Monday, April 24, 2006

Pay attention to these names. Watch these people closely.

Those legislators in Salem that are beholden to the payday loan industry have promised a fight to ease the restrictions passed during last week's Special Session.

Some legislators are complaining that the new restrictions will put pay day loan vendors out of business:

Some lawmakers, like Rep. Dennis Richardson, R-Central Point, hope that is what happens.

"The way the bill is written now, it will put payday lenders out of business," he said.

During floor debate Thursday, House Majority Leader Wayne Scott, R-Canby, suggested that the vote over payday loans was political.

"We should come clean (about) what we're really doing today," he said. "We're not passing the bill to protect people; we're passing the bill to protect ourselves."

That's right, Wayne. Lawmakers in Salem know that pay day loan reform is popular with Oregonians. These loans are unethical and cost people in poverty massive amounts of money that they can't afford. If they hadn't worked to pass it, it would have been used as a campaign issue against them.

Wayne Scott and Dennis Richardson obviously believe that regulating businesses that are hurting Oregonians is a bad thing. After all..(gasp!) these regulations might put unethical businesspeople out of business!

Those who would defend the payday loan industry claim that they're a business filling a niche. Well, so are crack dealers--but we're not seeing Wayne Scott go out of his way to defend them. There are viable alternatives for those seeking emergency or necessary cash via credit unions, many of whom are now offering short term personal loans. As opposed to the 300+% interest charged by a payday loan business, the credit union loans are averaging about 12-18%.

Others who may be working next session to undermine pay day loan regulation (via Patty at Our Oregon):

Sen. John Lim (R-Gresham) Voted Yes
“I’m rising in support of this Senate Bill 1105, there’s no question about it. But this bill is not going to solve the problem. This is a good addition, but I’m hoping, after we pass this bill, hopefully we pass, we need to come back and look at this bill again, whether it’s going to work or not.”

Sen. Margaret Carter, (D-Portland) Voted YES
After pointing out that she voted no on last session’s reform bill she said she was voting for this one because, “I’m glad to hear that we’ll be looking at how this will affect the industry next time around.”

Rep. Mike Schauffler (D – Happy Valley) Voted YES
“We’ll have 6 months in this building to go over any clarifications, any revisions, any amendments, any changes that are going to be beneficial to the people of the State of Oregon.”

Rep. Sal Esquivel – R-Medford - Voted NO.
“…hope that we come back to this table next session, and right and make this bill correct, because it is flawed. I do know that this will probably pass, so I ask you, next session, let’s jump in the middle of this thing and get it fixed.”