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RI lawmakers renew push to restrict payday loans

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- There's a new push to restrict payday loans in Rhode Island with a cap on the interest rates that can be charged on the short-term loans.

State Sen. Juan Pichardo and Rep. Frank Ferri said Wednesday that lenders charge annualized interest rates as high as 260 percent, which they say put low-income borrowers in a cycle of debt.

Mayors from Cranston, Warwick and Central Falls joined the two Democratic lawmakers at a Statehouse rally in support of the measure, which would cap interest rates at 36 percent.

The bill has failed to pass in recent years after running into opposition from payday lenders.

Payday loan companies argued the proposal would have left consumers with fewer ways to make ends meet.

Lawmakers have not scheduled a vote on the bill.