On June 1, the Michiganders for Fair Lending campaign submitted signatures for a ballot initiative that would appear on the November ballot.
The initiative would introduce a 36% annual interest cap on payday loans. Michiganders for Fair Lending argues that the typical payday loan carries an annual rate of 370% and that high interest rates can be financially detrimental to Michiganders. According to the Center of Responsible Lending, 18 states, plus the District of Columbia, cap annual interest at 36%.
“Payday lenders have used the lure of quick money for too long to prey on vulnerable Michiganders,” said campaign spokesman Josh Hovey, “These extreme interest rate loans are designed to trap people in an endless cycle of debt, and we’re giving voters a chance this fall to fix that.
Of the 10 initiative campaigns in Michigan, the Michiganders for Fair Lending campaign was the only one to meet the June 1 signature submission deadline.
The campaign said that of the 575,000 signatures collected during the petition process, they submitted 405,265 signatures. In Michigan, 340,047 signatures are required in 2022 to qualify an indirectly initiated state law for the ballot. This number is determined by calculating 8% of the votes cast for Governor in the last gubernatorial election.
The measure is a State law of indirect initiative. Of the 21 states that allow state-initiated statuses, nine states, including Michigan, use an indirect process for citizen-initiated statuses. In Michigan, citizen-initiated laws that receive enough valid signatures are sent to the Legislative Assembly, which then has 40 days to enact the initiative into law. The governor cannot veto indirect initiatives approved by lawmakers. If the legislature does not approve the initiative, then it appears on the next general election ballot.
The other nine initiative campaigns that did not submit signatures on time could appear on the ballot in the next election cycle.
Currently, there is another measure on the Michigan ballot — a constitutional amendment returned by the legislature, which would change the term limits of state lawmakers.
Since 1996, 26 citizen-initiated measures have been submitted to Michigan voters for approval. Of the 26, 8 (31%) were approved and 18 (69%) were rejected.