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.
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Carona bluntly pointed senators out for being controlled by payday lender lobbyists before agreeing to hold off the vote for Monday.
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.”
Consumer advocates and Democrats are divided over a Senate bill that would impose light regulations on payday and auto-title lenders.
It’s becoming a perennial pastime at the Texas Capitol. Former speaker of the House Rep. Tom Craddick (R-Midland) files a simple one-page bill that would close a loophole that allows payday and auto-title lenders in Texas to avoid the state’s anti-usury laws and charge unlimited rates; everyone listens politely; and then the bill gets leapfrogged by much more convoluted payday reform legislation.