GOP Fight Over Ohio House Leadership Derails Payday Lending Reform

May 17, 2018

Opponents of the proposal say the legislation could put payday lending storefronts out of business.
Credit DAN KONIK / STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The Ohio House was forced to cancel session as Republicans failed to reach an agreement on who should be the next House speaker. The cancellation means more than a dozen bills that were set for a vote were delayed. That includes 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 -- 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 it supports reform but argues the current bill would force storefronts to close.