Nebraska Supreme Court dismisses challenge to payday loan measure | Crime-and-Courts


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LINCOLN – The Nebraska Supreme Court on Friday unanimously dismissed a challenge to a payday loan ballot initiative.

If approved, Initiative 428 would cap payday loans in Nebraska at 36% interest rates. Advocates of the initiative say the interest rates on these loans are far too high, but opponents argue that loans are one of the only ways low-income people can borrow money.

Brian Chaney, who worked in the payday lending industry, challenged a decision by Nebraska Secretary of State Bob Evnen to put the question on the ballot.

Chaney alleged that the petition’s broadcasters did not read the full text of the initiative to those who signed up, in violation of state law. He also alleged fraud on the part of some of the broadcasters, producing 188 affidavits from voters who signed the petition asking to withdraw their signatures, claiming they would have objected if they had read the entire document. law.

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But the Supreme Court upheld the ruling of a Lancaster County district judge, who ruled that Nebraska law does not require the initiative to be read in its entirety. Broadcasters, the court said, need only give a brief summary of the content.

The Supreme Court also said there was no evidence of fraud on the part of circulators.

“As we have often said,” said the court, “the right of initiative is precious to the people and is a right which the courts are committed to preserving.”

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