Health Care , Law & Principles

Jonathan Small | March 13, 2017

HB 1913: A private-sector solution, not government dependence

Jonathan Small

State Rep. Chris Kannady (R-Oklahoma City) has authored House Bill 1913, which will help provide a solution for Oklahomans in need of alternative or small financing options—instead of forcing them to get entangled in government programs or to have no options at all.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) under the Obama Administration proposed rules that substantially change what are known as “payday loans.” Under these new rules, CFPB has provided new guidance and has changed regulations to make the industry look more like traditional installment loans.

When finally enacted later this year, the CFPB rules regulate alternative or small loan products by providing for lower interest amounts, giving borrowers the ability to have longer payback schedules of their loans, and even facilitating in many cases a new structure that allows for lower payments.

The CFPB guidelines and state law require that, in order for these loans to be sold in Oklahoma, a state law must be passed to implement the provisions.

From a perspective of limited government, individual liberty, and a free-market economy, alternative or small loans provide people with lending resources during emergency situations–such as covering the deductibles to meet ever-growing health care costs and higher deductibles forced on Oklahomans by Obamacare.

It is essential that we strive for private-sector solutions as opposed to government programs to meet the resource needs of Oklahomans.

It’s ironic that some of the opponents of House Bill 1913 actually are the biggest promoters of expanding dependency on government. Some of the same voices opposed to this legislation also have lobbied hard to entrap Oklahomans in dependence on government programs like Obamacare’s Medicaid expansion. They have also lobbied for more government and cash assistance programs and view with disdain private-sector solutions to temporary challenges.

To be sure, their tactics are fierce. They use emotionally charged words like “predatory” to describe a product that even the Obama administration has deemed to have sufficient regulation under the CFPB. State regulators at the Oklahoma Department of Consumer Credit had input in the bill as it pertains to how to regulate the product offerings and the fees that would be necessary to provide oversight. The bill will provide for annual exams to make sure businesses that offer loans are in compliance with all state laws.

It is elitist thinking that says that all people with temporary financial challenges are not knowledgeable enough to purchase a legal product that they are not forced to purchase.

House Bill 1913 is a private-sector solution for people who have real needs. Let’s hope lawmakers implement this legislation and resist the urge to strangle needed options for their fellow Oklahomans.

Jonathan Small President

Jonathan Small


Jonathan Small, C.P.A., serves as President and joined the staff in December of 2010. Previously, Jonathan served as a budget analyst for the Oklahoma Office of State Finance, as a fiscal policy analyst and research analyst for the Oklahoma House of Representatives, and as director of government affairs for the Oklahoma Insurance Department. Small’s work includes co-authoring “Economics 101” with Dr. Arthur Laffer and Dr. Wayne Winegarden, and his policy expertise has been referenced by The Oklahoman, the Tulsa World, National Review, the L.A. Times, The Hill, the Wall Street Journal and the Huffington Post. His weekly column “Free Market Friday” is published by the Journal Record and syndicated in 27 markets. A recipient of the American Legislative Exchange Council’s prestigious Private Sector Member of the Year award, Small is nationally recognized for his work to promote free markets, limited government and innovative public policy reforms. Jonathan holds a B.A. in Accounting from the University of Central Oklahoma and is a Certified Public Accountant.

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