Governor John Bel Edwards vetoed Senate Bill 381 on Tuesday night, legislation that would have expanded predatory lending in the state by legalizing larger loans with longer terms at triple-digit annual interest rates.

Statement from Davante Lewis, Director of Public Affairs and Outreach for the Louisiana Budget Project:

“Louisiana Budget Project applauds Governor Edwards for recognizing the harm that triple-digit interest debt traps cause working families. We applaud his veto of SB 381, a narrowly passed bill that was supported only by companies interested in making high-cost loans. In contrast, the bill was opposed by Louisiana groups with a wide range of perspectives, but with a common interest in protecting families from wealth-stripping practices. We will continue to advocate for our lawmakers to pass a 36% all-inclusive annual interest rate cap — overwhelmingly supported by Louisiana voters, to rid our state of this harmful practice altogether.”

Statement from Jared Pone, Policy Counsel for the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL):

“CRL applauds Governor Edwards for his veto of SB 381. We estimate that predatory lenders currently drain over $145 million per year from Louisiana families who can least afford it, through triple-digit interest loans with terms that make them near impossible to pay off and move on. This bill would have made it worse. The families targeted by these lenders are often severely debt-burdened already and cannot afford to repay expensive-rate loans while covering their ordinary costs of living. We hope this veto turns the tide and encourages Louisiana’s leaders to take the next step and cap annual interest at 36% to prevent predatory lending, as eighteen other states and DC have done.”