Ariz. Senate committee to hear payday lending bill

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PHOENIX -- An Arizona Senate committee is scheduled to hear a bill that would allow payday lenders to continue offering high-interest short-term loans.

The Senate Appropriations Committee will hear the bill during its meeting scheduled to begin at 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday.

Payday lenders operate under a temporary exemption from Arizona's 36-percent cap on annual interest rates. They charge fees that amount to an annual interest rate above 400 percent.

The exemption expires on June 30, and payday lenders have said they wouldn't be profitable without it.

Supporters say the payday lending industry supports low-income families that otherwise wouldn't have access to credit in an emergency.

But opponents say the industry preys on poor people in desperate situations.

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