Virginia panel quickly kills proposal to limit high-rate loans

It took less than five minutes for a House of Delegates committee to kill a bill to shut down a kind of high interest rate loan that keeps piling on debt even when borrowers make their basic monthly payments.

The sponsor, Del. David Yancey, R-Newport News, figured that was progress.

“The first time I tried, I couldn’t even get a motion. Last year, I got a motion, but no second. This year, at least they voted,” he said after the House Commerce and Labor Committee killed his measure to crack down on triple-digit interest rate lines of credit.

“I’m just going to keep on trying,” he said.

His was the last of seven measures meant to tighten rules for high interest rates, such as payday loans and car title loans, that the committee disposed of in less than half an hour.

Lobbyists for the lenders didn’t even bother to step up for the first six when committee Chairman Terry Kilgore, R-Gate City, who at a couple points noted that the committee was familiar with the arguments for tighter rules for payday and title loans, asked if anyone wanted to speak against the measures. One lobbyist did step up to answer a question from Del. Peter Farrell, R-Henrico, about a car-title loan bill that Farrell didn’t like.

But Yancey’s bill did draw one of the most high-powered lobbyists in Capitol Square to briefly speak.

Robert Baratta, representing the lender Check Into Cash Inc., said Yancey’s bill was anti-consumer and would reduce options for borrowers.

Yancey wanted to rewrite a three-decade-old tweak to the even older piece of state law that originally authorized stores to issue charge cards.

That loophole was meant to let big loan companies compete with banks by offering credit cards.

After legislation five years ago tried to set tough new rules for payday lenders, a number of firms in that business dropped their state licenses to make those high-interest-rate, short-term loans meant to cover people until their next paycheck. Instead, they went into the line-of-credit business.

Like a credit card, but unlike other loans – from mortgages to car loans to payday loans – these so-called open end credits don’t have a set repayment schedule. They require minimum monthly payments, often equivalent to a large fraction of the amount borrowed. But those minimum payments all go to interest and service charges and do not pay down the principal amount borrowed.

Dana Wiggins, of the Virginia Poverty Law Center, told the committee of one Northern Virginian who faced paying a $250 a month minimum on $1,000 loan. That monthly payment just kept her current, but did not reduce the amount owed. She was able to repay the lender when she borrowed the sum from a church-affiliated group that asked her to make monthly payments of $30. She has since repaid that sum in full, Wiggins said.

The center also represented James Lam, a Hanover County resident, when he sued Allied Cash Advance in federal court over his line of credit. Lam complained he had borrowed $2,000 from Allied, paid the company $16,000 and still owed the $2,000 sum he borrowed in the first place. The company settled out of court and terms are confidential.

Later, the committee moved on to kill Yancey’s bill to bar employers from firing or demoting victims of domestic abuse if they take time from work to talk to police, prosecutors, a lawyer or a counselor about their case.

There was no discussion, just a motion to kill the measure and a voice vote, while Yancey was at another committee meeting.

The committee also killed two bills that would have set higher minimum wages for Virginia, a measure requiring employers give people paid sick days — about 1.4 million Virginians work for firms that do not — and one that would have increased the damages people can claim if they can prove they were paid less than others because of their sex.

Del. Greg Habeeb, R-Salem, said the measure would have no effect because such discrimination cases are covered by federal law.

He said the aim appeared to be to embarrass Republican legislators when they run for election in November.

By Dave Ress, Daily Press

Wide range of bills from Del. Yancey

What do would-be math teachers, new moms and victims of domestic violence have in common? Turns out, Del. David Yancey, R-Newport News, has proposals to make their lives a bit easier.

But there are some people – human traffickers, gang members who deal in drugs and small time crooks who steal copper pipes and other building material from houses and building sites – on whom Yancey wants to crack down harder.

Much of his legislative list has just landed, and it ranges more widely this year than in the past

One bill would ban employers from firing or disciplining employees who are victims of domestic violence or sexual assault and need to take time from work to get help from police, the courts or health care providers. You can read the bill here.

Another says employers should set aside a reasonable amount of break time for employees who need to express breast milk for their infants. It’s here.

