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Illinois House committee approves credit card marketing ban

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — An Illinois House committee has approved a bill that would prevent credit card companies from marketing their products on public university and community college campuses.

Despite passing the legislation, some committee members from both parties were questioning whether the bill was necessary.

"I've not been able to find any demonstrable numbers, research or data that says that the acts that we currently have are ineffective," said state Democratic Rep. Carol Ammons of Urbana.

But the bill's chief co-sponsor, state Democratic Rep. Sue Scherer of Decatur, said the legislation would help reduce predatory behavior that leads to students signing up for credit cards that will later cripple them with debt.

Scherer said the bill still needs work and has promised to fix drafting errors. As written, the bill currently repeals the Illinois Credit Card Marketing Act of 2009.

"I really ask you to consider letting this out of committee so we can keep the dialogue going and bring it back with an amendment rather than just throwing the baby out with the bathwater," Scherer said.

Lobbyists from the banking industry oppose the bill, arguing that it's an ineffective approach, The State Journal-Register reported. They said they instead would support increased student education on financial topics.

"We understand (Scherer's) issue, and we want to be part of the solution," said Ben Jackson, a lobbyist for the Illinois Bankers Association. "We are fully supportive of financial literacy."

The University of Illinois System and the Illinois Community College Board are taking no position on the legislation.

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