"RICHMOND--A Senate committee yesterday decided to reform, not repeal, Virginia's Payday Loan Act.
After more than an hour of testimony on three bills, the Senate Commerce and Labor Committee voted 11-4 to pass the one that puts additional restrictions on those businesses. The vote sends the bill to the full Senate for debate.
Parliamentary procedure precludes a committee from sending out bills that conflict with each other, so it could not vote on the other two, which would have repealed the 2002 law allowing payday lenders into the state.
Under the approved bill, payday lenders would have to keep a database of customers, and would be barred from acting against customers who didn't pay back the loans. Borrowers would be limited to three loans at a time, and would have to wait 24 hours between paying off one loan and taking out another.
Senators who spoke for the restrictive legislation mostly said they don't particularly approve of payday lending, but it fills a need and government should not interfere with the free market.
"You wouldn't have these various offices opening like this unless there was a demand," said Sen. Dick Saslaw, D-Vienna, who sponsored the reform bill."