Payday loan reform legislation has one of the most interesting coalitions at the State House; it includes the progressive community, the faith community and General Treasurer Gina Raimondo. This is because payday loans are bad for the state in general, poor people in particular and a net drain on our economy.
Today on Smith Hill, legislators will hear from the faith community on why predatory payday loans should be controlled as well as why legislators should do more to protect the most vulnerable residents of Rhode Island.
The vigil starts at 2:30 and the group will walk from from Gloria Dei Lutheran Church to the State House, where Rev. Don Anderson and Linda Watkins as well as Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts will make speeches.
ProJo columnist Ed Fitzpatrick made a great point about this event in Saturday’s paper. He noted that Gov. Chafee and Bishop Tobin both had ample time over the busy holiday season to debate what monicker we give to an ornament at the State House and wonders if either will have time to show up for this interfaith vigil meant to focus lawmakers attention on poverty.
“Surely, if they feel so strongly about a symbol of the season, they can appreciate the symbolic power of uniting against poverty in a state with the nation’s second-highest unemployment rate (10.4 percent),” he wrote. “I mean, if they’re determined to take a principled stand, how about taking a stand against poverty on the very spot where that controversial tree stood?”
Here’s hoping they can both make it.