Payday lenders in Missouri have been fighting regulation for years—and they’ve been buying access and influence through campaign contributions. It’s all laid out in a new report from Public Campaign: “Indebted: How Payday Lenders Buy Political Influence In Missouri And Hurt Everyday People.”
- The payday lending industry has spent more than $1 million over the last decade to influence Missouri state elections. Lobbyists and lobbying firms working for the industry have given at least another $648,460 to state campaigns.
- Campaign spending by the industry hit a decade high in the 2010 cycle, with at least $371,483 in contributions to Missouri politicians, four times more than in the beginning of the decade.
- In 2011, the Missouri House passed a bill that benefitted the payday industry by “capping” annual interest rates at 1,565 percent (HB 656), a hundred times higher than many credit cards. Members who voted for this pro-industry bill received nearly three times more payday money on average and nearly five times more altogether than members who voted in opposition.