Two bills aimed at curbing identity theft passed legislative hurdles Thursday.

SB52, which would allow identity theft victims to claim restitution, passed a preliminary Senate vote Thursday evening.

"So many of these bad guys walk away with so many goodies and benefits, and they do not have to pay restitution," said Sen. Carlene Walker, R-Cottonwood Heights, the bill's sponsor. "This is simply giving the judge the option to require restitution."

The bill may be amended before final Senate approval to make judges who opt against restitution to explain why.

Earlier Thursday, Rep. Karen Morgan, D-Cottonwood Heights, saw unanimous approval in the House for HB95, which would allocate $275,000 to bolster the Attorney General Office's identity theft investigations staff. The bill now moves to the Senate.

"It is widespread, the largest area of criminal activity affecting private people, including children, the elderly and dead to create false documents," Morgan said.