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Community group pushes against payday lending bill

Action NC is fighting a proposal to bring payday lending back to the state, asking its supporters to call and write state senators in opposition to a new bill.

The Action NC email uses the example of a Raleigh man who ended up paying $5,000 interest over five years on a $300 loan as a reason the loans should not be legalized.

Payday loans are short-term, high-interest loans that borrowers secure with post-dated checks. The loans get their name because borrowers are supposedly using the money to tide them over until their next payday. Critics say the loans trap borrowers in debt they can't escape as borrowers repeatedly roll them over. The payday industry says the loans can be a vital source of emergency cash.

The state outlawed payday lending about a decade ago, but a new bill backed by a powerful senator, Rules Chairman Tom Apodaca, and influential lobbyists aims to make it legal again.

McCrory getting a lot of help with veto advice

Gov. Pat McCrory is getting all kinds of feedback on unemployment and Medicaid expansion.

On Friday, he received a petition from Action NC with nearly 9,000 signatures asking him to expand Medicaid as allowed under the Affordable Care Act. Expanding Medicaid would give about 500,000 more people health insurance. McCrory has said the Medicaid system is "broken" and needs to be fixed before lots more people are allowed to use it.

Group challenges McCrory to live on $350 a week

The advocacy group Action NC is challenging Gov. Pat McCrory to live for a week on $350, the new maximum unemployment benefit legislators are set to propose.

A bill cutting the maximum weekly benefit by a third, to $350 a week, and reducing the weeks on unemployment from 26 to between 12 and 20, depending on the state's unemployment rate, is expected to move quickly through the legislature.

The GOP proposal is aimed at dealing with the state's $2.5 billion debt to the federal government. The state borrowed the money to pay unemployment benefits.

If McCrory thinks this is a good idea, it's obvious he has no idea what it's like to live on so little money," said Kevin Rogers, Action NC's policy director.

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