Senate passes minor changes to payday lending
BATON ROUGE - A measure backed by the payday loan industry has passed the Senate after lawmakers failed to add tougher restrictions.
Senators voted 28-10 Wednesday for Baton Rouge Rep. Erich Ponti's bill to require online payday lenders to register with the Office of Financial Institutions and be subject to the same regulations as storefront lenders.
Critics say the bill does nothing to fix the debt trap that the short-term loans with high interest rates can create for the poor. They've unsuccessfully pushed for caps on annual fees and caps on loans for a borrower.
An effort Wednesday to limit the number of loans a borrower can have failed to win support.
The measure moves back to the House for approval of Senate changes.