thanks montana!

by problembear

montana’s secretary of state linda mcculloch has just sent out an announcement that I-164,  the citizens initiative to cap the rate of payday lenders has achieved enough signatures to be on the ballot this november.

now the real work begins


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  1. Excellent! Nice work on this…I don’t want to jinx it, but it seems like a slam-dunk…but then you’ll have a lot of the industry flacks out muddying the water on this. Is the GOP coming out against this?

    • “Is the GOP coming out against this?”

      god i hope so.

    • Of course they are. They killed every legislative initiative over the last 3 sessions that I know of…all in the name of “business”.

      Fuck the citizens – it’s all about business.

      I mean – makes you wonder how they can whine about marijuana caregivers. The law says it’s legal, they’re paying rent at commercial properties, paying taxes – how anti-business can the GOP get?

  2. Lizard

    congrats pbear. good work.

    • lots of groups who got it on the ballot. i think our own jamee greer was very involved with Mt Human Rights on this issue. i just got a few signatures for Montana Women Vote and shot down a few flaks in my spare time….
      i know that a group in great falls was instrumental called NeighborWorks Montana
      and another that i know about Montana Catholic Conference in Billings….

      it ain’t over yet by a long shot, this industry is going to enlist a lot of flying monkeys spreading lies and lots of money at this campaign.

      • Lizard

        i’d like to see them try the “don’t regulate our predation” argument.

        it may be helpful to follow these payday tentacles back to big banks like wells fargo. from states to the fed, a regulatory assault needs to be waged against these arrogant assholes. check out the harpers article about goldman sachs and wallstreet making money off of starving people (no link).

  3. here’s a much more professional rundown of all the real players involved in achieving this milestone….

    Helena Independent Record
    Initiative proposed to cap interest rates
    by Cathy Siegner
    Wednesday, February 24, 2010

    A coalition of Montana consumer groups is backing a voter initiative to cap interest rates for payday and title loans at 36 percent.

    Announcing their plans at a press conference Tuesday at the Great Northern Hotel, representatives of senior, low-income, women’s and religious groups said that in these tough economic times, interest rates of 400 percent or more amounted to a “debt trap” for the most vulnerable.
    Bob Bartholomew, executive director for AARP Montana in Helena, said that people who borrow $300 from a payday lender can end up paying $800 once fees and time extensions are added on.
    “This drives people into bankruptcy,” he said.
    Sheila Rice of NeighborWorks Montana in Great Falls noted that recent action by Congress protects military families from sky-high interest rates by capping such loans at 36 percent.
    “We believe that all Montana families deserve the same protection,” she said.
    There has been more than one effort to get the Montana Legislature to limit payday and title loan interest, Rice said, but they have so far been unsuccessful.
    “I don’t think the legislature understands the impact on families in Montana,” she said.
    According to the Department of Administration’s Division of Banking and Financial Institutions, payday and title loan outfits in Montana did $42 million in business in 2008 and received $9.5 million in fees.
    More than 70 percent of such firms are owned by out-of-state companies, said Tom Jacobson of Rural Dynamics, a group in Great Falls working on economic independence issues.
    This means the interest and fees they collect each year are “draining millions of dollars from Montana’s local economy,” he said.
    Other speakers at the Tuesday press conference represented the Service Employees International Union Healthcare 775 NW, Montana Women Vote, and the Montana Catholic Conference.
    The initiative language must be filed with the Secretary of State’s office and approved there before being circulated for signatures. Proposed statewide initiatives must be signed by 24,337 registered voters, including five percent of the voters in each of Montana’s 34 legislative House districts, before making the general-election ballot.
    Rice noted that the groups supporting this initiative expect to be outspent “five or six to one” during the campaign to get it passed.

  4. JayByrd

    So many people who wear their Christianity on their sleeve conveniently ignore the scene Jesus made in the marketplace with the moneychangers.

  5. Dang, I wish you had tagged all of your I-164 posts…

  6. petetalbot

    Well done, p-bear, and compatriots. I await the November ballot with bated breath.

  7. we should not forget to also thank 26,956 montanans who gave their signatures to the cause.

    after all the disappointment of our leaders in their (so far) failure to make good on the most of the changes they promised it is great to see people proving that people can make a difference in this country without politicians.

  8. mr benson

    I signed it. No thanks necessary. It’s treating a symptom, but often that’s part of the cure.

  9. i remember your support goof. most republicans that i know are equally supportive.

  10. Big Swede

    I wonder if you could calculate the comparable interest rates for poker machines?

    Are they next?

    http://curmudgeonlyskeptical.blogspot.com/search/label/Bad%20People




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