The governor's bosom buddy, lobbyist Don Tilton, is earning his blood money from the payday lenders. It appears that only the Supreme Court and an enforced Constitution can save us from these piranhas. This report from Michael Rowett, chairman of Arkansans Against Abusive Payday Lending:
The House Insurance & Commerce Committee this morning voted 11-7 in favor of Senate Bill 923, the payday lenders’ window-dressing bill that will do nothing meaningful to protect Arkansas consumers and still allow payday lenders to charge triple digit, usurious interest rates. The real agenda behind the bill was made clear when Rep. David Dunn, D-Forrest City, who is the House sponsor, introduced Tom Hardin, the attorney for the payday lenders’ trade association, as “the brains behind” SB923. Arkansans Against Abusive Payday Lending opposes passage of SB923, which now goes to the full House.
The roll call follows. Members in italics are cosponsors of House Bill 1036 (attached), the bill with real teeth to enforce the Arkansas Constitution’s usury limit of 17 percent a year on consumer loans, that was blocked in Senate Insurance & Commerce.
Voting Yes: David Dunn; Committee Chairman Sid Rosenbaum, R-Little Rock; Committee Vice Chair David Wyatt, D-Batesville; Keven Anderson, R-Rogers; Chris Thyer, D-Jonesboro; Bill Abernathy, D-Mena; Allen Maxwell, D-Monticello; Bruce Maloch, D-Magnolia; Mark Martin, R-Prairie Grove; John Paul Wells, D-Paris; and Frank Glidewell, R-Fort Smith.
Voting No: Will Bond, D-Jacksonville; Susan Schulte, R-Cabot; Betty Pickett, D-Conway; Janet Johnson, D-Bryant; Willie Hardy, D-Camden; David Rainey, D-Dumas; and Otis Davis, D-Earle.
Absent from the meeting: Shirley Walters, R-Greenwood, and Wilhelmina Lewellen, D-Little Rock.