Signatures are in for Nebraska’s Payday Lending petition
LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) — Wednesday, Secretary of State Bob Evnen announced that county elections officials have finished verifying signatures for the Payday Lending petition.
“After careful review by our counties, I can confirm that the statutory requirements for valid signatures have been met,” Evnen said. “The initiative will be placed on the ballot for the November general election.”
The Payday Lending initiative seeks to cap the annual interest rate on payday loans at 36 percent. Similar measures have been passed in 16 other states and the District of Columbia.
Currently, Nebraska law allows lenders to charge up to 404 percent annually, a rate that advocates say victimizes the impoverished and people who are not financially sophisticated. However, industry officials argue the top rate is misleading since most of their loans are short-term.
At least 85,628 valid signatures were required to add the petition questions to the 2020 general election ballot.
Signatures of more than five percent of registered voters were collected in 46 counties of the State’s 93 counties. This meets the distribution requirement for counties for an initiative petition.
“Certified letters will be mailed to the sponsors, notifying them of the results of the petition campaign,” added Evnen.
Public hearings will be held in each of the congressional districts and a brochure about the initiative will be distributed to each of the county election offices. The dates and locations of district hearings will be announced later.
Evnen also noted that a lawsuit has been filed objecting to the ballot title that the Attorney General has written for the initiative. The Attorney General will defend that lawsuit. It is expected that a decision will be rendered on a timely basis.
For more information about Payday Lending Initiative, visit the Secretary of State website https://sos.nebraska.gov