Corbett Tussles with SoCal Assemblyman over Payday Loan Bill

Sometimes being a state senator is like working retail. Hold on. Most of the time it isn’t, but when an assemblyman from Artesia gets huffy, the only thing to do is dust off those people skills, speak in hushed tones and maybe call security.

That is somewhat what state Sen. Ellen Corbett, the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, had to do Tuesday when Assemblyman Tony Mendoza (D-Arstesia) turned sour at her decision to shelve his controversial payday lending bill. (Watch the video below)

Mendoza, miffed that Corbett did not allow discussion of his bill (AB 377) became further incensed when she placed the agenda item at the conclusion of the hearing. Before the sergeant at arms could urge Mendoza to leave the chambers, the two-term assemblyman told Corbett, “You’re moving me around like a toy, like if I’m going to be at your disposition any time you want — I don’t want to play those games.”

The proposed bill would have allowing predatory payday lenders to increase the amount cashed from $300 to $500 in addition to giving borrowers until the end of the next business day to rescind the deal. These lenders are known to charge over 400 percent interest. The bill sailed through the Assembly and was supported by local Assemblywoman Mary Hayashi. The Senate Banking Committee also passed the bill, which prompted a scathing editorial in the San Francisco Chronicle that asked, “Why on earth would Mendoza want to saddle this state’s most cash-strapped citizens with more debt?”

The answer: Mendoza is a large beneficiary of the payday loan industry.