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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

 9:25 PM 

Assembly passes payday loan bill

On 59-38 vote.

Republicans voting for the bill were Reps. Garey Bies, Dean Kaufert, Keith Ripp, Jerry Petrowksi, Al Ott, Lee Nerison, John Murtha, Phil Montgomery, Roger Roth, Dick Spanbauer, Karl Van Roy and Mary Williams.

Democrats who voted against it were Annette Williams, Bob Ziegelbauer, Peg Krusick, Fred Kessler and Nick Milroy. Independent Rep. Jeff Wood voted for the bill.

Assembly Minority Jeff Fitzgerald blasted the legislation, saying with unemployment high and people struggling to make ends meet this is the wrong time to restrict credit.

"You're taking a legitimate option away from people during the worst recession we've seen in 80 years," Fitzgerald said. "You're tone deaf to what's going on out there."

He also warned that the regulations will kill jobs in the payday lending industry.

He also made a reference to Democrats rushing the bill to the floor.

"We know the public relations problem that you have," he said, and apparent reference to Assembly Speaker Mike Sheridan's relationship with a payday loan lobbyist.

Rep. Gordon Hintz, one of the architects of the compromise bill, said the payday loan industry is "a system set up to fail." He said customers get caught in a "continuous debt trap" because of the lack of regulation. Wisconsin is the only state that does not regulate the industry.

"If you think that's OK, then vote no," he said.

He also said that the Senate has plenty of time to act on the bill and issued a challenge.

"They'll have to decide whether they're with the consumers of Wisconsin or with an industry that preys on people," he said.


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