Unfortunately, Assembly Speaker Mike Sheridan, D-Janesville, and his allies have proposed a sham “reform” that does not cap interest rates. Claims by Sheridan and his allies that this legislation is a sensible response to abuse by payday lenders offends Wisconsinite intelligence.
Who says? The national center for responsible lending.
“With all the loopholes in this so-called reform proposal, the people of Wisconsin now have a bill that looks like Swiss cheese,” argues Jennifer Johnson, the centre’s chief legal advisor.
Fifteen states have placed interest caps on payday lenders, as has the U.S. military, which regulates payday lenders who operate near military bases.
Wisconsin should do the same. Sheridan recognized this last year when he backed a proposal to put a 36 percent cap on payday loans. But he changed his position last fall, claiming that the 36 percent ceiling “goes too far”. That’s ridiculous. An upper limit of 36 percent does not go far enough.
Months after Sheridan made his bizarre reversal on the subject, it was revealed that the speaker was dating a lobbyist for the payday loan industry.
Voters will make their judgments about Sheridan’s actions. Make no mistake though, he has failed to represent working families and retirees in hard-hit communities like his hometown of Janesville. And now he’s trying to spin the fantasy that he wants to regulate this industry.