RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Democratic Attorney General Josh Stein and a key Republican legislator say expanded identity theft laws are needed in North Carolina to alert the public about increasing security breaches and to make it easier for them to protect themselves.

Stein and Rep. Jason Saine of Lincolnton announced Monday a bill would be filed during the General Assembly's work session in May that requires businesses to let Stein's office and affected consumers know of a breach within 15 days. Current law isn't specific on a time. The public also would get more free credit reports, as well as credit monitoring if a company like Equifax gets hacked.

Stein's office also released a report that said there were over 1,000 breaches in North Carolina in 2017 affecting 5.3 million residents.