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  Group's Lobbying Efforts Helps Rent-A-Center to Pass an Update to the Rent-To-Own Law

July 31, 2010 – Governor Paterson signs A3083E Pheffer into law as chapter 309 of the laws of 2010. In his approval message, the Governor stated, "I have concluded that this bill warrants approval. On balance, it provides additional protection to consumers in an industry in great need of tighter regulatory controls, and replaces a pricing regime that, by all accounts, was not functioning."

Capitol Group worked with Rent-A-Center and the NYS Rental Dealers Association to fashion legislation that would update the existing rent-to-own statue by providing better protections for consumers while balancing the needs of the rent-to-own industry.

The new law tightens oversight of the industry, mandates more disclosures for consumers, directs the Attorney General's Office to write regulations, and for the first time, creates a framework for setting prices in rent-to-own transactions. Supporters, including the law's sponsors in the Assembly, hailed the legislation as significantly strengthening an outdated 1986 law that critics said did not protect consumers.

Dave Edwards, a rental dealer and president of the New York state Rental Dealers Association, said the law's combination of consumer protections and new price setting criteria was a positive outcome for the industry. "What it does for the industry is it reaffirms the legitimacy of our transaction in the state of New York," Edwards said. "We have severe critics in our state. But this gives us the chance to build long-term positive relationships with legislators. It gives us a good foundation to build on."

Capitol Group, LLC is one of New York's leading full-service public affairs firms providing lobbying, government affairs representation, strategic counsel, and communications services. The firm is recognized for its highly successful bi-partisan lobbying practice. Capitol Group, LLC represents clients ranging from small businesses to Fortune 500 Companies and small not-for-profits to statewide associations.