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Faith Leaders Push for Payday Lender Legislation

Photo of Troy Jackson
Karen Kasler
/
STATEHOUSE NEWS BUREAU

The issue of faith comes into state politics in issues such as abortion and health care. But faith leaders came to the Statehouse today to speak out on another issue that hasn’t seen much action in nearly a decade – payday lending. 

“Lord, we cannot imagine a Heaven where Your will includes poverty profiteering.”

Troy Jackson of Cincinnati’s anti-poverty program the Amos Project led the group in prayer for movement on a bill on payday lenders. The last payday lender crackdown passed in 2008. This bill has bipartisan sponsorship, and would cap interest rates at 28%, and monthly payments at 5% of the borrower’s monthly income. Ohio’s payday lenders charge the highest rates in the nation, and polls show Ohioans want more regulations on them. But payday lenders say they provide a needed service and that their satisfied customers are aware of the costs. The bill’s Republican sponsor says he hopes to bring all interested parties together for a meeting about the bill next week.

Karen is a lifelong Ohioan who has served as news director at WCBE-FM, assignment editor/overnight anchor at WBNS-TV, and afternoon drive anchor/assignment editor in WTAM-AM in Cleveland. In addition to her daily reporting for Ohio’s public radio stations, she’s reported for NPR, the BBC, ABC Radio News and other news outlets. She hosts and produces the Statehouse News Bureau’s weekly TV show “The State of Ohio”, which airs on PBS stations statewide. She’s also a frequent guest on WOSU TV’s “Columbus on the Record”, a regular panelist on “The Sound of Ideas” on ideastream in Cleveland, appeared on the inaugural edition of “Face the State” on WBNS-TV and occasionally reports for “PBS Newshour”. She’s often called to moderate debates, including the Columbus Metropolitan Club’s Issue 3/legal marijuana debate and its pre-primary mayoral debate, and the City Club of Cleveland’s US Senate debate in 2012.