Larry Obhof has been encouraging. The president of the Ohio Senate recently told the Columbus Dispatch: “The overall tenor of our caucus is that people shouldn’t be trapped in a spiral of debt when 590 percent APRs are not appropriate.” He added about the Republican-led chamber: “We tend to work pretty well together.”

The larger subject was the legislative effort to corral the usurious payday lending industry in the state, many of the roughly 1 million Ohioans who use its services caught in cycles of mounting debt, facing payback sums of far more than they borrowed. The House earlier this month approved a strong reform measure. Will the Senate do the same, for instance, limiting fees and interest at reasonable levels, taking steps to ensure that borrowers have the capacity to repay the loans?

House Bill 123 prohibits payday lenders from offering loans with interest rates greater than 28 percent. It also limits loan payments to 5 percent of a borrower’s gross income.

The industry warns that such provisions will put their operations out of business. State Rep. Kyle Koehler, a Springfield Republican and a lead sponsor of the legislation, counters persuasively that the claims are overblown. He notes that while payday lending would be less lucrative, the companies still would be positioned to generate profits. He reminds that though borrowers at traditional banks enjoy protections, payday customers are defenseless, essentially.

The federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau calculates that 80 percent of payday loans are not paid back in two weeks. Rather, the typical borrower takes seven loans in a year. Advocates point out that each day payday lending costs Ohioans $200,000. The Pew Charitable Trusts found that in 2014 an Ohio borrower paid $680 over five months on a $300 loan, reflecting how the state rates as most exploitative for payday lending.

As it is, Ohioans thought they had fixed the problem — a decade ago. Voters overwhelmingly rejected the payday lending effort to overturn legislation practically mirroring the current reform measure. Payday lenders then made use of a loophole, seizing the opening to conduct business as usual.

That is how things have proceeded, lawmakers doing little to set things straight, the industry contributing $1.8 million in disclosed political money since 2010. In April, Cliff Rosenberger stepped down as House speaker as the FBI examined his overseas travel and ties to lobbyists, including those representing payday lenders.

So, the moment is here for the Senate to do its part in protecting vulnerable consumers and proving true to voters. The expectation isn’t that the Senate will embrace the House bill without changes. What is important is that the Senate hold close to the work of the House, keeping in mind the prospect of advocates succeeding with a ballot issue next year. Fortunately, President Obhof has been signaling as much. Real payday lending reform is long overdue.