The State of New York has amended its telemarketing statute, Section 399-z of the General Business Law (https://www.nysenate.gov/legislation/laws/GBS/399-Z) ,to include text messaging within its parameters. The legislation, embodied in companion bills in the Senate and Assembly (S.3941/A.6040), modifies a number of the definitions in Section 399-z to add the term “electronic messaging text” to, for example, the definition of “telemarketer”, “telemarketing” and “telemarketing sales calls.”

(https://legislation.nysenate.gov/pdf/bills/2021/S3941;https://legislation.nysenate.gov/pdf/bills/2021/a6040).

The definition of “electronic messaging text” covers “real-time or near real-time non-voice messages in text form over communications networks, and includes the transmission of writing, signs, signals, pictures, and sounds of all kinds by aid of wire, cable or other like connection between the points of origin and reception of such transmission.”

Governor Cuomo signed the legislation on July 13, 2021. By its terms, the changes take effect 30 days after that date (i.e., August 12, 2021).