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Joint | August 12, 2015 | Press Room | Press Conference: Rep. Meyer

Full MP3 Audio File

How's everybody doing, good morning good to see you. Good morning.  I'm Representative Hardister it's been an honor to work with representative Mayer on house bill 607, I appreciate being here today. I think this is a very important bill, sometimes I like to joke around and said this is hard to get the headline on the bill that's just controversial or emotional actually I think when you don't get a lot of the press so it's probably a good thing because that means it's a really good bill this bill passed the house of Senate unanimously and what it does it basically allows children guardians of could be an adult a disabled adult to freeze their credit and this is a real serious problem and it's a problem that's gotten more worse over time with technology and it's my understanding that children are the fastest growing segment of identity theft victims and so Representative Mayer brought this to me and said this is a serious problem. I have an idea for a bill we talked about it and immediately I thought his is something we need to do. This is the right thing to do I will say that Representative Mayer did all the heavy lifting on it.  I was proud to work with him and with that I know we have some consumer advocacy groups here that may want to speak to this bill. With that I'll turn it over to the leads sponsor of the bill on the primarily but he is the lead sponsor of the bill representative Greg Mayer Thank you representative Howard its pleasure to work with you on this as representative is hard to say this bill pass both chamber unanimously. When I saw the first of the idea for this gloss because I have seen other state have passed some of the legislation to extend and the effect protections to cover children disable the dogs. This is something we should be able to do. North Carolina needs this and I reached out to Representative Hardister because I knew as another newer and younger member of the Assembly it would likely something that he would be interested in doing in a bipartisan way that nobody else had taken on. So it's great to have a partner who's willing to take on the charge. I want to tell you a brief story that I heard from Christy Agner in the Attorney General's office about one illustration of why this legislation is so important. There's a young man who was going to be first in his family, first generation to go to college, and when he came with his Mum to the university, one of our UNC system schools and showed up at the Financial Aid Office to register for financial aid and get his college loan so he could start college, the financial aid office had to turn him away because his credit score was so bad that they couldn't issue him student loans. And his Mum said, He's 18 years old, how could he possibly have bad credit? He's never taken out a loan, he's never had a credit card, what could have happened? Well it turns out that years before she had kicked out a ne'er-do-well boyfriend brand who hadn't been so good for her and now she was not so good for her son because that boyfriend had stolen the young man's social security number and had been using his social security number to get credit for a number of years and that ruined this young man's credit, ruined his ability to enroll in college at a time when he was so excited. And you think about it as a parent. I'm a parent. I might take the opportunity to check my credit every year. But I've never thought to actually check my children's credit because what would the purpose be? But it's actually fairly easy now to access a child's social security number and that makes it easy to steal their identity. And because parents don't check it makes children a prime target for identity theft and you can imagine if the same conditions would be true if you were caring for someone who was a sibling say with a disability where they needed you to be their legal guardian or you had any ageing parent who needed your care and your legal guidance because they weren't to take care of their own possibilities anymore in any of those conditions right now the law, before this bill passed for those people, the law did not allow for care takers of those people, the guardians or parents to work proactively to secure their identities and put a freeze on their credit. With the passage of house bill 607 which is now session law thanks to the signature of Governor McCrory, parent, guardian can place proactive consumer credit freeze on any one in one of the protected classes in the bill which basically would cover children or an adult who has a legal guardian, so we're very proud to have this be enacted and we really look forward to working with a number of organisations and people who will help us make sure that North Carolinians will all be aware of the possibility to protect their children or their loved ones from identity theft, there is one provision in the bill that will ensure that

when every child is issued a birth certificate in North Carolina and they will now get their family to pack and they will get notification that they can access this protection that's provided by house bill 607, so we never know that newborns would start to get protected but we'll be working with many of the people who are in this room, particularly those from the disability rights and communities to make sure that we wont let all those who are carrying false [xx] to go ahead and take advantage of this you wait first and so we will be working our plans to roll out information campaign starting out in 2016 and hopefully, you can help protect the seat. I also want to this opportunity to think to people who really spent the most of the time working with us to get this the right [xx] from the attorney general's office and the island from the retail merchants association do you have any other comments you want to make representative [xx]   No I think that covers it fairly well both but I don't have children, but a lot of my friends do and so I could see this being a really serious issue for parents. I mean if you think about it like representative Meyer said, children who don't have anything in their credit score, they don't have a history and it's unfortunately that children are the perfect victim for identity theft and you may not know it until years later and all of a sudden it's like a horror story, that comes time to go to college and you look at your child's credit and you find out that there's a real serious problem, may ask devastating and that's tragedy and so that's what the bill addresses and now it's omitted and this could improve a large is of millions of people in North Carolina, and so it was an honor to work with the AG's office with Mr. Allan and everybody else all the stake holders. We work really hard on this every time, and I'm honored to be a part of it and I'm especially honored that it passed the house and senate unanimously. Do we have anyone from consumer advocacy group that might like to say a few words about why we're here? any one? OK, seeing non, representative you want to. Anybody have a questions? Any have a question or comment? Well that's it, thank you all for your time today, I appreciate it. Give a shout out to WCHO who I know [xx] much chapel hill, thanks guys, thank all for coming