Representative Ott and Senator Testin Defend Wisconsin Consumers

Bi-partisan Bill to Relieve Wisconsinites from Fees Passes State Assembly

Madison, WI – Last year’s Equifax credit breach exposed more than 145 million Americans to the threat of credit fraud, yet Wisconsin still allows credit reporting agencies to charge consumers a fee to freeze or unfreeze their accounts. A bi-partisan bill that passed the Assembly on Tuesday would change that.

Assembly Bill 565 (AB 565), authored by Sen. Patrick Testin (R-Stevens Point) and Rep. Jim Ott (R-Mequon) would enable consumers to alter their credit status twelve times per year, per agency without charge.

“This bill makes it easier for consumers to protect their personal data,” said Rep. Ott. “It’s bad enough to have your personal data compromised through no fault of your own; it compounds the injustice when you have to pay for someone else’s failure to properly secure the data they have been entrusted with.”

The idea for the bill was brought to the legislators by constituents from across Wisconsin.

“In September, my office received a call from a man in Junction City who objected to Wisconsin allowing these fees,” said Senator Testin. “I know that Representative Ott received a similar call from someone he represents. This bill addresses a concern that many are feeling right now.”

In addition to passing the Assembly, the bill also recently passed the Senate Committee on Government Operations, Technology, and Consumer Protection. It is expected to be voted on by the full Senate by the end of the month.

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