Predatory lenders disproportionately target women, new study shows

June 29, 2016 by
Jody Harris

Jody Harris

It’s Shark Week. No, not the Discovery Channel’s homage to the denizens of the deep, but rather the annual media storm from consumer advocates who oppose the predatory lending practices of so-called payday lenders. Now, new research shows that women take out 60 percent of payday loans in order to make up for being laid off or having their hours cut, or to deal with health care expenses … Read the rest

BDN reports dire consequences for Maine children from LePage assault on TANF

June 23, 2016 by
Mark Sullivan

Mark Sullivan

In a painstakingly detailed investigation, the Bangor Daily News (BDN) has pulled back the curtain, exposing the LePage administration’s maneuvering to undermine the federally funded Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) program, “the federal government’s primary mechanism for delivering cash assistance and work support to low-income families with children.” The BDN found that the administration’s effort includes spending $7.8 million “in ways that run afoul of federal … Read the rest

New poll reveals overwhelming support for strict regulation of payday lenders

June 21, 2016 by
Mark Sullivan

Mark Sullivan

More than seven out of ten Americans want stronger regulation to rein in the predatory practices of payday lenders according to a survey released on June 15.

Payday lenders make small, short-term, unsecured loans at exorbitant interest rates (some as high as 400 percent or more) that usually come due within a few weeks after receipt of the loan. Unlike traditional bank and mortgage lenders, current federal lending … Read the rest

Maine May jobs numbers contain mixed news

June 17, 2016 by
James Myall

James Myall

The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) today released state employment numbers for May, revealing that Maine was among the majority of states which experienced no statistically-significant change since April in the number of people employed in the state.  Unlike residents of most states, however, Mainers are still waiting for employment levels to recover to pre-recession levels. The estimated number of individuals employed in Maine technically fell by … Read the rest

CBPP: Ryan’s “Vision for a Confident America” is less than 20/20 for Americans living in poverty

June 9, 2016 by
Mark Sullivan

Mark Sullivan

The Center on Budget and Policy Priorities President Robert Greenstein responded swiftly on Tuesday when US House Speaker Paul Ryan announced his long awaited plan for combating poverty, “A Better Way: Our Vision for a Confident America,” calling it “silent on the discrepancy between [Speaker Ryan’s] call to fight poverty and the House GOP’s own budget priorities.”

Greenstein noted that Republican budget proposals “would cut programs for low- … Read the rest