You are viewing the print version of this article. Click here to view the full version.
Columbia Missourian

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Ballot initiatives give Missouri residents power over payday lenders

By Eva Schulte
May 3, 2012 | 6:00 a.m. CDT

Hundreds of volunteers have gathered thousands of signatures to qualify two citizens' initiatives to support economic dignity for Missouri families through limiting the rate of payday loans and raising the minimum wage. Missourians are taking these issues into our own hands, inspiring a far-reaching faith and community movement. The payday lenders have used every intimidation tactic in the book, from threatening faith leaders to running deceptive advertisements. We are not deterred, and our leaders stand with us. The state auditor and secretary of state, in their work to uphold ballot language on behalf of residents of this state, are countering predatory lenders' attempts to thwart the democratic process.

Auditor Tom Schweich was correct in saying: "The payday loan industry spreads money around Jefferson City like butter, and this is only the latest attempt to protect their 400 percent interest rate on payday loans." For too long, Missouri's legislature has failed to rein in abusive practices. Now that so many of us have done the hard work to take this issue directly to the people, we applaud our leaders who work to ensure Missourians' voices are heard at the ballot box in November.

Eva Schulte is the executive director of Communities Creating Opportunity. Questions? Contact Opinion editor Elizabeth Conner.