Tony Mendoza, Sen. Ellen Corbett get into ruckus in committee hearing

Can you call Assemblyman Tony Mendoza a "grumpy legislator."

Maybe. At least that’s the title of a video posted on You Tube showing Mendoza, D-Norwalk, and state Sen. Ellen Corbett, D-San Leandro, getting into it on Tuesday over his legislation dealing with pay-day loans.

His bill, SB 377 would increase the daily amount that people can receive from $300 to $500.

The bill was held in the Senate Judiciary Committee, of which Corbett is the chairwoman, for more work until next year.

Mendoza wasn’t happy, especially when Corbett announced she was going to put the issue over until the end of the hearing.

"You’re intending to hold the bill in committee," he said.

"So be it," he said. "Why am I wasting my time and ruining your perfect schedule. You’re moving me around like a toy like I can be at your disposition. I don’t want to play those games."

Mendoza then walked out.

Corbett said to him, "We’re glad to show you respect and hopefully you will respect the committee as well."

In e-mailed comments to this newspaper, Mendoza said the meeting "was a display of political maneuvering by the chair to infuse her own will instead of allowing parliamentary procedure and discussion to take place."

"I was equally surprised by her statement she would use her position as chair to hold the bill in committee," he stated.

"I expected her to hold a complete public hearing on AB 377 without the chair acting as the ultimate decision maker on the course of the bill."

Corbett didn’t return a phone call seeking comment, but did tell the Sacramento Bee that a full hearing was held on Mendoza’s bill before the disagreement broke out.

She also told the Bee that she thought that Mendoza had agreed to suspend the bill until next year and was surprised by his pressing for the bill to be acted upon.

Mendoza’s bill has drawn opposition.

"Instead of increasing maximum loan amounts, legitimizing Internet payday lending and offering unattractive re-payment plans, California should embrace the growing national consensus that predatory payday lending practices must be reined in to reduce the debt crisis facing low income consumers," stated Consumer Federation of California in a letter opposing the bill.

Pay day lenders can charge Californians a fee as high as 15 percent of the check amount for an advance against the customer’s next paycheck, which is commonly a two week period, the letter stated.

This translates into an annual percentage rate of 459 percent for a two week loan, according to the federation.

Here’s the link to the video: