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Payday Lending Overhaul Delayed By Ohio House Speaker Fight

payday lending sign
Tony Webster

The Ohio House was forced to cancel its Wednesday session as Republicans failed to reach an agreement on who should be the next House speaker. That decision means more than a dozen bills that were set for a vote were delayed.

Among those were a long-drawn out bill that would overhaul and crack down on the payday lending industry.

Payday lenders and their opponents were both preparing to rally support at the Statehouse before this week’s House session, that is until news spread that the session was canceled.

The bill creates strict regulations to help keep interest rates low.

Carl Ruby, a consumer advocate in favor of the bill, says the delay is discouraging.

“I think that’s just a taste of how politics work, it’s hard to move things forward there are a million ways to stop good legislation from taking place,” Ruby said.

The Ohio Consumer Lenders Association, which represents the payday industry, says they’re in support of reform but argue the current bill would force storefronts to close.

The bill passed out of committee after reports of an FBI inquiry into ties between the industry and Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, who resigned last month.

Andy Chow is a general assignment state government reporter who focuses on environmental, energy, agriculture, and education-related issues. He started his journalism career as an associate producer with ABC 6/FOX 28 in Columbus before becoming a producer with WBNS 10TV.