COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) — The baby formula shortage has been an alarming problem for parents nationwide, and inflation has only made the issue more difficult.
Recently introduced House Bill 718 would prohibit price gouging for infant formula. The legislation was introduced by Representatives Jeff Crossman (D-Parma) and Shayla Davis (D-Garfield Heights), who said it will ease the financial burden on families.
The bill would limit the ability for secondary sellers to buy baby formula on the open market then sell it for extreme prices. The bill says a seller cannot price formula more than 5% above what they bought it for from the supplier.
“The cost of baby formula continues to be excessive, and we want to give the state of Ohio and consumers the tools they need to fight back on price gouging,” Crossman said.
However, the bill proposed one week ago is already receiving some pushback.
“If we have laws that are out of date, as it pertains to price gouging, let’s go fix those laws and have a bigger conversation here,” Representative Jay Edwards (R-Nelsonville) said. “They offer this, trying to create a solution, but they’re not talking about what caused the problem.”
Crossman said this bill is especially important now. He said this is just one small way to support working Ohio families.
“If people are going to be forced to bear children in light of the Dobbs decision, then we need to make sure the resources are available for children,” Crossman said.
Edwards agreed that it is important to be sure the prices are not hiked, but said this bill won’t do enough and was introduced for the wrong reasons.
“I tend to think that this act here is more political than it is actually trying to fix the problem,” Edwards said.
Edwards said the focus of the Republican House Caucus is to make sure children are protected. Other Republican representatives said they do not see this bill going very far within the legislature.