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Tag: Steve Kirby

April
2nd

Proposal for installment loans with up to 200 percent interest clears another hurdle

The House Committee on Business and Financial Services approved a bill backed by Seattle-based payday lender Moneytree today. The vote: 13-to-2.

Senate Bill 5312 would allow lenders to make loans of up to $1,500 with effective interest rates nearing 200 percent and repayment periods stretching from six months to a year.

Currently, payday lenders can lend up to $700. Those loans — which can have effective interest rates of up to 391 percent — must be repaid with one balloon payment on the borrower’s next payday.

The Business and Financial Services Committee Chair, Rep. Steve Kirby, R-Tacoma,

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March
25th

Tacoma lawmaker calls for changes to payday-like loan bill

Tacoma Democratic Rep. Steve Kirby says he will be proposing some “significant changes” to a payday lender-backed proposal making its way through the House. He said the end result would be a loan product that could replace payday loans.

Senate Bill 5312 would allow lenders to make a new type of high-interest unsecured loan – sort of like a payday loan with an installment plan. Kirby said the changes he will be pushing for would make the bill more consumer-friendly.

Opponents of the bill, like Sen. Sharon Nelson, D-Maury Island, said the proposed changes are

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Feb.
21st

Senate OKs new payday-like loan

Controversial legislation proposing a new type of ultra high-interest loan was fast tracked to the Senate floor today. In an unusual twist, one of the bill’s cosponsors, Sen. Nick Harper, D-Everett, even voted against it. It passed anyway, 30-to-18.

Harper said he didn’t understand why the bill, which would allow installment loans with effective interest rates nearing 220 percent, was being rushed to a vote when it still needed work. He said sending the bill to the House to get “fixed” was just “punting the ball.”

The move also started a 30-minute floor fight with vocal payday loan critic, Sen.

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Feb.
9th

Most lawmakers align with their new districts on gay rights

To understand the ‘no’ vote cast on gay marriage Wednesday by Rep. Steve Kirby, a Tacoman who usually sides with his fellow Democrats, it helps to look at how the people in his district voted in 2009 on the “everything but marriage” referendum.

No, not his current district, which turned down Referendum 71 by a somewhat narrow 52-to-48 margin. I’m talking about the district where he has to run this year. It’s still the 29th, but it has been reshaped by redistricting, and the new area defeated domestic partnership expansion by a near-landslide 55-to-45 margin.

The R-71 vote to expand

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Jan.
24th

Sen. Debbie Regala takes up death-penalty abolition

In recent years, Sen. Ed Murray has repeatedly taken the lead in the Legislature in trying to abolish the death penalty. This year, the Ways and Means chairman and gay-rights advocate is a little busy trying to write a state budget and legalize same-sex marriage.

Taking over this perennial heavy lift is Tacoma Sen. Debbie Regala.

The Democrat is working with the American Civil Liberties Union and a coalition of groups that opposes the death penalty and is coming to Olympia Wednesday to lobby lawmakers to abolish capital punishment and to speak at a public hearing

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Jan.
21st

How Pierce County lawmakers plan to vote on gay marriage

With the first vote on same-sex marriage coming as early as next week, all Pierce County senators have staked out their positions. Among the county’s representatives in the House — where the outcome is not in question — just two votes are truly up in the air: Tacoma Democrats Troy Kelley and Steve Kirby.

Both backed an expansion of domestic partnerships in 2009, but neither is committed on this vote.

Kelley didn’t return phone calls Friday, after saying Thursday he couldn’t talk while driving in the foul weather.

Kirby said the issue’s divisiveness is the main source of his reservations.

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March
22nd

Bill would crack down on drunken drivers

After Frank Blair of Tacoma lost his 24-year-old daughter to a head-on collision with a drunk driver in 2010, he vowed to take his cause to the state Legislature and try to convince lawmakers that they need to toughen penalties for drinking and driving in Washington.

On Tuesday, the Senate Judiciary Committee had a hearing on House Bill 1789, a measure that contains some of the provisions Blair said he hopes will become law in the state, including increased jail time for first-time offenders convicted of driving under the influence and expanded use of ignition-interlock devices.

“Drunk driving strikes with the ruthless randomness and the devastation of a bolt of lightening,” said Blair at the hearing. “It’s time to start toughening up the laws in Washington State.”

The bill under consideration in the Legislature now is a combination of several proposals that have come out this session. It would require more offenders to use ignition interlock devices, which test blood alcohol content before allowing drivers to start their cars, and, more controversially, it would lengthen the minimum sentence that a first-time DUI offender must serve to three to seven days, depending on blood alcohol content.

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Jan.
19th

Support builds for targeting discrimination against bikers

Rep. Steve Kirby has revived a bill that aims to prevent police discrimination against motorcycle riders.

Motorcyclists descended on Olympia last year, complaining that police pull them over and search them for no reason except for their choice of clothing and vehicles.

It’s profiling, they say. So Kirby modeled his bill on one that cracked down on racial profiling. It requires police departments to have policies and training in place to prevent discrimination.

A similar bill last year passed 96-2 in the House, only to die in the Senate. But this year it has a companion bill in

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