According to payday loan info, currently twelve states prohibit payday loans. Four states permit payday loans but with lower rates and more oversight than normal. Twenty eight states allow payday loans with various regulations for rate caps. However, Wisconsin is one of six states which do not set a rate cap for its lenders.
Rate Caps Proposed
Currently Wisconsin has over 500 licensed payday lenders. Recently, the state assembly tried to place an interest rate cap of 36% on payday loans. The Assembly speaker Mike Douglas C. last fall said a proposal to cap the interest rates on payday interest loans “could kill the industry and cost jobs,” as reported in WKOW27 news in Janesville, WI, this week.
Dating a Lobbyist
However, Mr. Douglas C. has admitted dating a registered lobbyist for Cincinnati based Check’N Go. The lobbyist, Shanna Wycoff, works for a firm that sells pre-paid debit cards at Check’N Go locations throughout the state.
The executive director of the political watchdog group, Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, questioned whether this dating relationship suggested an appearance of a conflict of interest.
Douglas states he keeps his personal life separate from his legislative work. “I would never do anything that would impact the work I do in the state assembly,” said Douglas C. He also said he didn’t accept any gifts from any payday loan lobbyist.
Douglas C. suggested that a group of lawmakers were working to put together compromise legislation that would place some controls over payday lenders. “It’s important to get this done, and that’s my number one goal,” he said.