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Who We Are!

Dear Friends and Supporters of social and economic justice,

The Center for Economic Integrity (CEI) is proud to share with you our new organizational awareness video.  The short three-minute video speaks to our work over the years and highlights why it is important to support our efforts.  Please take a moment to view the video and then share the link  https://bit.ly/cei-awareness  with your friends, family, neighbors and fellow advocates.
Click to view the CEI Organizational Awareness Video
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Help us spread awareness about CEI using the icons above!  We’ve accomplished a lot together over the past 20 years and we are looking forward to the important work of ensuring fairness and equity into the future for all members of our community. We can and we will continue to achieve significant victories for the most vulnerable in our society. Many thanks to our supporters, staff and volunteers for making this work possible.

Project Updates

Arizonans for Responsible Lending (ARL)

The Arizona legislature is still in session. However, we are happy to report that it is unlikely we will see any small loan interest rate hikes this session.  The ARL coalition mobilized early and we were able to continue to defend the small loan interest rate caps currently in place. Unfortunately, no consumer protections bills were heard in committee this session in spite of the fact that numerous bills were introduced that would have subjected triple-digit interest rate car title loans to more reasonable interest rate caps. The 100th day of session has passed without sine die (adjournment) and the focus of legislators now is mainly on sending a budget to the Governor.

Updated Reports & Factsheets

We continue our work with our national consumer advocacy partners to call on the federal government to institute a national small loan rate cap and close banking loopholes that allow banks to partner with predatory lenders. To this end, the Center's staff and volunteers met with Arizona U.S. congressional representatives in February to lobby for fair lending.  

National Bills Supported

  • H.R. 963 the Forced Arbitration Injustice Repeal (FAIR) Act of 2022
  • The Veterans and Consumers Fair Credit Act (H.R. 5974 & S. 2508)
  • H.R. 4277 the Overdraft Protection Act of 2021 and 
    S. 2677 the Stop Overdraft Profiteering Act of 2021
Visit www.nomoreloansharksaz.org for letters, comments, factsheets, press articles and more.

The Preschool Promise (TPP)


CEI is the home of The Preschool Promise coalition and the working group continues to meet regularly.  We encourage individuals to "join the movement" and sign up to stay informed at thepreschoolpromise.org  We are pleased to report that as of March 31, 2022, 685 children from income eligible families - 200% of the Federal Poverty Level (FPL) - are receiving assistance from the Pima Early Education Program Scholarships (PEEPs) to attend high quality preschools across Pima County. They are in public schools, child care centers, family child care, and Head Start.

The number of early childhood education sites rated high quality has increased from 192 to 208, and more are in the works! This is especially impressive, because many early childhood programs have been forced to close as a result of Covid. There are more kids eligible for scholarships than there are places for them.  Pima County will adopt a new FY22-23 budget in June.  Funding commitments for preschool scholarships remains in place for the next couple of years. 

Arizona Grandparent Ambassadors & Kinship Caregivers (AZGA)


The AZGA member group has successfully advocated for families to be able to more easily qualify as foster families in this past legislative session.  This is a huge victory for kinship families as it will make it possible for many of these families to obtain a foster family license with a substantive increase in state supports including financial support. 

In addition, AZGA is hopeful that the kinship family stipend will increase from $75 per month to $300 per month.  This kinship family stipend increase is now part of the ongoing larger state budget negotiation process.  We will know more once the budget comes up for a formal vote.  More information at www.azga.org 
–Kelly
Executive Director
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