Sunday, February 3, 2008

God asked you to support HB1297

The SD House Commerce committee will be voting TOMORROW on a bill to place a 36 percent cap on interest rates. If any of these reps are yours, please call or email them today.

House Commerce Committee

Rep's & district & email:
Ahlers 25
Boomgarden 17
Dreyer 32
Engels 9
Hunt 10
Juhnke 21
Noem 6
David Novstrup 3
Nygaard 17
Gordon Pederson 30
Tim Rounds 24
Street 4
Willadsen 11

Phone in Pierre: 773-3851 Monday morning by 9:30am.
A page can take one message to 2 reps.
It may be easy for some to say that low income people should just be smarter about their money, but the industry has a history of bait and switch tactics, and I'm sorry 400 percent interest, even if legal, is wrong. I've seen TV ads recently that makes it clear (like the oil company ads) that the middle class is seeing how they are being preyed upon. Honestly, most of us are one hospital stay away from the desperate situations these payday loan businesses use to make a buck. These people need oversight, and their clients need education and help. We need legislation like the federal credit card legislation that at least give people some chance to see how expensive payday loans are BEFORE someone signs on the line.

I heard the expert testimony on the payday loan business posted on the sdpb website on Saturday. As I heard the expert explain the brutal arithmetic behind much of this business, I was moved to tears. Which is remarkable be cause the presentation stuck to the facts and did not play on emotion at all, and I was just half-listening while I was doing some work.

I highly recommend this audio of the testimony, it's eloquent, factual and to the point.

Today, I asked my good friend Dave Lust (House R-33, one of the good guys, who favors this legislation) why the die-hard Republican evangelical "values voters" aren't picketing the payday lenders with with bible verses. God has things to say about these people, after all: men accept bribes to shed blood; you take usury and excessive interest and make unjust gain from your neighbors by extortion. And you have forgotten me, declares the Sovereign Lord. I will surely strike my hands together at the unjust gain you have made and at the blood you have shed in your midst. (Ezekiel 22, NIV)

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