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Payday Lending Reform Advocates Make Another Run At Getting On Fall Ballot

Supporters of a bill that reform payday lending gather at the Ohio Statehouse.
Andy Chow
Ohio Public Radio
Supporters of a bill that reform payday lending gather at the Ohio Statehouse.

A group is taking another swing at getting an issue on the ballot that would cap payday loan interest rates. The initiative was delayed after the attorney general’s office rejected the first set of petitions.

Ohioans for Payday Loan Reform say they’ve looked over all the comments provided by the attorney general’s office and they’re confident that their revised petition language will be accepted.

The measure would cap interest rates of payday loans at 28 percent and close any loopholes.

The group’s Carl Ruby, a pastor from Springfield, is confident if they can get it on the ballot, voters will pass it.

“People are relatively familiar with it they’re frustrated that they voted on this and what they approved hasn’t been effective so they’re eager to see something that works,” Ruby said.

Voters approved a cap in 2008 but the industry has used other avenues to raise the interest rates.

Payday lenders say this proposal, which is also in a House bill, would wipeout their storefronts in Ohio. Ruby says that’s not true.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.