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With Assemblymember Monique Limon’s anti-predatory lending bill reportedly headed towards Senate action next week, scrutiny of the measure is increasing. But something smells fishy here. From the Sacramento Bee: For California borrowers trapped in loans with triple-digit interest rates, a proposed bill to impose a 36% cap might seem like a godsend.If passed, Assembly Bill 539 would end a decades-long practice of allowing installment loans of $2,500 to $10,000 to carry such high interest rates by limiting that number to 36%.But in striking a deal on the legislation with loan companies, Assemblywoman Monique Limón, D-Goleta, and consumer advocates decided the bill would apply only to interest on the loan itself.It now leaves state agencies to continue oversight of other practices critics consider “predatory,” including credit insurance and additional fees that the Pew Charitable Trust says can unnecessarily increase borrowing by more than a third.“We have found in our research that…

It’s bad news if you’re a frog– or an animal rights activist. Yesterday, under pressure from the California Teachers Association, the legislature killed proposed legislation to ban animal dissection, including the cutting up of frogs– favorite “subjects” in biology classrooms across the state. Per CAL Matters, “The California Teachers Association, which has significant clout in the Legislature, testified against [the bill], arguing that it would deny science teachers a valuable tool.” Animal rights campaigners, including People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), are pissed. And we tend to agree with them. While in general, animals dissected in classrooms are already dead (though in some places, vivisection does still occur), it still involves inherent cruelty for animals, campaigners say. Per the Sacramento Bee, “Cats used for dissection tend to be euthanized animals acquired from shelters; frogs and other amphibians are often gathered in the wild.” Congratulations: If your cat goes missing,…

March Madness and NCAA brackets may be done and dusted. But a clean air advocacy group is keeping brackets–and pollution–on the minds of California legislators by delivering these “Clean Air Madness” bracketology posters to each and every legislative office in Sacramento. As spotted Friday in Sacramento, live and in person: The issue, according to the website listed on the bottom of the poster: “California spends billions each year on air quality and climate change, yet none of our state’s Air Quality Districts meet the minimal federal clean air standards.” The underlying message: The California Air Resources Board has become all about climate change, and has lost its focus on clean air as judged by three standards: Worst year-round particulate pollution, worst short-term particulate pollution and worst ozone. The coalition delivering the posters is backing clean trucks and clean fuels legislation, in the form of SB 216, AB 1115 and AB 1406. SB 216 may be…

As Democrats become more politically-dominant in California, it looks like they’re also making inroads with the Golden State’s business lobby. And it’s not just because the Cal Chamber wants to make nice with the guys in power. It turns out Republicans are pushing bills the Chamber thinks are straight-up giveaways to trial lawyers. The old Cal Chamber building in San Francisco. Because 1215 K Street, Sacramento, isn’t that scenic. Via CAL Matters this AM: Assemblyman Jordan Cunningham, a Republican from San Luis Obispo, is pushing Assembly Bill 288 to require social media companies to let users delete information when they close their accounts. The chamber worries the bill would lead to lawsuits. Cunningham: “Frankly, I find it somewhat humorous that the Chamber would waste a designation like this on a bill that would only apply to a few giant social networking companies that continue to prove that they cannot be…