Dan Patrick On Parade: Life in the New Senate Education Committee

Dan Patrick’s reign over the Senate Education Committee has been a fascinating mix of empathy and cruelty, peaceful agreement and hostile shouting matches. In some ways, not much has changed since his days as a hot-tempered outsider.

Texas Senate OKs ‘Hotter’ Waste for West Texas

Harold Simmons’ West Texas radioactive waste empire got a boost today after the Texas Senate passed legislation allowing Waste Control Specialists to accept “hotter” radioactive waste at its dump. The final vote was 24-7. Waste Control, a Simmons-controlled company, operates a growing radioactive waste dump green-lighted by the Legislature in 2003.

Hot List: Day 106 of the Legislature

The Lead: There aren’t many consumer victories at the Texas Capitol, but Monday’s debate on payday loan reform was certainly one of them. After […]

Texas Senate Passes Surprisingly Tough Payday Loan Reform

After a dramatic false start on Thursday, the big payday loan reform bill—tediously-negotiated by Sen. John Carona (R-Dallas)—easily cleared the Senate. But not before senators agreed to changes that would more or less kill the payday and auto-title industry in Texas.

Hot List: Day 105 of the Legislature

All eyes are aimed at the Senate this afternoon to see if legislators have what it takes to make some major changes to the shameful lending practices in this state.

Hot List: Day 102 of the Legislature

Carona bluntly pointed senators out for being controlled by payday lender lobbyists before agreeing to hold off the vote for Monday.

GOP Senator Accuses Colleagues of Being ‘Shills’ for Payday Lenders

An ugly scene erupted in the Texas Senate today, with Sen. John Carona (R-Dallas) suggesting that some of his Republican colleagues were “shills” for the payday loan industry and worrying that the GOP would be seen as “the party that is backed and bankrolled by payday lenders.”

In West Explosion, Echoes of Another Texas Tragedy

The explosion at a fertilizer plant in West, Texas, on Wednesday raises the same questions that followed the 1947 disaster in Texas City, the largest industrial accident in American history.

Want Not: Homeless Vet Ticketed for Looking for Food, Houston City Council Okay With That

Pop quiz. Which is worse: A) someone starving to death, or B) littering? If you answered B), you might want to run for Houston […]

State of Texas: Who Pays How Much In Taxes

Texas’ tax system is one of the most regressive in the country, meaning it falls especially hard on the poor.