Thursday, June 2, 2016

Payday Changes

NYTimes reports on new rules coming from President Barack Obama’s administration to tighten regulations on the “payday” loan industry.  See it here.

Pull Quote: The payday loan industry, which is vilified for charging exorbitant interest rates on short-term loans that many Americans depend on, could soon be gutted by a set of rules that federal regulators plan to unveil on Thursday…. Mainstream banks are generally barred from this kind of lending. More than a dozen states have set their own rate caps and other rules that essentially prohibit payday loans, but the market is flourishing in at least 30 states. Some 16,000 lenders run online and storefront operations that thrive on the hefty profits.

Under the guidelines from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — the watchdog agency set up in the wake of 2010 banking legislation — lenders will be required in many cases to verify their customers’ income and to confirm that they can afford to repay the money they borrow. The number of times that people could roll over their loans into newer and pricier ones would be curtailed.

The new guidelines do not need congressional or other approval to take effect, which could happen as soon as next year…. Both sides agree that the proposed rules would radically reshape the market. Loan volume could fall at least 55 percent, according to the consumer agency’s estimates, and the $7 billion a year that lenders collect in fees would drop significantly…. That will push many small stores out of business, lenders say… Companies and individuals could go through the courts to try to overturn the rules or they could seek legislative action. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is a frequent target of scathing criticism from Republican lawmakers.

Curtman Contra Changes

On the Missouri Alliance for Freedom website is an op/ed written by Rep. Paul Curtman decrying the regulations.  See it here.

Pull Quote: By decree of the Obama administration, Americans may soon face new regulations when it comes to lending and they could negatively impact Americans at all levels of the economic ladder… The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, another new agency created by the administration issues more than 1,000 pages of rules this Wednesday. On Thursday, they will host a staged public forum to discuss the rules, less than 24 hours after their release. In Obama’s world, it is assumed that no one will read regulations, but they will eventually grow to like them “once they figure out what’s in there.”

 This is in no way written in defense of the short term lending industry. However, these proposed rules could provide a staggering blow to consumers that are typically cut off from credit by traditional lenders…  The regulations will likely do nothing to address the issue of ongoing illegal, unregulated lenders who will thrive once legal small lenders are regulated out of business. For better or worse, the type of unintended consequence of such an action is far less appealing – illegal loans...


eMailbag on Lack of Legislative Action

It’s worth mentioning that lack of inaction by the General Assembly isn't just costing jobs for the electric utility industry, Missouri American Water Company today announced that they were cutting $20M out of their capital budgets and those cuts would affect up to 350 workers. These cuts because the General Assembly would not reinstate the water ISRS was enacted 2003 but was disallowed by regulators due to a technicality in the law (STL county not having a population of more than one million people).


Racial Disparity in Traffic Stops

Attorney General Chris Koster released the 2015 report detailing racial disparity in traffic stops across the state of Missouri. “The annual report is completed pursuant to a state law requiring each law enforcement agency in the state to collect and report specific information relating to vehicle stops, including the race of the stopped vehicle's driver. The law requires the Attorney General to compile the individual reports, analyze the data, and present the final report to the Governor.”  See it here.

Statement from NAACP

“The NAACP appreciates the work done on behalf of the Missouri Attorney General’s office to thoroughly report Missouri Traffic Stop data and effectively give Citizens a clear picture of where our State is as it relates to racial profiling. The data shows us that Missouri has made meager progress with the 2015 disparity rate dropping to 1.61 from 1.66 in the previous year. Although progress has been made, the numbers are telling and disappointing; showing us that African Americans are still 69% more likely to be pulled over compared to their white counterparts. The numbers reported today are a bitter reminder that there is still much work to be done with respect to the relationship between law enforcement and communities of Color. The St. Louis County NAACP remains committed to working with the Attorney General, local and state elected officials to identify substantive and effective solutions that will help to eradicate racial profiling in Missouri.’’



May was a nice revenue month for state tax receipts, pushing overall collection up to about a 3.4% year to date increase over last year, with one month remaining in the fiscal year.


One of the more interesting parts of this year’s Republican gubernatorial race is Googling the folks who contribute to Eric Greitens’ campaign.   They’re from all over the country, unusually wealthy and sometimes have some unsightly episodes in their past.  From Monday’s lareg contributions, read about Craig Estey here.


Lobbyists Registrations

Ben Wallerstein deleted Whiteboard Advisors, and Hobsons.

David Jackson deleted Signature Health Services, The Brown Lobby Firm LLC, St. Louis Blues Hockey Club, A Safer Missouri, Heyltex, Gate Way Group, Southwestern Bell Telephone Company, DBA AT&T Missouri and its affiliates, Track Group, Missourians for a Better Economy, Missouri Society of Anesthesiologists, Missouri Council for a Better Economy DBA Better Together, Sports Capital Holding LLC, Macquarie Infrastructure and Real Assets, Fair Trade Missouri, Freedom Monitoring Solutions LLC, Missouri Society of Interventional Pain Physicians, Pelopidas LLC, Missouri Ambulatory Surgery Center Association, St. Louis Science Center Foundation, Rex And Jeanne Sinquefield, Center For Diagnostic Imaging, Grow Missouri, Let Voters Decide, National Restaurant Association, Missouri Occupational Therapy Association, Kiel Opera House, Asian American Hotel Owners Association, Luminus Management, LLC, Rai Services Company, Renovate America, Inc., Missouri Dermatological Society Association, American Congress Of Obstetricians And Gynecologists - Missouri Section, Scottrade Center, E-cell, Inc., Primary Marking Systems, Inc., Children`s Education Council Of Missouri, and First Rule.

Venessa Crawford deleted Missouri Immigrant and Refugee Advocates.

Nicholas Seelinger deleted Gamble & Schlemeier.

Amanda Swanson deleted American Cancer Society Action Network.



$5K+ Contributions

Civic Progress Action Committee - $13,000 from Express Scripts Inc.

St. Louis County Police Association PAC - $10,000 from St. Louis County Police Association.

MO Republican Party - $10,000 from Monsanto Company.

Greitens for Missouri - $5,001 from Bissinger’s Handcrafted Chocolatier.

Early Childhood Education Initiative - $47,500 from RAI Services Company.

Koster for Missouri - $10,000 from Anheuser-Busch Companies.



Happy birthdays to Rep. Dean Dohrman, and Dick Burke.