In Colorado, Democratic Denver state Rep. Mark Ferrandino has been leading the charge to to rein in the industry. In 2008, he introduced legislation that he said was weakened through amendments and ultimately failed to pass. He told the Colorado Independent that he has been working with consumer advocacy groups to develop a stronger bill this year. He said he was considering writing it as a referendum and submitting it to the public for vote on the November ballot in order to circumvent the powerful payday industry lobby.
I agree that this industry should be regulated and that it is contributing little or nothing to the state's economic well being. It isn't obvious to me that it is easier to get a referendum on the ballot than it is to simply pass legislation. But, a well crafted ballot initiative (as opposed to a legislatively referred measure) might be a way to break the Gordian knot.