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Payday Lender Crackdown Continues its Move Toward the 2019 Ballot

Photo of Don Brey
Don Brey speaks to Ohio Ballot Board at its meeting Tuesday

A crackdown on payday lenders that lawmakers haven’t passed is a step closer to going before voters next year.


The Short-Term Loan Consumer Protection Amendmentwill look familiar to many, according to Don Brey, the lawyer for the group of activists and faith leaders that wants it approved.

“It’s basically, with a couple tweaks, the same as H.B. 123.”

That’s the bill that would impose a strict 28 percent interest rate cap on payday loans, along with other restrictions on fees, rules and disclosures. It’s passed aHousecommittee but hasn’t come to the floor because there’s still no Ohio House speaker.

The bill is strongly opposed by payday lenders, who say it could shut down stores and cut off access to people who need those loans. Advocates for the interest-rate caps need to collect more than 300,000 signatures to make it onto next year’s November ballot.

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.