Official Rhode Island's approach to the homelessness crisis has been unimaginative at best, heartless at worst.
Two years ago, I wrote a piece for the Phoenix titled "How Rhode Island Can Eliminate Homelessness." And while the headline might sound fanciful, it really isn't. Most homeless are on the street temporarily - displaced by a fire or an abusive relationship.
Under current law, Rhode Island's payday lenders can charge interest rates as high as 260 percent. That can leave low-income folk on a debt treadmill - taking out loans to pay off the interest on previous loans.
This year, advocates are pushing hard for a measure that would cap the interest rate payday lenders can charge at 36 percent - the top rate for other lenders in the state.