MADISON, Wis. (AP) – Gov. Scott Walker’s budget could mean new freedoms for the rent-to-own industry in Wisconsin. Walker’s proposed budget would make such businesses exempt from the Wisconsin Consumer Protection Act. That would mean they don’t have to disclose their annual interest rates. Industry lobbyists say their contracts aren’t credit transactions so they shouldn’t be subject to the act. Rent-to-own opponents say the businesses prey on the poor with very high interest rates similar to payday lenders. They say forcing the industry to show customers what they would pay is a necessary safeguard. Walker’s plan already has ruffled some of his fellow Republicans. Sen. Glenn Grothman, a member of the Legislature’s budget committee, says he doesn’t want to help what he considers to be a sleazy industry.
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