…If advocates here want to see how a state can change course, they can look to Illinois and Hawaii, which this year created laws to impose a 36 percent interest cap on payday lenders. Close to 20 states use a similar limit.

Brent Adams of the Chicago-based Woodstock Institute said it took Illinois 20 years to get to this point, and that the heightened focus on racial justice after the death of George Floyd offered a boost.

Adams said the lengthy fight reflects a gap between how voters and elected officials view the payday industry.

“When consumers of all political parties are asked if they support rate caps, such as a rate cap of 36 percent, by large bipartisan majorities they say, ‘yes.’ ” he said. “But that is not mirrored in state capitals and in the nation’s capital, because the industry is very powerful. They have a lot of connections, they have a lot of lobbyists, they have a lot of resources.”

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