A brief sample of our February 2018 newsletter: What’s Happening in Ohio Community Development?
First round of signatures filed to put payday lending reform initiative on statewide ballot
Leaders of an initiative to put payday lending reform on the November statewide ballot on Wednesday turned in over 2,000 petition signatures to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office. This is the first step to getting the measure on the ballot. Backers are pursuing this direction because state lawmakers have not acted on reform. The petition language calls for a constitutional amendment that would cap payday loan interest rates in Ohio at 28%. Pastor Carl Ruby, of Springfield, and Nate Coffman filed the petitions. At least 1,000 of the Ohio voter signatures must be validated and the Attorney General’s Office must determine that the summary of the proposed constitutional referendum is a fair and truthful representation of the proposed law.
Payday lenders charge an average 591% annual percentage rate in Ohio, the highest such rate in the nation. Pastor Ruby said that rate is ridiculous, and he is tired of seeing lenders gouge vulnerable, lower-income working Ohioans. The ballot initiative mirrors some of the reforms called for in the bi-partisan HB 123, which seeks to establish a maximum interest rate on such loans of 28% plus a maximum monthly fee of $20. Coffman pointed out that in 2008, Ohioans overwhelmingly voted in favor of payday lending reforms. “Since then, payday lenders have by-passed the will of the people and state law and are charging even higher prices,” he said. “That’s unacceptable, and we are certain Ohio voters will agree if legislators themselves don’t move quickly on reform.” View Nate on the The State of Ohio show (12-minute mark) and In Focus. Check out more coverage from the Columbus Dispatch, Plain Dealer, Dayton Daily News, WHIO, and WKSU.
The coalition would like to thank the many OCDCA members that collected signatures during a short window of time.
The coalition will be in touch soon with a call for volunteers for the second phase of signatures.