Sanford veto on payday lending overruled

COLUMBIA --- The Legislature overrode Gov. Mark Sanford's veto of new regulations on the payday lending industry amid threats they'd come back later and get tougher or ban the business outright.


It was the best known of 10 bills Mr. Sanford vetoed after the Legislature wrapped up a recession-shortened session last month. Mr. Sanford didn't muster the one-third vote needed for any of his vetoes to stand.

Mr. Sanford's veto said that in the midst of recession people needed access to borrowed money, that the payday lending industry should not be singled out for tougher scrutiny and the database the bill created would give rise to privacy concerns.

But legislators had spent two years working on bills to limit loans, and they easily disposed of Mr. Sanford's veto with a 105-4 vote in the House followed more than three hours later in the Senate with a 39-3 vote.

The bulk of the legislation will go into effect when the database is ready to use. It will limit people to a single $550 loan at any time. Consumers would have to wait a day between loans for the first seven and then two days for additional loans.

Mr. Sanford also lost a bit of his executive authority. The Legislature overrode his veto of a bill that takes away his power to fire board members at will from the State Ports Authority Board.

Mr. Sanford can still remove board members for cause and appoint two new members to the board every year as terms expire, said Senate Transportation Committee Chairman Larry Grooms, R-Bonneau.