Saturday, July 31, 2021


Educators' unions call for efforts to ensure in-person learning keeps students, teachers, families, and staff safe; and an update on hate crimes by state.


Congress passes Capitol security funding; House Freedom Caucus members want Cheney, Kinzinger out of GOP conference; Schumer closes a deal to advance $3.5 trillion reconciliation package; and a new report says investor-owned utilities try to block rooftop solar.

State AGs Slam Congress' Attempts to Gut Predatory-Lending Laws


Monday, July 2, 2018   

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — The Attorneys General from 20 states, including California's Xavier Becerra, have signed a letter to Congress, slamming two bills that would gut current state laws meant to protect people from predatory lenders.

HR 3299 and HR 4439 would clear the way for payday lenders to evade state usury laws and make loans with triple-digit interest rates, by making deals to operate under a bank's charter. Diane Standaert, executive vice president and director of state policy with the Center for Responsible Lending, called it a "rent-a-bank" scheme that would void any state consumer-protection laws that cap interest rates.

"The reality is that their passage would open the floodgates to predatory lending, with annual interest rates of 100-400 percent,” Standaert said; “even in states where they're currently not allowed."

One of the bills has already passed the House. Supporters claim they would improve access to credit for low-income families and promote innovation in the financial sector. Opponents say ultra-high-interest loans only trap people in a cycle of worsening debt.

Standaert said California has weak usury laws that cap interest rates on loans under $300 but allow them to be rolled over into multiple loans that end up costing the borrower big-time if they are unable to pay off the initial loan. A bill to cap interest rates on car-title loans has passed the California Assembly and awaits a vote in the state Senate.

Standaert said Congress could supersede any such effort.

"This bill would essentially eviscerate California's ability to ever take action to rein in the cost of these really high-cost predatory loans,” she said.

Recent efforts to strengthen the California usury laws have foundered. Assembly Bill 2500, which would have capped interest rates on some loans at 36 percent, failed in the state Assembly about a month ago.

get more stories like this via email

In addition to roof repairs and other home improvements to lower utility bills, a Michigan League for Public Policy report recommends expanding utility-shutoff protections to include households with young children. (Adobe Stock)


LANSING, Mich. - High utility costs are a major burden for Michigan's low-income residents, and a new study says they have an impact on their health…


TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - A new report shows an effort by investor-owned utilities in the Sunshine State to block the growth of rooftop solar. The …

Health and Wellness

By Troy Pierson / Broadcast version by Mary Schuermann reporting for the Kent State-Ohio News Connection Collaboration. As marijuana becomes more …

Across the United States, 46 states have laws allowing for harsher punishment for crimes based on bias. (Ludk/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

SALT LAKE CITY - With rising numbers of people targeted in hate crimes and related violence, a new report analyzes the hate-crime laws in each state…

Social Issues

BOSTON - Educators' unions are calling on the state to support their efforts to ensure in-person learning in the fall keeps students, teachers…

According to AARP Connecticut, 47% of family caregivers have had at least one financial setback, such as having less money for retirement or savings, or cutting back on their own healthcare spending. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

HARTFORD, Conn. - In Connecticut, more than 460,000 people care for close friends or family members who can't manage on their own - and their …

Social Issues

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. - Millions of Americans soon could find eviction notices on their front doors, but New Mexico renters will not be among them - as …

Health and Wellness

CONCORD, N.H. - New Hampshire advocates for affordable healthcare access want Congress to lower prescription costs by allowing Medicare to negotiate …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021