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As Ohio House Turmoil Continues, What Will Happen with Ohio's Payday Lending Bill?

Kirk Schuring and Ryan Smith
The House is currently considering two options to pick a new House Speaker.

There may be an end in sight when it comes to the House speaker impasse that’s caused dysfunction at the Statehouse. A plan has been proposed that could result in either a new speaker or an interim leader who would act as a stand-in for the rest of the year, though some Republicans oppose the idea, and many Democrats say they won’t participate in it.

What could that mean for one of the biggest issues on Capitol Square; payday lending?

Republican Speaker Pro Tempore Kirk Schuring has proposed that either House members change the rules to keep him on as speaker until the end of the year, or elect a new speaker – which could be Ryan Smith, who has most support among Republican lawmakers.

If Smith takes over, a bill to crackdown on payday lending could be at the top of his priority list. He’s alluded to the industry playing a role in delaying a speaker vote.

“I think nefarious people such as that are absolutely behind a lot of things. I mean the best thing that they can have happen is for us never to come back and we can’t pass that bill,” he said.

Payday groups have consistently denied that claim.

Before resigning amid an FBI investigation, former Republican Speaker Cliff Rosenberger asked Schuring to work on changing the bill to possibly compromise with the payday-lending industry.

However, Schuring says he is also for the current bill and would bring it to a vote if he were to stay in charge.

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.