BATON ROUGE, La. (AP) — Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards has vetoed legislation that supporters said would open up loan opportunities for people who need credit — but that opponents said enabled predatory lending.
The Advocate reported that the bill by Republican Sen. Rick Ward of Port Allen would have allowed so-called payday lenders to offer installment loans worth up to $1,500, with fees and interest totaling 100% of the amount loaned.
In his Tuesday veto message, the Democratic governor noted the arguments that Ward’s bill would have aided people who need loans and have a difficult time getting them from banks. “However, and despite the best efforts of the bill’s author, I do not believe that this bill adequately protects the public from predatory lending practices,” Edwards wrote in his veto message.
Payday lenders typically make short-term, high-interest loans to be paid back from the borrower’s next paycheck. Payday loans are currently capped at $350 in Louisiana.