Array ( ) April 2013 - The Texas Observer Back to mobile

Payday Loan Reform Faces Uphill Battle in House

Late into the night, the payday loan industry strutted its stuff before a very friendly House committee. The hearing came just a week after the Senate passed a surprisingly tough bill that the industry insists would shut down most of Texas’ 3,400 payday and auto-title storefronts. Even though the legislation aired last night is a faint shadow the Senate bill, it got a rough treatment from six of the seven committee members.

Goliad’s Passion Play: Historic Reenactors Remember the “Goliad Massacre”

For 28 years, Texans have been coming to Goliad, in March, to die.

Hot List: Day 113 of the Legislature

The Lead: You know the session has gotten serious when the first major bill dies in the House on a point of order. That’s […]

Funding for State Water Plan Derailed in the House

While rain slicked the streets of Austin, lawmakers heatedly debated legislation that would use $2 billion from the state’s Rainy Day Fund to fund the state water plan, an increasingly urgent issue for lawmakers. But, after hours of stop-and-go debate, a procedural error derailed the legislation.

Professor Sues Over Layoff in UT-Brownsville, Texas Southmost Split

Susan Mills, a professor at the University of Texas at Brownsville/Texas Southmost College, is suing the university officials who fired her—apparently the first lawsuit to come out of the schools’ messy split that’s cost the jobs of nearly 100 faculty members.

The Priest Who Travels With Bodyguards

Father Alejandro Solalinde isn’t well known in the United States. But in Mexico, he is recognized for his bravery. He dares to speak out about corrupt government officials, and organized crime, and he shelters migrants from the cartels.

Hot List: Day 112 of the Legislature

The Lead: Payday loans have become one of the session’s hottest topics. Some lawmakers and consumer advocates have said this session is the time […]

House Passes Emergency Funding for Schools, Wildfire Relief

An amendment also passed as a placeholder for West, Texas until they better know how much recovery from the fertilizer plant explosion will cost.

El Paso Becomes Second City to Indict Employer for Wage Theft

In 2011, Austin-based Workers Defense Project successfully lobbied for the wage theft code amendment, authored by Senator Jose Rodriguez (D-El Paso), that made it harder for employers to get away with stealing workers’ wages. The amendment to the Texas criminal code closed a loophole which allowed employers to get away with paying employees only partially for their work without facing criminal charges. El Paso has become the first city outside of Austin to indict an employer for stealing wages.

Hot List: Day 109 of the Legislature

The House will vote on an $875 million state spending bill today.