Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Press Release: Rep. Jon Hardister Passes Consumer Protection Bill

August 12, 2015

For Immediate Release

Raleigh, NC - Today Rep. Jon Hardister (R-Guilford) held a press conference along with Rep. Graig Meyer (D-Orange) to discuss the importance of HB 607 - Allow Protected Consumer Security Freezes - which was recently signed into law by Governor Pat McCrory. Reps. Hardister and Meyer are the primary sponsors of the bill.

The bill is designed to prevent identity theft for children and disabled adults who have a limited ability to monitor their own credit. It would allow the parent or legal guardian of a minor (under 16 years of age) to freeze a child's credit to prevent loans or services (such as a credit card account) from being approved in the child's name. The same protections would be allowed for an adult who has a legal guardian, such as someone who is disabled or incapacitated.

This would extend the general procedures that are in place for an individual "consumer" through the Identify Theft Protection Act of 2005 to children and disabled adults.

"This bill addresses a serious problem related to the identity theft of children and adults who are disabled," Hardister said. "Children are especially at-risk of identity theft because it can take a while to detect the crime. There have been cases when a parent did not realize that their child's identity was stolen until years after the crime occurred."

Hardister also said that the problem related to child identity theft has gotten worse due to advancements in computer technology.

The bill passed both the House and Senate on a unanimous vote.

"This is a good, bipartisan bill that provides a reasonable way for children and disabled adults to protect their identity," Hardister said. "The passage of this bill allows millions of citizens a new safeguard to protect themselves from fraud."

Rep. Jon Hardister

Rep. Graig Meyer (left) and Rep. Jon Hardister speaking at press conference.


Tuesday, August 4, 2015

NC House Update - August 2015

The 2015 session of the NC General Assembly is underway as we enter the month of August. We are working to finalize the state budget and to pass legislation before the session adjourns. There is no set date for adjournment, but we hope to be out of session within the next few weeks.

Finalizing the State Budget

The House and Senate have appointed conferees to work out differences in the budget (I am honored to be appointed as a conferee on the House side). There are a few disparities that we are working to resolve, such as funding for teacher assistants; driver's education funding; Medicaid reform; changes to the state tax code; and changes to the local sales tax redistribution.

It is normal for the House and Senate to have disagreements when it comes to the state budget. When you are dealing with a multi-billion dollar spending plan, legislators are not going to agree on every detail. Our goal is to reconcile our differences and pass a balanced budget that spends taxpayer dollars responsibly.

Completing Committee Work

House and Senate committees are completing their work as we approach the end of session this year. We are working to move bills before the session adjourns. Although a lot of focus is on the state budget, there are numerous bills that are still being considered.

Regulatory Reform Bill

HB 651 - Appraisal Board Recordkeeping and Background Checks - passed the legislature last week and will soon be signed by Governor Pat McCrory. This is a regulatory reform bill that provides relief for small businesses and independent contractors. I am honored to be the lead sponsor of this bill and I am pleased that it passed the legislature with strong bipartisan support.

Note: I have another regulatory reform bill (HB 126 - Mortgage Origination Support Registration) that is currently under consideration in the Senate.

When I ran for office, I cited regulatory reform as a top priority. This is an issue that I will continue to focus on in the legislature. We need to maintain a sound business environment in order to create jobs and grow the economy.

Presidential Primary Moves to March

The North Carolina presidential primary has been moved to March 15th. This was done in order to give us a seat at the table in the presidential primary process. Currently, the presidential primaries are often decided by the time North Carolina holds its primary, which is in May. By moving the presidential primary to March, our citizens will now have an influence as to who the political parties choose to be their presidential nominee.

Connect NC Bond

Governor Pat McCrory is traveling the state to promote his "Connect NC" bond, which would be a roughly $1.5 billion general obligation bond to provide funding for transportation projects. We have not had a general obligation bond since the year 2000 and interest rates are currently low, which means it may not be a bad time to consider this proposal. The legislature is working to see if we can come up with a responsible plan. Any general obligation bond the legislature proposes would have to be approved by voters on a statewide ballot.

Award Recognition

It was an honor to receive the "2015 Charter Champion Award" from the NC Association of Public Charter Schools. This award was in recognition of work that I have done to help support our public charter school system. My belief is that we should support all areas of public education and provide children with more opportunities to learn. 

Historic Gibsonville Caboose Dedication

Earlier this month I had the honor of participating in a ribbon cutting for the historic railroad caboose in Gibsonville. The caboose symbolizes the history of Gibsonvile, which derives its name from Joseph Gibson, who was involved in expanding the railroad system in North Carolina. The caboose also reminds us of the important role that transportation plays in driving economic development. 

More Updates Soon

Stay tuned for more updates as we get closer to the end of session. Meanwhile, don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions, comments or concerns. I hope you are having an excellent summer.

Quote to Remember

"The only place success comes before work is in the dictionary."
- Vince Lombardi