Editorial: Ohioans deserve answers to payday lending questions

The messy situation raises questions, and Ohioans deserve answers. Two Democratic representatives from Columbus, David Leland and Kristin Boggs, have sent letters asking the legislative inspector general and Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien to investigate.

Last week’s abrupt change of fortune for a long-stalled payday-lending bill in the Ohio House of Representatives is unquestionably a good thing. What the circumstances suggest about Ohio’s political process, though, is discouraging.

House Bill 123, which had been delayed or ignored by majority Republicans since it was introduced 13 months ago, suddenly passed the House Government Accountability and Oversight Committee without a single change on Wednesday, and it’s expected to pass the full House in May.

This happened just days after former House Speaker Cliff Rosenberger, who has controlled the bill’s fate, resigned suddenly. He did so after learning the FBI is investigating his joining in an expensive junket last year to England that included some payday-lending lobbyists.

Had Rosenberger been blocking the bill out of undue deference to payday lenders? He has said he has done nothing wrong and that he resigned only because the FBI investigation could be disruptive.

The messy situation raises questions, and Ohioans deserve answers. Two Democratic representatives from Columbus, David Leland and Kristin Boggs, have sent letters asking the legislative inspector general and Franklin County Prosecutor Ron O’Brien to investigate.

Columbus Dispatch Editorial

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