Legislature must cap interest rates on payday loans, new state senator says

12/29/2013 04:16 PM

Beyond increasing education funding, the newest state senator, Reggie Thomas, said he most wants to see a cap on interest rates for so-called payday loans.

“Most people live paycheck to paycheck, which means, Ryan, they’re only an auto repair away or a sick child away from really being in dire straights. And these interest rates can go up to 400 percent,” Thomas said (5:00). “That’s outrageous.”

Thomas said he doesn’t have sympathy for the short-term lenders who say they would go out of business or move from Kentucky if cumulative interest rates were capped at around 38 percent as they are in some other states, such as New York. But he said he would have to study ways to allow a short-term borrowing industry to take its place so that people would be able to get a quick cash advance or loan for something like the example that he used of a car repair or doctor bills.

This segment of the interview begins with Thomas offering his pitch for ways the state could spur more job growth, including a plan for an urban industrial park in the Lexington area.

Could that be a back-up plan to the still-vacant downtown lot for the proposed CentrePointe development? What about past failed efforts to take the if-you-build-it-they-will-come approach to economic development? Watch to see Thomas answer those questions:


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