Payday lending reform just around the corner

Ohio Statehouse News

COLUMBUS, Ohio (WDTN) — It looks likely that big changes to payday loans are coming to Ohio, likely before the end of the year holiday season.

Today’s vote at the Statehouse puts payday lending reform in front of the Governor and a long-awaited 28 percent interest rate cap may soon finally be a reality.

According to Democrats, they have been told for the past decade to not even bother bringing a bill up that reforms payday lending because it wouldn’t get hearings.

Tuesday, changes to such a bill were agreed to by a majority of lawmakers and it is a step away from becoming law.

With a vote of 60 yea to 24 nay, the changes to House Bill 123 were agreed to.

Senior Pastor of Central Christian Church, Carl Ruby, said “There were many points in the process where we were told it was dead in the water, it wasn’t going to go anywhere.”

Carl Ruby is the Senior Pastor of a church in Springfield where this bill started with a meeting between pastors and State Representative Kyle Koehler.

“One of the first things he said is, ‘I’m not going to make any friends on this and this is going to cost be politically, but I will do it because it is the right thing to do,” said Ruby.

The bill’s joint primary sponsor Democrat Representative Michael Ashford worked closely with Koehler to get the bill passed.

“He took on an issue that he knew for a fact that the majority of his caucus was not going to support it. But because of his hard work, and his effort, tenacity, and the fact that he actually believed in the mission of what we were doing, he was able to sell this to his caucus members,” said Ashford.

Not everyone was sold. Several Republicans asked for their peers to reject the changes the Senate made or to force the bill to a conference committee where more changes would be negotiated. In the end, those requests were not enough.

Carl Ruby said, “This is a victory for consumers; it’s a victory for Ohioans; and it’s a victory for bi-partisanship. You know, Ohioans need to see that people in politics can work together to do things that are good for the state.”

The bill will now go to the Governor for his signature. Once he signs it, there will be a 90-day waiting period before the law takes effect.

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