Almost two years ago many Utah senate members were embroiled in a scandal that rocked the entire state and reverberated across the nation. A modest payday loan reform bill was stopped in the senate with tactics from many different payday lending interest groups, which led to the resignation of Attorney General John Swallow. Since then, the payday loan reform bill has gained steam and has aimed to make a change for many years.
Until recently, it was impossible to make changes due to the power of lobbying groups. Now the scandals of previous years have made it nearly impossible for interest groups to get in the way of passing legislation.
Utah Senate and Governor Legislation
So far, the Utah legislation has gone through the senate with flying colors. The specifics of the bill are modest, but they go a long way to protecting the individuals who have taken out payday loans and struggle to pay them back. Right now, the law is not as helpful for citizens who have payday loan debts, but the senate’s new bill is aiming to change all that.
The main reason it has passed so easily is due to the high majority of senators who fear retribution in the same way that scandal rocked politicians a few years ago. To avoid such scandals, many senators are convinced that passing the legislation will be a better idea.
The next step of the way is to have the governor of Utah sign the bill. Whether he does so or not will probably decide his fate in a number of ways. The lobbying groups for payday loan industries is typically very strong, but public opinion is doing a lot to sway the way these politicians are making their decisions.
Payday Loan Legislation Details
The details of the payday loan legislation in Utah are not that liberal. In fact, the bill only calls for borrowers to get time to pay off the loans without sanction or high interest rates. After 10 weeks of this high interest rate period, the legislators and politicians think that common folk need some type of break in order to release themselves from the cycle of debt.
The ironic senate vote this time around was 29 in favor and 0 against, which just shows how important public opinion can be in order to change a law. Most people know that there is a lot of power behind the payday loan companies and they want politicians to stand up to them in order to make the right decisions.
If politicians are going to be the representatives of the people, they have to listen to the people more than the companies that fund their campaigns and political ventures. It is important for states to make moves like this one in order to show the nation that payday loan legislation is not a forgone conclusion. Even if most people are cynical about the shape of the legislation today, it is possible to make a change with consistent effort towards a final goal.