I spent the day today going over some laws that have been enacted by the State of Illinois (my home State) – just to get some perspective. Lucky for those of you who don’t live in Illinois, you are not subject to the following legislation.
I found a few that were most … interesting. I didn’t have time to research these fully, so I apologize if any of them are repealed or untrue or just myths – it is certainly possible.
Here are some of the great ones they’ve come up with … for comparison.
- An Illinois State Law mandates that it is illegal to speak English. The officially recognized language is “American”.
- It is unlawful to change clothes in an automobile with the curtains drawn, except in case of fire.
- In Kenilworth, Illinois – A rooster must step back three hundred feet from any residence if he wishes to crow; Hens that wish to cackle must step two hundred feet back from any residence.
- In Evanston, Illinois – Bowling is prohibited.
- Urbana, Illinois has legislation against monsters entering the city limits.
- As the title of this post suggests, it is illegal to give a dog either whiskey or a lit cigar.
There are countless others, and I am certain that Illinois is not the only State with these types of laws on the books… but I was just using it as a light-hearted way of illustrating a point.
On a more serious note, many of you received our Special Newsletter Announcement this weekend if you live in California, Minnesota, Connecticut or Hawaii. The reason for this email is that those 4 States, among many others, are considering putting laws on the books that would leverage affiliate marketers as “nexus” for online retailers. This means that any online retailer with affiliates in those States would be (according to State law) forced to collect sales tax on any purchases made to patrons of that State.
Obviously, this would have a negative effect on affiliates in those States – and as such there are several groups who are organizing and trying to influence their local legislators.
We feel that these State laws grossly overstep the bounds of jurisdiction, into an area clearly belonging to the Federal government (inter-state commerce). However, each and every Merchant and Affiliate needs to research with their legal advisors to come up with appropriate steps.
Our home State of Illinois is in the process of considering similar legislation, and as such we have begun the process of contacting local representatives so that we can explain the shortcomings and short-sightedness of this type of law.
We encourage every affiliate marketer to stand up and be heard on this issue. Every State will be affected either directly or indirectly.
If you would like to get involved – that could mean any of the following:
- Contacting your local representative with a letter, phone call, or visit, letting them know your thoughts on this matter.
- Participating in group letters, petitions, etc…
- Participating in organized events
If you need any information please feel free to contact me directly at brian @ ShareASale, or comment on this blog. Time is of the essence, a lot of States are considering legislation that begins as soon as April 1st, and many that start in the summer months.
If you are looking for more information to read, here are some resources based on State:
- NY State (and good general info): http://nyaffiliatevoice.com/
- CA: http://caaffiliates.blogspot.com/
- Minnesota, Tennessee, Connecticut, Hawaii and More: http://forum.abestweb.com/forumdisplay.php?f=543
Please do not hesitate to contact me if you want to help or need more information.