Wednesday, May 07, 2008

You might want to write your State Senator

Jim Siegel has a really good summary in the Daily Briefing called "The Twists and Turns of Payday Lending." I've been talking about this issue for as long as there's been a Blue Bexley, and I'm really happy that the General Assembly is poised to do something to really protect vulnerable consumers.

That action is threatened, however, as the fight moves over to the Senate side. As Siegel reports, among several factors working against the legislation:

After getting steamrolled in the House, the industry is getting more aggressive in the Senate. Payday lenders made more than 50 calls to each Senate office, are hiring additional lobbyists, and organized a Statehouse rally with about 2,000 employees and supporters.

I might give my Senator, David Goodman, a call. I already said I was in agreement with him on Marc Dann earlier this week. I've neglected to mention, although I most certainly have noticed, that he has followed up his support for anti-discrimination laws protecting LGBT workers by resisting a lot of pressure from pro-life groups to cave in on an overly-broad human cloning bill that would negatively impact scientific research in Ohio. Perhaps it's pushing my luck to hope for four in a row, but I really hope that he comes out in strong support of an interest-rate cap and other necessary regulatory conditions on payday lending. This has got to be a tough issue for him - what the lenders are doing is immoral, but regulating them would go against his more libertarian-leaning pro-business tendencies. If he's at all on the fence, letting the lenders do all the lobbying is a really bad idea.

Sen. Goodman's contact info:

Senate Building
Room #039, Ground Floor
Columbus, Ohio 43215
Telephone: 614/466-8064

Find your Senator's info at:

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