Wind Storm; Payday Lending

The huge hurricane that was known as Ike made strikes throughout Ohio over the weekend, leaving behind toppled trees, crushed cars and caved-in homes and 2 million Ohioans without power. And for many people, the aftermath was worse than the winds. Gov. Ted Strickland issued a statewide declaration of emergency, and 11 counties issued similar declarations. And across the state, the lack of power meant the lines at food pantries got longer than they already were. And Lisa Hamlar Fugitt is with the Ohio Association of Second Harvest Food Banks says many food banks had to throw out pounds of food.

This fall voters will decide at least three ballot issues and as many as five. One of the two still up in the air would take back the legislature’s recent crackdown on payday lenders. The law capped interest rates on two-week loans at 28 percent – down from what critics of the industry estimated as 391 percent – and limited borrowers to four such loans a year. For many, the basic issues are protecting vulnerable consumers versus preserving customer choice. Bill Faith from the Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio, who was one of the chief fighters for the law, and Kim Norris, who speaks for the industry and its supporters, Ohioans for Financial Freedom, debate the issue.

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