Texas Legislature Stories

State Rep. Mike Villarreal

Payday Loan Reform Faces Uphill Battle in House

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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.

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Workers Defense Project staff and supporters perform inside Capitol rotunda on Workers’ Memorial Day to commemorate workers who have died on the job and push bills that would improve conditions for workers in Texas.

El Paso Becomes Second City to Indict Employer for Wage Theft

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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.

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