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Advocates May Take Payday Lending Reform to the Ballot

A photo of signs being held at a payday lending reform rally

The group pushing for payday lendingreform is taking their fight outside of the Statehouse and to Ohio voters. Advocates hope to put an issue that caps interest rates on the ballot 

Community leaders say they’re tired of waiting for lawmakers to cap the interest rates for payday loans, which can reach as high as 600 percent.

Carl Ruby is a pastor in Springfield who advocates for payday lending reform. He says if the initiative makes the November ballot and is approved by voters, it would make the reform permanent.

“This would make it unconstitutional for anyone to every pass legislation that allows for loans charging more than 28 percent, so this still provides long term protection for people.”

The group is backing a bill that’s been sitting in the House for nearly a year and has only had two hearings.  Ruby says they hope their initiative spurs action by lawmakers. But opponents say the idea would cut off a credit source for Ohioans who need it.

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.