News So, That Horrible Bill I Was Talking About…
posted by January 30 at 13:45 PMon
While Democratic voters are waiting for the Democratic majority to do something about payday loans, it looks like Democrats are moving in the opposite direction.
You’ve heard of refund anticipation loans (RALS)?
These are high-interest loans, brokered through financial companies like H&R Block, that people get using their tax returns as collateral. They’re controversial, like payday loans, because of the high interest and, critics say, because they exploit poor people.
Rep. Sharon Tamiko Santos (D-37, South Seattle) is sponsoring this bill, which would expand the practice by creating a simple process for companies like H&R Block to authorize clerks at 7-11 or Wal-Mart or any accessible retail outlet to act as intermediaries and process the loans.
The bill, which strikes me as handwritten by the industry, popped out of nowhere last Friday—Santos’s co-sponsor is Dan Roach (R-31, East King and Pierce County)—and it has a hearing tonight at 6pm.
At a time when iffy loans are in the news for derailing our entire economy, it seems weird that the legislature would propose a bill that would infect the economy with more potential for widespread funny business.
The rap from proponents is that expanding accessibility to RALS will help people who need loans.