Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Two strikes at the leg

There are a few things happening in the legislature today that require your urgent attention. A Senate committee appears to be under the nefarious influence of greedy payday lenders and is about to kill an important piece of consumer protection.

These evil loan sharks charge three hundred, eight hundred, even twelve hundred percent annual interest rates to unsuspecting customers. It is a scheme. It is morally detestable. This is stealing from the weakest and most vulnerable and some lawmakers are falling for the old soft soap.

Honest lenders, like your local bank or credit union, are bound to the state max of seventeen percent. Some of the South Dakota credit cards are rather high, but nobody touches the payday lenders for outlandish, overdone, avarice. Let your state senator know that payday lending needs to be curbed.

The other item concerns a law which would allow police to pull over a driver on the suspicion that he was not wearing a seat belt. This, in effect, means that police no longer need even the fig leaf of the slightest probable cause to stop anybody anywhere anytime for any reason or no reason. You may believe that this will only touch racial minorities, and they will suffer greatly. Sadly, you may be surprised how much authority is conferred in this bad law.

(Broadcast February 27, 2007)

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