A Missouri ballot initiative aimed at curtailing interest rates at “payday loan” entities is getting some national attention.
For an episode of PBS’s Need to Know, airing locally this weekend, the program traveled to the Show Me State to follow around activists who are collecting signatures for an initiative petition. If the ballot measure makes it to the ballot and if voters approve it, interest rates on certain lending companies would be capped at 36 percent.
Supporters of the initiative argue that the loan agencies place poorer Missourians in a cycle of debt. But opponents counter that the entities are usually the only way lower-income citizens can obtain short-term loans to pay ordinary expenses.
While supporters of the initiative submitted signatures to Secretary of State Robin Carnahan’s office, the issue is still wrapped up in court—primarily over the measure’s ballot language.
The PBS program will feature interviews with journalist Gary Rivlin, as well as National Urban League Vice President Cy Richardson.