After a parade of witnesses from both sides of the payday loan fights asked state senators to consider amendments to House Bill 1709, the Senate Committee on Labor, Commerce and Consumer Protection voted today to send the bill unamended to the Senate Rules Committee, bringing it one step closer to passage. The bill puts much tighter constraints on the payday loan industry, which they want to see loosened, but stops well short of the long-sought interest-rate cap community activists asked the senators to consider adding.
The committee voted 5 to 2ish to pass it on with the four Democrats giving it a thumbs up and Republican Curtis King of Yakima County joining in. Jenea Holmquist (R-Moses Lake) voted against the bill and Jim Honeyford (R-Sunnyside) did the committee equivalent of an abstention, asking that it go to the Rules Committee without a recommendation. Things are looking good for this bill that makes everyone on both sides pretty unhappy.