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No Veto--'Junk Fax' Gets the Ax

May 17, 1989|From United Press International

HARTFORD, Conn. — A high-tech lobbying campaign backfired Tuesday as Gov. William A. O'Neill signed legislation to restrict the use of fax machines to send unsolicited messages.

Fax owners used their machines last week to flood the governor's office with letters urging him to veto the bill, but O'Neill said the protest instead convinced him to sign the measure.

The protest left O'Neill's office unable to use its machine to get information from the state Office of Emergency Management about rising river levels and possible flooding around the state.

"I had been following discussion about the legislation but frankly last week was the first time the need for this kind of legislation was brought home to me," O'Neill said in a statement.

The new law, which takes effect on Oct. 1, will allow anyone who receives an unsolicited advertisement on a fax machine to sue for up to $200 or actual damages, whichever is greater. It also allows a person who receives the unsolicited material to seek a court order banning future transmissions.

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