The Columbia Daily Tribune reports that an informal working group organized by Speaker Steve Tilley has been meeting with lobbyist for the payday lending industry -- but not members of the public or consumer advocates -- and they think they have something that they might call "reform" that may or may not do anything to limit the industry's predatory practices. From reporter Rudi Keller's story:
The eight-member group, never formalized as a committee, has been meeting with representatives of the industry but has not held public hearings on the issue. Tilley, R-Perryville, and House Democratic Leader Mike Talboy, D-Independence, were members as was Rep. Don Wells, R-Cabool, and chairman of the House Financial Institutions Committee, Tilley said yesterday in a session with reporters.
In that discussion, Tilley said the bill he expects would reduce the number of times a borrower can renew a loan and impose at least a one-day waiting period for taking out a new loan. Tilley said he was not sure yet whether the bill would lower the legal interest rate, which is a maximum of 1,955 percent. A recent state report shows the average annual interest rate on the loans, typically for as long as two weeks, is 443 percent...
As to why she has been shut out of Tilley’s attempt at crafting legislation, [Rep. Mary] Still said she believes she is too strong an advocate for consumers. “Maybe the fact that I have been successful in articulating the issue to the public makes him want to dismiss me,” she said. “My proposal is exactly the proposal of Jim Talent, a Republican who wanted to protect military families.”
Emphasis added. Looks like a big sham to me.
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