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Oct 6, 2010 3:39 PM by Melissa Rafferty (KPAX News)

I-164 supporters holding statewide event

MISSOULA - For the first time in Montana, supporters of Initiative 164, which will cap interest rates on payday loans, will use a telephone town hall meeting to discuss the November ballot issue.

Several thousand Montanans across the state will be called and encouraged to participate in the meeting, which will take place on Thursday at 6:30 in the evening.

Organizers say they expect anywhere between 3,000 and 6,000 people to take part in the event. AARP, which is one of several Montana organizations that supports the initiative, says it will allow voters to ask questions about the initiative.

AARP Montana Advocacy Director Claudia Clifford will act as moderator of the call, which will feature national experts.

"This call gives thousands of voters the opportunity to ask questions and hear how I-164 will protect state consumers from the triple-digit interest rates on these loans," Clifford said.

Former State Senator Dan W. Harrington, treasurer of the Cap the Rate Campaign anticipates that any callers who are unsure about the issue will support I-164 after hearing more about it.

"Lending practices that prey on struggling families and seniors and trap them in debt are bad for our communities and bad for our state," Harringon said. "Montanans believe in fairness and in looking out for their neighbors. That's why they'll support this initiative at the polls."

Clifford will act as the moderator of the call, which will also feature guests including national experts who will be available to answer caller questions.

If you would like to participate in the call, which is expected to last about an hour, click here. You can also learn more about I-164 by clicking here.

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