In less than three minutes, the Florida House passed a bill to protect people from identity theft.
Representative Larry Ahern is sponsoring legislation making it a felony to possess IDs, credit cards or the banking information of five or more people.
There are exceptions. Parents, teachers or other workers who have a legitimate reason to possess the information are exempt. This bill targets the bad guys.
Like the parents of a six year old who brought a plastic bag full of debit and credit cards to show-and-tell. The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office questioned the parents but had to let them go.
“We were not able to charge the parents because as the law stands now the mere possession of 52 debt cards is not illegal. We have to show intent,” said Robert Ura with the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office.
Stories like this filled the halls of the state capitol. Wednesday police got their wish.
The Florida House speed thorough HB 691.
The following day, a Senate Committee heard the bill.
Senate Sponsor Arthenia Joyner expects quick passage in her chamber.
“I’m looking forward to it passing so they can effectively use it and put a stop to the carnage that is happening to people with their credit,” said Sen. Arthenia Joyner.
Florida leads the nation in tax fraud. The hope is the new law will help the state shed the title.
The bill creates a misdemeanor for people caught with four or fewer pieces of other people’s information.