LANSING — Yesterday, House Democratic Whip and State Representative Robert Kosowski (D-Westland) saw his legislation signed into law by Gov. Rick Snyder.

House Bill 4022 creates the Foster Child Identification Theft Protection Act and will require caseworkers to request an annual report to monitor credit-related activity for each foster child assigned to them.

More than 17 million people were victims of identity theft in 2014. Foster care youth are particularly prone to these crimes due to their unstable environment. Children in the foster system tend to move from home to home, giving numerous adults access to their personal information. Often, these children have no idea their identity has been stolen until they are adults and are out of the system, attempting to establish credit.

“My bill is just good, common-sense legislation,” Kosowski said. “Right now, there is nobody monitoring these kids’ credit scores. Many of these children have already been subjected to terrible conditions and experiences before getting into the abuse and neglect system. The last thing they need to worry about is potential identity theft and ruined credit.”

HB 4022 passed the House and Senate unanimously. “Obviously my colleagues shared in my concerns to protect Michigan’s foster children,” Kosowski said. “We owe it to these kids to give them the best start to their adult life possible. With my legislation in place, hopefully they will be less susceptible to fall victim to identity theft and be able to apply for college loans, housing or even a bank account without any sort of worry. I am grateful to the governor and my colleagues for their continued support throughout this process, and look forward to this legislation helping to safeguard our foster children.”