In the end, it came to the sort of calculation payday lenders might understand. After spending political capital fast and furiously in the last hours of the legislative session Wednesday, Colorado House Republicans seemed to accept that spending any more in the service of the payday loan industry would end in more loss than gain. They did the smart thing and just stopped spending altogether. They decided to withdraw the amendment they had attached to the annual rules bill on Tuesday that would have rolled back payday fee regulations put in place last year.
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DENVER– On Tuesday afternoon, Colorado Springs Republican Rep. Bob Gardner set off a firestorm on the House floor and in the Twittersphere when in the last hours of the 2011 legislative session he amended the annual rules bill to strip out regulations passed last year on payday lending. It was a surprise move sure to generate rancor and just the latest battle in the ongoing war over payday lending in the state.
Denver Democratic Rep. Mark Ferrandino this morning told radio host David Sirota that Coloradans should demand state Republican Speaker of the House Frank McNulty strip out the last-minute amendment his caucus added to the annual rule-making bill in order to roll back payday loan fee regulations put in place last year. Ferrandino said Republicans were playing chicken with billions of dollars in Colorado business revenue just to cater to one special-interest group.
DENVER– The payday lending industry isn’t giving up on this legislative session in Colorado. Lawmakers who have failed at several attempts to roll back regulations passed last session limiting high payday interest rates and fees are now reportedly planning to attach to a bureaucratic rule-making bill an amendment that would thin the payday regulations. The legislative session ends at midnight tomorrow.