Look what just came across the desk...
My Friends in the Legislature:
The Christian Action Commission of the MS Baptist Convention is not party affiliated nor are we a paid lobbyist, but we do care about legislation that impacts the citizens of our state. HB 455 is a bill we care about.
Both Chambers have passed their version of a Payday Lending Bill, and now the House is asked to concur with the Senate version. In our opinion, this bill should go to conference because it does very little to correct the financial raping of the poor and elderly of our state.
This is a MORAL issue and flies in the face of usury laws of the Old Testament. We all cheered Robin Hood for taking from the rich and giving to the poor. But times have changed and we allow some payday lenders to take from the poor and give to the rich.
Consider the following, please.
1. Banking Commissioner did ask for a database for payday loans for preventing multiple loans.
2. There does not need to be any fees assessed. The $20.00 plus application fee is 5 to 6 dollars higher than the national average and ONE dollar could be taken for the fee for the cost of a database control.
3. Ask yourself, "Why are the payday lenders rapidly pushing these bills through the legislative process?" Are they afraid the public will become more aware of their practices?
We have never advocated closing these businesses, but we have very strongly encourage regulating and monitoring them and their clients. There is still work to be done, and we encourage you to be a part of the process to make these responsible businesses. The Christian Action Commission pledges to you that we will continue to monitor this process. And in our opinion more needs to be done to make HB 455 a good piece of legislation.
Put yourself in the shoes of an elderly man or woman who has to take in a Social Security check to get enough money to buy medicines or to pay his/her utility bill. Is this process fair? You know the answer in your hearts. You have a conscience. I believe you are good and decent people so I encourage you to continue working on this bill and make it better.
Thank you for your time,
Christian Action Commission