Are those good ol’ boys down in Georgia more progressive than WA’s Democratic House majority, at least when it comes to protecting consumers from unscrupulous lenders?
State lawmakers decided Tuesday that Georgia does not need payday lending.
A hard-fought battle to legalize the short-term, high-interest loans ended when the state House voted 82-77 for the measure. The bill needed 91 favorable votes — a majority of the House membership — to move on to the Senate.
[...] The vote was a victory for consumer advocates, who had strongly opposed the measure.
The defeat “is going to save Georgians hundreds of millions of dollars a year in high interest rates and fees,” said Danny Orrock, legislative coordinator for Georgia Watch, a statewide consumer organization.
The Georgia bill would have allowed payday lenders to charge $45 in fees on a two-week, $300 loan, which computes to an annual percentage rate of 391 percent. You know, exactly the same usurious rate currently allowed in WA state. There was an effort this session to cap payday lending at a significantly lower rate, but Rep. Steve Kirby (D-29), refused to let it out of his House Insurance, Financial Services and Consumer Protection Committee.
Yup, nothing says “consumer protection” like sticking up for lenders who charge desperate borrowers 391-percent interest.