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Rally for Comprehensive Health Care ReformThis Saturday

Join UAPA this Saturday at the State House!

statehouseJoin up with AFSCME and other partners this Saturday as we call on members of the Ohio Congressional delegation to support HR 3200, America's Affordable Health Choices Act as it comes to a vote in the House of Representatives next week.

Saturday, July 25, 2009, 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.

Ohio State House North Plaza

(Broad Street between High and Third)


Rallly Partners Include Progress Ohio, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), Council 8, Ohio Civil Service Employees Association (OCSEA), Ohio Association of Public School Employees (OAPSE), and AFSCME Retirees Chapter 1184.

For more information, contact Aryeh Alex at aalex@afsmce.org, or 513.478.5928

Ohioans call on Representatives Driehaus, Space, Boccieri and Tiberi to vote yes on HR 3200, America's Affordable Health Choices Act. The bill is a uniquely American solution to the health care crisis. HR 3200 includes the choice of a public health insurance plan that will compete with private insurance companies to keep them honest and lower costs.

Education Rally This Friday!

Meet

Governor Ted Strickland

and

US Secretary of Education Arne Duncan


this Friday at a rally for education reform in Ohio.

Ted/Arne

Friday, May 8th at 11:45 AM

The West Lawn of the Schottenstein Center

The Ohio State University

555 Borror Rd

Columbus, OH 43210 [directions]

Please RSV here.

Stivers flip flops on payday lending

The Ohio Senate approved tough new regulations on Ohio’s payday lenders, bringing the state very close to ending the payday industry as it currently exists.

The approval of these new regulations in both the Ohio House and Senate is a direct result of a coordinated progressive grassroots effort. 245 non-profit, religious and civic organizations joined together in the Ohio Coalition for Responsible Lending to change public policy and educate the public and media about the impact of the 391% interest rates charged to many of Ohio poorest citizens.

Steve Stivers: for 391% interest rates before he was against them

Interestingly, Ohio State Senator Steve Stivers, former bank lobbyist and Republican running against Mary Jo Kilroy for Congress, was for 391% interest rates before he was against them. Only a few months ago, Stivers was repeating payday lending industry talking points.

UAPA Supports Payday Lending Bill

Recently the executive committee of UAPA voted to support the passage of Ohio House Bill 333. It limits the annual interest rate charged on a typical two-week loan (from payday lenders such as Check Into Cash and Always Payday) from the current 391 percent (about $15 per $100 borrowed) to 36 percent. They are called payday loans because that is the interval between paychecks at most employers.

Statewide, the number of payday lendin offices rose nearly 15-fold between 1996 and 2006 to 1,562. That is more than the combined total of restaurants operated by the McDonalds, Burger King, and Wendy's chains in Ohio. The industry has fought hard against a lower interest-rate cap, arguing it would put them all out of business. Industry officials say they offer a valuable service to those who can't get a loan anywhere else and are a better option than late fees or bounced checks.

Opponents say the two-week loans trap too many people in a cycle of debt, where they need a new loan to pay off the previous one.

Steve Stivers, former bank lobbyist, appointed State Senator and candidate for U.S. Representative, 15th District, weighs in with a typical Republican response by saying setting caps that low would be an overreaction to the issue and shut off credit to those who need it. "Most of these people are in the payday lending marketplace because their credit is not very good," he said. "Those people are not going to get the best interest rate." He has also said, "You can't take away people's ability to screw up their own financial situation by taking away the legal loan products, because they'll move to the illegal loans."

Ohio Attorney General Mark Dann is conducting a public hearing on the issue on Wednesday, April 9, 4:00 p.m., at Good Shepard Baptist Chrch, 1555 E. Hudson. For more information, contact Cathy Johnston at 280-1984 or cathyjohnston@cohhio.org.

The Ohio Coalition for Responsible Lending has set up a web site chock full of great information.

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