PHOENIX (2/13/08)--An Arizona lawmaker has proposed a bill, Senate Bill 1239, that would push a payday lending ban in the state back by two years. Under current law, payday lenders are scheduled to shut down in 2010. The proposed bill would give lenders until 2012 to close their doors (Arizona Daily Star Feb. 12). During the interim, the Department of Financial Institutions would study the loans made by payday lenders and the amount of money they collect. Sen. Robert Blendu (R-Litchfield Park), who proposed S.B. 1239, said the extra time might convince legislators to overturn the payday lending ban. Though Blendu said he is not intending to overturn the ban, he said that payday lenders serve a purpose and he wants to see if “there’s a legal place for them in Arizona,” he told the Daily Star. State Rep. Marian McClure (R-Tucson) disagreed and said payday lenders are an “equal opportunity predator.” Banks and credit unions offer small loans with reasonable interest rates, she said. The state Senate Committee on Financial Institutions, Insurance and Retirement will conduct a hearing on Blendu’s bill Monday.