One bill would allow people with a variety of technology and science degrees or with several college courses in math to qualify as career and technical education  or math teachers, to provide an alternative to the standard way of getting a teaching license. It’s here.

Yancey has a measure that would send anyone convicted of taking money to push another person into prostitution, forced labor or porn to prison for a stretch of two to 10 years.

Another would boost penalties for drug dealers when a user dies, as well as saying two convictions, rather than three, for street gang offenses triggers an enhanced penalty of five to 20 years in prison. It’s here.

Yancey’s also got a bill that says if scrap dealers that buy second hand building material – like the copper pipes or plumbing fixtures so often taken from unoccupied houses – can do so only from collectors who hold a salvage license from the local police.

By Dave Ress, Daily Press

Yancey moves to key House committee

January 14, 2015 –

The Peninsula has gained a voice for the first time in a while on one of the most important General Assembly committees of all, now that Speaker Bill Howell named Del. David Yancey, R-Newport News, to the Commerce and Labor committee.

That body deals with a wide range of business issues — everything from banking and insurance to workers compensation and energy.

One of Yancey’s legislative priorities in past years — an effort to stop a kind of triple-digit consumer loan — keeps dieing in that committee.

The committee is also a great place for fund-raising — the businesses its legislation affects are big, big campaign donors. And Yancey represents one of the most competitive districts in the state. In 2013, Yancey and his Democratic challenger together raised $1.8 million to battle it out.

By Dave Ress, Daily Press


Sierra Club Honors Delegate Yancey

Virginia Chapter Sierra Club honors Delegate Yancey with Award

Richmond, VA — For the first time, the Virginia Chapter of the Sierra Club voted to recognize members of the General Assembly with awards lauding their work in the Legislature. The Chapter’s Legislative Committee voted unanimously to honor Delegate David Yancey with the Energy Freedom Award to recognize his work on energy policy.

On receiving his award Delegate Yancey offered the following quote, “I’m appreciative of this recognition by the Sierra Club,” said Delegate David Yancey, representative from the 94th House District of the Virginia General Assembly. ”My legislation helps us move forward with clean energy, like solar power, and does so in an economically viable way.”

The Delegate from Newport News patroned a bill in 2013 that allows customers of Dominion Virginia Power to install solar projects as large as 1 megawatt using a Power Purchase Agreement financed by private companies. The law’s significance cannot be understated, as the power purchase agreement model has been the driver for most solar projects around the country in recent years, making solar energy available with low risk and minimal upfront cost.

“Delegate Yancey’s leadership on solar and wind energy is just what Virginia needs to grow the industry and create jobs. The legislation introduced by Delegate Yancey paves the way for small clean energy businesses to get a foothold here in Virginia, and to grow.” said Corrina Beall, Legislative Coordinator for the Virginia Sierra Club.

“Our future energy needs will require employing creative approaches like this,” Yancey said. “I look forward to working with the Sierra Club on developing these solutions as we strive for energy independence.”



Business Owners and Realtors Endorse Yancey

NEWPORT NEWS, VA — The National Federation of Independent Business and the Virginia Peninsula Association of Realtors have endorsed Republican David Yancey in his bid for election to the 94th House of Delegates seat.

The endorsement was made by NFIB/Virginia SAFE (Save America’s Free Enterprise) Trust, which is comprised exclusively of NFIB’s 6,000 members and the Virginia Peninsula Association of Realtors which represents over 1,000 real estate professionals locally on the Virginia Peninsula.

David Yancey understands the challenges facing Virginia’s small, family businesses and is the clear choice in House District 94,” said Nicole Riley, state director of NFIB/Virginia.

Thomas Sullivan, Chairman of the Public Policy Committee at the Virginia Peninsula Association of Realtors said “Mr. Yancey has a clear knowledge of the many issues we face. Not only does he understand the needs of the real estate business from a practical perspective, but also he appreciates the impact that the housing market has on our local and state economies. On behalf of the 1000-plus members of the Association, we are pleased to extend our endorsement and support to David Yancey.”

David Yancey is honored by the support of job creators and professionals.

My focus in Richmond will be job creation and the stability and growth of our local economy. The NFIB and VPAR both understand these pressing needs and I will work side by side with them to ensure prosperity for citizens in the 94th District,” said Yancey.