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INSURMOUNTABLE PRICE TO PAY
Last month, several Virginians won a piece of a groundbreaking national settlement that aims to close a loophole allowing some firms to charge sky-high interest rates on payday loans. The settlement wipes out more than $380 million of debts owed by more than one million people across the country.
An expanded agreement means nearly 40,000 borrowers in the Commonwealth were added to the settlement that wipes out their debt. Plus, more than $50 million will be returned to exploited borrowers.
Long-term debt is debilitating, and it can be used as a cudgel that keeps borrowers from being able to find a job, rent an apartment or buy a vehicle. Virginians deserve to know they are entering into loans that protect their best interest while ensuring the lending company is still paid for its service. As daunting as the task may seem, state legislators must continue to keep payday lending and other predatory services at bay through continued monitoring and regulation.
(Note: See VoxFairfax articles on payday loans, Payday/Title Loans Bleed Virginians [10/14/2019, https://voxfairfax.com/2019/10/14/payday-title-loans-bleed-virginians/%5D and Predatory Lending Rampant in Virginia [01/28, 2019, https://voxfairfax.com/2019/01/28/predatory-lending-rampant-in-virginia/%5D.
TWITTER BOTS SPREAD WHITE SUPREMACIST’S BOGUS STORY
Ahead of a potential vote on an assault weapons ban in Virginia, some Facebook users are posting misinformation about the legislation from a white supremacist with a rap sheet and a history of spreading conspiracy theories. One post published Dec. 16 includes a screenshot of a tweet from user @cindyseestruth, which appears to be an automated account. The tweet claimed Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, a Democrat, is planning drastic measures to take away guns.
“WARNING… VIRGINIA GOV RALPH NORTHAM SET TO.. Cut off electric… telephones… faxes… cellular phones & cellular data, Internet, so #Virginia residents cannot reveal what is happening once gun confiscation begins to take place,” the tweet reads.
SB 16, which would make the possession of an assault weapon a felony, does not spell out how it would deal with firearms that Virginians already own. Northam has said he would call on law enforcement to enforce the bill, and he’s pushed back on resolutions that seek to establish local jurisdictions as “Second Amendment sanctuaries.” “We’re not going to take people’s guns away,” he told reporters Dec. 11.
RIGHT-WING VA GROUP’S BIZARRE EXPLANATIONS FOR DEMOCRATIC WINS
The Middle Resolution [“Engaging Virginians. Advancing Freedom. Delivering Results.”] has given close to $1.3 million to VA’s GOP. And it has some interesting reasons about why the GOP keeps losing, among them (1) an “unhealthy hatred toward Trump among suburban” women, (2) the “migration of liberals moving from high-tax states to Virginia,” (3) the “never-ending growth of the federal government and its many tentacles into Northern Virginia and other parts of the Commonwealth,” and (4) “the immigration surge and growing dependency on the federal government.” To be balanced, of course, it also blames a Republican Party that has not shared its message effectively to build its base. Ya think?
And, in its view, what will Democratic-led government in Virginia bring? A state with Chicago-style gun laws, controlled by the unions, adopting a mandatory $15 per hour minimum wage, and allowing same-day voter registration. Ooh. Be afraid, be very afraid.
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