Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Live blogging Senate Approps - payday loan reauthorization

5:25 - OK, this is taking too long, and I have to leave. I recommend going to the lege's website to watch the live video feed. Later!

5:19 - Considers the industry to be a highlight of the "free market." Next proposal: leg breaking by mobsters becomes a legally-acceptable debt collection technique.

5:17 - The CEO of Checksmart is speaking in support of Pearce's striker.

5:11 - The AARP guy is hitting the Rs where they live - pointing out his members from 29 of the 30 LDs have voted to oppose this bill.

5:08 - Just received an email from the Rabago for AG campaign opposing the striker. Will post later if there is time.

5:07 - An AARP volunteer leader is speaking now. Speaking in opposition.

5:03 - Pearce is trying to drown out Aboud, calling votes on measures in other states regarding payday loans as votes on "deceptive measures." Thinks that expressed public opinion on such measures are irrelevent to this situation.

5:00 - The CFA person is responding to a question from Sen. Aboud about what happened in North Carolina when they allowed their payday loan statute to expire. A: All sorts of good things.

4:48 - Aarons done, finally. Another opponent has been called up to the podium, one from the Consumer Federation of America.

4:39 - I missed the context, but Braswell is going on about buying a "GI Joe with Kung Fu Grip." Huh?!?

4:34 - Allen wishes that "there was a math genius in the room." Aboud has tried to explain it to Allen. Pearce is now out front, blocking for Allen. Too late. Most people in the room are now chuckling when Allen starts speaking - they know that whatever is coming will be embarrassing to her.

4:33 - No Sylvia Allen is trying to undermine Aarons' position.

4:30 - Yawn.

4:25 - Sen. Braswell is questioning Aarons' use of "predatory."

4:23 - Barry Aarons is speaking against the bill. Calls it "predatory" lending.

4:11 - Harper is worried about his capitalization amendments. He thinks that the language may not be proper. Not sure what the response was, but his proposed amendments stand.

4:10 - Turns out that the language of the striker is very vague on the subject of enforcement. There are provisions about license revocation, but no clue as to when they kick in or who decides.

4:05 - Gould asks about a "do not loan" list. Turns out the striker has language creating a voluntary list where a customer could add himself to a list of folks who couldn't be loaned money, but could then remove himself from that list. That would be an effective reform, wouldn't it?

4:01 - Pearce is arguing for the striker during the time that the public is supposed to have to speak on the bill. The chair should rule him out of order...oh, wait - Pearce *is* the chair.

Never mind. :)

4:00 - Pearce thinks that the reforms in his striker are tremendous. Just ask him.

3:58 - Pearce thinks that the payday loan industry has been unfairly oppressed, and considers the striker a push for freedom, unlike "the Obama health care plan."

3:56 - The baby that was crying in the main meeting room is now in the hallway outside the overflow room. :)

3:53 - Aboud pointing out a number of issues with the striker and the regulations. Like that with the budget cuts facing the state, there won't actually be a regulator to oversee the industry.

3:44 - Harper amendment to the striker, to earmark the fees and fines from the payday loan industry to pay for regulating the industry. Another Harper amendment to make sure no payday loan industry money goes to ACORN or similar organizations. Yet another Harper amendment to eliminate a capitalization requirement, calls it "anti-competitive".

3:40 - HB2370, pay day loans striker. Fact sheet here.

3:37 - HB2423, updating reporting requirements for municipal and county budgets. Passes unanimously.

3:35 - The sound quality is good - a baby crying in the main hearing room sounded like it was here in the overflow room. :) Bill passes.

3:31 - HB2142, Board of Athletic Training omnibus. House Approps chair John Kavanagh just strolled by the overflow room, moving toward the Senate meeting room.

3:29 - HB2031, reauthorizing the Joint Legislative Budget Committee (AZ's analog to the Congressional Budget Office). Passes, Gould voting no. He's like Mikey from the old Life Cereal ads - he hates everything..

3:25 - HB2370 will be fourth on the agenda. Pearce has announced that both sides on that one will get three speakers on that measure.

3:24 - Into order.

3:21 - Waiting for the committee to achieve a quorum so that they can start the meeting. The meeting room is packed, so I am in the overflow seating area in SHR3.

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