintended consequences that will seriously jeopardize legitimate moving companies."
State Senator Steve Smith of Maricopa chairs the committee that would decide the bills fate.
A spokesperson tells me "some stakeholders had questions about it, and he's letting them work it out. I'd expect it on a future committee agenda."
Brnovich says the legislation should be a no brainer.
"It's as simple as that, you can't hold people's stuff just because you have a dispute with them over the bill," he says.
So what do you think?
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