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Wis. Republicans want rent-to-own out of budget

MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Two Republican state senators want the Legislature's finance committee to delete wording in Gov. Scott Walker's executive budget that would exempt rent-to-own businesses from Wisconsin's consumer protection laws.

Sens. Mike Ellis and Rob Cowles sent a letter Wednesday to committee co-chairs Sen. Alberta Darling and Rep. John Nygren saying the plan should be debated as a separate bill. They also say they haven't heard from anyone who supports the proposal and the GOP should fight for vulnerable people.

Consumer advocates contend rent-to-own businesses prey on the needy by charging what they say are exorbitant interest rates. The industry counters customers pay for extra value such as the right to opt out of leases.

The committee is set to review the provisions Thursday. Darling and Nygren's spokespeople didn't immediately return messages.

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