Lawmakers are getting involved in Jesse’s Free Credit Freezes for All Campaign. There are three bills in the Washington State Legislature now and a fourth hitting Olympia on Thursday.
State Senator Mark Mullet (D-Issaquah) is the Chairman of the Senate Financial Institutions & Insurance Committee. His bill, Senate Bill 6018, will provide free credit freezes for all Washingtonians forever.
“My bill is very simple. You remove the fee because, the reality is, these aren’t the people making mistakes. It’s other companies making mistakes, and if they have to figure out how to pay money to these credit agencies to cover their own screw ups, I think that’s on them,” said Mullet.
A credit freeze is the best defense against a credit breach. It costs $10 for each of the three credit agencies for a freeze.
That’s why I’ve been pushing for a law on Free Credit Freezes for All.
State Representative Zack Hudgins (D-Tukwila) heard our message and wrote a bill that also asks for free credit freezes.
“And I think that, maybe at one point it made sense to have $10 at one time. But it’s not one time, it’s freeze, unfreeze, freeze, unfreeze anytime you want to buy an expensive sofa or a car, or get a new credit card,” said Hudgins.
Attorney General Bob Ferguson is also talking about the issue. And I gave him one of the shirts I’ve been sending to viewers and now handing out to elected officials.
“I think at the end of the day there is some momentum that’s kind of occurred over the last 12 months around getting rid of these fees,” said Mullet.
But here are a couple of interesting points.
First, “the banks are not opposing the bill,” said Mullet.
And secondly, the data industry has lots to fight for -lots of money.
According to the United States Public Interest Research Group, the estimated cost to freeze all Washingtonians is more than $137 million.
“So we will listen to what their concerns are during that committee hearing process,” said Mullet.
Senator Mullet plans to call his bill first in his committee next week.
I’ve seen one Republican bill offering one free freeze per year to all Washingtonians.
Mullet says he will reach across the aisle to get legislation passed this session.
“I probably work with republicans just as much as anybody in my caucus. I would say I think they are nice people and I think they are upset with this issue too. I’m optimistic we will get with them and we will all come up with a policy we can support together and I think it will be an aggressive policy,” said Mullet.
If you want action on these bills you should call your legislator.