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Measure To Relax State Payday Loan Restrictions Awaits Vote

The Associated Press

The commercial area around Joint Base Lewis-McChord holds four times as many payday lending offices as most similar-size areas in Washington State -- even as the U.S. military advocates against service members' use of short-term borrowing because of high interest rate and potentially lengthy debt cycles. 

Indeed, it was Department of Defense concerns that led Washington state to greatly restrict such loans in 2010. This has not dissuaded State Rep. Larry Springer (D-Kirkland) who wants to roll back such restrictions.

The Democrat has has proposed a bill to replace the highly-regulated payday lending system in Washington state with an installment loan plan system.  Springer says that this will help lenders pay less in the long run. Community groups like the Washington State Labor Council counter that the bill undercuts existing reforms to limit the high-interest loans.

This piece is part of KPLU's internship program, which teaches public radio skills to students at Pacific Lutheran University.