During the last election, an initiative to extend the payday loan industry was voted down by voters. I voted against this initiative, as did many others, for the simple reason that it was too complicated (3 pages of statutory revisions) to be handled by voter initiative.
I believe voter initiatives should be simple and easily understood, such as the initiative on marriage, which was only 19 words. Whether you agreed or disagreed with it, everyone understood its implications.
This session, the legislature must make a decision to either let the payday loan industry sunset (meaning, it ceases to be legal in Arizona at the conclusion of its authorized time window), or to let the industry be revised and extended either indefinitely, or for another period of years.
Proponents for payday loans argue that the industry fulfills an obvious need in society. There are a great many stores precisely because many people have nowhere else to turn for small amounts of quick cash. If people do not have ready access to a source of funds, they will be forced to deal with unscrupulous private parties, or else relatives, for necessary quick cash. Proponents argue that it is better to have a regulated industry than to leave it up to private parties, or to subject people to over-draft charges on their bank accounts. They contend that the government does not have the right to limit the options of people who need money.
Opponents argue that these payday loan stores take advantage of people who are in desperate circumstances by charging them exorbitant interest rates. People only get further into debt by the use of these types of loans. Opponents maintain that the government should not allow these excessive interest rates.
It should be noted that in order to obtain a payday loan, one must already have an existing checking account.