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Credit bill sails through committee

A proposal that would ban insurance companies and employers from holding credit scores against customers or potential employees sailed through a Thursday Senate panel.

“People are beginning to hire and want to return to work even though they’re late on their mortgages and behind on their credit cards,” said Sen. Gary Siplin, D-Orlando, who sponsored the measure.

The bill, SB102, passed unanimously out of the Commerce and Tourism Committee, but has two more committee stops before it would get to the Senate floor.

Siplin pitched the proposal as a “get back to work” bill, and said that about 6 percent of U.S. employers check credit before hiring.

Sen. Nancy Detert, R-Venice, who owns a mortgage company, said credit used to be very personal, but is now used to determine all sorts of things.

She proposed that the bill be changed to prohibit insurance companies from increasing charges to people with poor credit. Her amendment was passed without objection.

“If you’re late to JCPenney, why should your car insurance go up?” she said. “We’re nickling and diming people who can least afford it.”