The controversial Senate Bill 5312 is progressing in the Washington state Legislature. The measure, supported by Seattle-based payday lender Moneytree, would permit payday lenders to make loans of up to $1,500 with effective interest rates approaching 200 percent and repayment periods ranging from six months to a year. Consumer advocates criticized the proposal before the House Committee on Business and Financial Services, saying that it is being rushed through the legislative process and encourages risky, high-interest loans. Payday lenders in the state currently can lend up to $700, at interest rates that effectively amount to as much as 391 percent. Amendments to the bill cap the number of loans a borrower can take out in a year, lower some fees, and blocks military members from taking on the loans.