Good morning on Day 25.
Tacoma Rep. Steve Kirby‘s committee on business and financial services is holding hearings now on bills that target Internet payday lending, including one by Kirby that repeals a 2009 restriction on traditional brick-and-mortar payday lenders.
Kirby helped pass the regulation — limiting a borrower to eight payday loans a year — but now says it has had an unintended side effect of steering people to the unregulated online lenders. But advocates for the poor oppose the repeal of what they say is a crucial regulation to prevent predatory lending. We’ll be keeping an eye on this one.
- House Judiciary may vote on Rep. Tina Orwall’s foreclosure mediation bill, HB 1362. The measure would set up a process under which a borrower could request a meeting with the lender and a third-party mediator to try to find ways to avoid foreclosure.
- The same committee may vote on HB 1180, which would strengthen anti-harassment orders against stalkers and the penalties for violating those orders.
- Senate Health considers SB 5039, which would require insurance companies to cover treatments to help people quit smoking.
- House Environment could vote on HB 1294, which would establish a Puget Sound Corps branch of the Washington Conservation Corps. A companion bill, SB 5230, has already passed out of committee in the Senate.
- Senate Human Services considers four bills from Republican Sens. Joe Zarelli, R-Ridgefield, and Mike Carrell, R-Lakewood, that are designed to reduce waste in the public benefits system. Senate bills 5327, 5328, 5329 and 5330 would create an investigations division in the auditor’s office, limit where public assistance benefit cards can be used and limit the use of welfare grants to purposes benefiting children, among other rules.
- Senate Ways and Means plans hearings on SB 5119, which would cancel the 2012 presidential primary, and SB 5523, which would eliminate the state printer.