(Washington, D.C.) Louisiana H.B. 1044 – a bill drafted by CMOR – has passed both the State House and Senate with unanimous approval and awaits the signature of Governor Bobby Jindal (R). The proposed law would combat political persuasion calls (also known as ‘political telemarketing’ or ‘push polls’) while protecting legitimate survey and opinion research (including message testing).

As crafted by CMOR’s Government Affairs experts, H.B. 1044 prohibits making any telephone call expressly advocating support or opposition of a candidate, elected public official or ballot proposition without identifying the source of the call. The pending law exempts legitimate survey and opinion research.

H.B. 1044 significantly benefits survey and opinion researchers. The law not only applies to callers in Louisiana, but also to all phone contacts and communications with Louisiana respondents. Given the Louisiana legislature’s previous attempt to combat push polls by requiring extensive and bias-inducing disclosures in telephone surveys, this is a special victory.

This pending law will serve as a model for other states seeking to combat the scourge of push polls – particularly since it is the first law in the United States to define and protect message testing in research. It will also serve as a model law that researchers can promote themselves at the grassroots level.

"None of this would have been possible without the due diligence and support of Jude Olinger, our grassroots volunteer who helped kill an earlier bill that would have harmed research, and his work with Rep. Neil Abramson (D, District 98), the bill’s sponsor," said LaToya Lang, CMOR’s State Legislative Director.