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State Capitol News

Payday loan industry still alive in AZ

By Howard Fischer

Phoenix, AZ – Governor Jan Brewer said today she's willing to consider
legislation to let the payday loan industry remain in business
beyond next June despite a public vote to the contrary.

That 60-40 loss last year came even after the industry offered
some sweeteners designed to gain public support, including a
slightly lower interest rate, a ban on rollovers and an interest-
free repayment plan for those who can't make good on their checks
at the end of two weeks. Now the industry is back with a
virtually identical plan, this time hoping lawmakers do what
voters would not. Brewer said she has no problem with that.

"Well, the legislature, of course, is a deliberatory body. And if
they want to go in there and discuss payday loans I think that's
what they were elected to do."

The industry has hired some folks close to Brewer, including
former attorney general Grant Woods who co-chairs her reelection
campaign and Chuck Coughlin and Doug Cole who are advisers and
confidants. The governor said that doesn't affect her views.

"Well, you know, campaign people and professional people that do
public relations represent a multitude of a lot of people. I
don't see any conflict. They haven't spoken to me about it. So I
don't see a problem with it."

And Brewer, pressed on how she voted on the measure last year,
said she doesn't remember.