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Letters to the editor, May 11

Stand with the people

Senate Bill 1247, which places tighter controls on payday lending, was approved by the Texas Senate on April 22 on a resounding 24-6 vote.

This bill includes a dozen amendments that strengthened it and allows tougher city ordinances to stand (Denton, El Paso, Austin, San Antonio and soon, probably, Houston as well).

It also caps all loans at an annual rate of 36 percent — the same rate placed by federal regulations on loans made to military personnel.

This is still high, but much better than the 500 percent annual percentage rate currently charged by some Texas payday lenders.

Some payday lenders in Denton are now working to circumvent city ordinances [DRC, April 27]. The solution is a tough state law with real reforms.

SB 1247 is now before the Texas House, which reportedly is not as supportive. Can that be due to the millions in contributions that payday lenders have made to these elected officials? House members need to stand with the people of Texas, not payday lenders.

We are all called to care for the least among us. I urge the House to pass the Senate version of this bill now. Contact your House member today to request support of SB 1247.

Richard Simms,