Jesse Jones has been on his crusade for ‘Free Credit Freezes for All’ since last year. He wanted to make sure Washington consumers would not have to pay the ten dollar fee to freeze and unfreeze their credit. Now, his hard work finally paid off.
‘Free Credit Freeze for All’ was signed into law by Governor Jay Inslee Tuesday.
“This legislation will ensure that consumers will no longer be charged a fee to protect their financial information,” Governor Jay Inslee said.
In 90 days, you will be able to put your credit file on ice without having to pay ten bucks.
State Senator Mark Mullet from Issaquah sponsored the bill. State Representative Zack Hudgins wrote a similar house bill but backed Mullet’s. The bill had bi-partisan support and moved quickly through the legislature.
“When politicians on both sides of the aisle and both chambers get together towards the same goal, the people win,” Rep. Zack Hudgins said. “That’s what this is about. Making sure the problem was solved.”
The problem began with the credit bureau Equifax. Last year, the company had a data breach that impacted the personal and financial information of more than 147 million people, and then waited months to tell consumers about it.
We then started talking to victims of identity theft after the Equifax breach. Kellie Kraus of Everett had her personal information stolen and used in five states.
At the time, Jesse asked Kraus if she thought credit freezes should be free.
“Absolutely,” Kraus said. “It’s so important for individuals’ future. It’s something that can impact people.”
After the victims were attacked, Jesse went after the law. Senator Mullet and Hudgins wrote legislation proposing free credit freezes for all because experts say it’s one of the best ways to protect your personal information.
Then came the hearings.
We met Lee Cutberth from Battle Ground, who testified in a Senate Committee meeting.
“We had somebody open up a credit card and make charges on it and we had somebody open up an auto loan as was actually approved for that loan,” Cutberth said.
Thanks to the hard work of everyone from the legislators to the victims who made sure their stories were heard, and even the goofy t-shirts Jesse made, we can now say the campaign is a success.