MADISON (AP) - The Legislature's finance committee has blocked Republican Gov. Scott Walker's plan to exempt rent-to-own businesses from Wisconsin's consumer protection laws.
Wisconsin's consumer protection laws require creditors to disclose interest rates in rent-to-own contracts. Rent-to-own critics maintain the industry preys on the poor with exorbitant interest rates and the consumer statutes help protect them. Industry advocates counter their contracts aren't credit transactions and shouldn't fall under the consumer laws.
Walker's budget would create a new section of law governing the industry that wouldn't require the businesses to disclose interest rates.
A handful of Republicans, including Senate President Mike Ellis, have been pushing the committee to remove the proposal from the budget. The committee on Thursday voted 10-6 to eliminate the plan.
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