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Conclusion of Alaskan Legislative Session: Victory for Alaskan Consumers

The Southwest Public Policy Institute applauds the Alaskan Senate Finance Committee’s decision to not advance House Bill 145 and Senate Bill 264, ensuring continued consumer access to diverse emergency credit options.

For Immediate Release
May 16, 2024

Liam Gray
[email protected]

The Southwest Public Policy Institute (SPPI) is pleased to announce the conclusion of the Alaskan legislative session, which adjourned sine die this morning. This legislative session was particularly significant for consumer financial services in Alaska, as it saw crucial decisions made by the Senate Finance Committee regarding House Bill 145 and Senate Bill 264. These bills proposed capping interest rates on emergency loans, which would have severely limited consumer access to specialized emergency credit in Alaska.

“Alaskan legislators made the prudent choice for consumers.”

Patrick M. Brenner, President of SPPI

Throughout the session, SPPI worked diligently to block these bills in collaboration with a consumer advocacy coalition. This coalition included nationally renowned trade associations such as the American Financial Services Association, the Online Lenders Alliance, and the INFiN Alliance. Together, these organizations highlighted the potential adverse effects of the proposed legislation on consumer access to credit.

“Today’s outcome is a significant victory for Alaskan consumers,” said Patrick M. Brenner, founder and president of the Southwest Public Policy Institute. “By not advancing these bills, the Senate Finance Committee has ensured that consumers will continue to have access to a variety of credit options, particularly in times of financial emergencies.”

The advocacy efforts emphasized that while the bills aimed to address concerns over predatory lending practices by imposing strict caps on interest rates, such measures risked eliminating crucial financial products that many Alaskans rely on for emergencies. The coalition’s testimony and educational campaigns underscored the importance of preserving diverse financial options for consumers.

“Alaskan legislators made the prudent choice for consumers,” Brenner added. “By maintaining access to a broad range of credit options, they have taken a crucial step in fostering a competitive and inclusive financial environment.”

SPPI continues to advocate for policies that promote financial inclusion and consumer choice, urging lawmakers to consider the broader implications of well-intentioned but potentially harmful legislation.

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