Government Agencies Discuss Overdoses, Payday Lenders

State Representative Kyle Koehler getting excited as he explains legislation he recently introduced to close the loopholes on "payday" lenders. Present at the meeting were Bethel Twp Trustees, City of New Carlisle Councilmen, Tecumseh Board of Education, Clark County Commissioners and the Clark County Auditor.

Monday evening was the quarterly meeting with your local government agencies. The Tecumseh School District, New Carlisle City Council, Bethel Township Trustees and Clark County Commissioners bring each other up to speed on what their agency is doing.

Bethel Township Fire Chief Jacob King started off the evening addressing the drug problem in Clark County.

“The people overdosing are not the people you would expect,” said King. “We have nurses, doctors, lawyers overdosing.”

King said that 70% of the overdoses in Clark County are white men between 25 and 44 years of age. 30% of those overdosing go for treatment, and of those, 13% stay clean for two years.

King also said that he wanted to partner with the School District. He asked if they had a video production class that could help his department create training videos. He was advised that there is no such class at Tecumseh. Board Member Corinne Scott referred him to the Clark Technical Center.

State Representative Kyle Koehler updated the group on the progress of HB 123 which deals with payday lenders.

“Payday lenders were legal in Ohio beginning in 1995,” said Koehler. “By 2008, more regulations were needed.”

He said that the state passed legislation putting restrictions on the industry.

“All of a sudden, we had payday lenders from all over the country converging on Ohio,” said Koehler. He said that they mounted a successful campaign to have the legislation negated at the ballot box.

“These are predatory lenders, plain and simple,” said Koehler. “They prey on people who cannot get loans at their bank or credit union.”

He said that the bill, among other things, would put a 5% limit on loan fees and limit payments to no more than 5% each payday. The bill would also outlaw car title loans.

Tecumseh School Board President Kurt Lewis announced that Debra Schock, the district’s treasurer, has been awarded the Auditor of State Award by Dave Yost’s office. The presentation will be made at the Board’s May meeting.

Lewis also announced that Tecumseh Athletic Director Craig Eier has been named the Athletic Director of the Year by the Southwestern Ohio Athletic Director’s Association.

County Commissioner Lowell McGlothin also had positive news to pass along. He said that the county’s sales tax revenue is up 3-4%. “This means people are spending money in the county,” he said.

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