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School Funding and Payday Predators
A Week of Advocate Andy
Tennessee’s Gov. Bill Lee succeeded in convincing the legislature to pass his status quo school budget in spite of a record surplus:
It’s unconscionable for state leaders to not include significant increases for K-12 funding, especially at a time when the state has racked up $1.42 billion in surplus year-to-date. The money is there to make a significant increase to K-12 funding, but Gov. Lee and the General Assembly have instead chosen to continue stuffing mattresses full of cash.
Elected officials love to claim that Tennessee students, educators and public schools are top priorities, but their action on the state budget tells a different story. As the old saying goes, it’s time to put their money where their mouth is.”
Lee’s budget action (or lack of action) came in spite of calls from groups like the League of Women Voters to fund schools:
Tennessee continues to neglect its public schools. The state consistently ranks as one of the bottom five for public school funding. During the current legislative session, numerous bills have been introduced by members from both sides of the aisle to provide additional funds for some of our public schools’ urgent needs. Among those needs are adequately funding school counselors, social workers, school nurses, and staff to support state-mandated intervention programs. None of these bills have passed yet.
This is the time to invest in our schools and our children. With a current budget surplus exceeding $2 billion this year and cash reserves exceeding $7 billion, this is the moment for Tennessee to support quality education in every county.
Taking on Payday Predators in West Virginia:
Cross any of West Virginia’s borders and one of the first things you’ll notice is a host of payday lending or check cashing businesses. These operations typically give those who are having money problems a loan with ridiculously high interest rates that snowball and keep the borrower under their thumb.
You see them in high volume right across the border because these types of businesses are illegal in West Virginia. While state law can’t stop anyone from crossing into Ohio and taking out a bad loan, it at least protects its citizens from predatory lending within its own borders.
Stopping the Debt Trap in Nebraska:
As a former Republican state senator and a veteran who advocates for other veterans’ rights, we know how important it is to stand up when predatory lenders are trying to take advantage of Nebraskans. For this reason, we feel compelled to speak up on the harmful proposed federal rule that would give banks a loophole to begin partnering with non-bank lenders to supersede our state’s interest rate caps on loans.
The proposed rule would welcome banks into the predatory lending business — charging exorbitantly high interest rates in violation of state law, even as banks are getting zero-interest rate loans from the government and paying near-zero rates of interest on their customer’s savings accounts. The federal Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) claims the bank would become the “true lender,” even if a non-bank lender is marketing and managing the loan. National banks can generally preempt state interest rate caps.