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Payday loans may try last-ditch effort to stay alive

The payday loan industry is making another attempt to extend its life, less than a month after its efforts were rebuffed by a panel of lawmakers.

The Senate Finance Committee is expected to hear a striker amendment April 7 that deals with consumer loans and origination fees.

The exact language, however, was unavailable on April 2.

“I understand from other members (of the Finance Committee) that they have been approached by the lobbyists for the payday loan companies, saying that they are going to use a backdoor approach to stay in business,” said Sen. Debbie McCune Davis, a Democrat from Phoenix.

“It looks like pretty much the same thing,” said Sen. Ron Gould, a Lake Havasu Republican and member of the Finance Committee.

Gould said he will vote against the striker.

The striker is to H2035, a bill that allows counties to establish a University Athletic Facilities District.

Payday industry representatives could not be reached for comment.

On March 16, the Senate Appropriations Committee voted down a strike-everything amendment on H2370.

The amendment would have repealed the June 30 sunset date facing payday lenders, allowing them to continue operating in Arizona.

It was the payday loan industry’s third bid in two years to stay in business. Proposition 200, an industry-written ballot initiative, failed in 2008 when 60 percent of voters rejected it.

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