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Posts Tagged ‘John Carona’

Chron overview of the AG race

Couple of interesting tidbits in here. A tea party darling with a dozen years in the state Legislature, Sen. Ken Paxton has avoided the media since admitting to a third-degree felony violation of state securities law in late April. Spokesman Anthony Holm serves as his gatekeeper – even once physically blocking a reporter from approaching […]

The Senate is likely to get stupider again

The cause. The Texas Tech University System Board of Regents officially named state Sen. Robert Duncan, R-Lubbock, the sole finalist to be the system’s next chancellor in a press release issued Monday afternoon. Duncan is expected to start in his new position on July 1. A special election will have to be held to replace […]

Primary results: Legislature and Congress

The big news on the Democratic side is the close loss by longtime Rep. Lon Burnam in HD90, who fell by 111 votes to Ramon Romero Jr. I know basically nothing about Rep.-elect Romero, but I do know that Rep. Burnam has been a progressive stalwart, and it is sad to see him go. His […]

A preview of the next beer battle

Texas microbreweries are now officially selling their wares on premise. Woo hoo! In business for nearly 19 years, Saint Arnold Brewing Co. sold its first cold one directly to a customer [in June], thanks to a new law liberalizing the way beer is bought and sold in Texas. The buyer, 22-year-old Dale Edwards, made his […]

What we missed by not getting a payday lending bill

Better Texas Blog reminds us of what could have been SB 1247, the omnibus reform bill filed by Sen. John Carona … included the ability to repay standards, loan limits, and refinance limitations, among numerous other provisions. According to the Office of Consumer Credit Commissioner (OCCC), the refinance limitations alone in SB 1247 would have […]

Patrick involved in another Senate squabble

Must be something in the water. A powerful Republican urged the Senate last week to strip a plum committee chairmanship from a GOP colleague who voted against the state budget, six senators said Friday. Chief Senate budget writer Sen. Tommy Williams polled colleagues on whether they would support removing Sen. Dan Patrick as head of […]

Taking back the Texas Senate

Colin Strother says the Democrats should not overlook opportunities to make gains in the upper chamber of the Legislature. The conventional wisdom is that Democrats need a miracle to pick up any single seat, much less turn the chamber Blue. The numbers show this reaction is based more on assumptions rather than any empirical evidence. […]

Craft beer bills pass the House

Hallelujah! A raft of bills that would dramatically alter the way beer is sold and consumed in Texas sailed through tentative approval from the House on Friday after a lengthy and disputatious process between brewers and beer distributors. If finally approved next week, the legislation will go straight to the governor’s desk without another stop. […]

Payday lending prospects look grim in the House

From the Observer: Late into the night on Monday, 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 […]

Improved payday lending bill passes the Senate

Good news, if it goes anywhere. The Texas Senate approved a bill to regulate short-term lenders on Monday night, a milestone some thought the chamber wouldn’t reach after a personal and divisive floor fight on Thursday. But with the measure’s author, state Sen. John Carona, R-Dallas, calling the highly-altered bill an “ugly baby,” it remains […]

That’ll just about do it for gambling this session

Sen. Carona calls the chances “slim”, but it sounds like slim just left town to me. [Sen. John] Carona, chairman of the Senate’s Business and Commerce Committee, said last week he expected to vote his sweeping gambling bill out of his committee Tuesday. But the morning committee hearing came and went, and Carona declined to […]

Division over the payday loan bill

Quite a heated little fight in the Senate yesterday. 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 […]

More on the potential Coushatta casino

The Houston Press cover story from last week is about the Alabama-Coushatta tribe’s efforts to get a casino again. It covers a lot of the same ground as that Chron story I blogged about on Sunday, but it also reminds us of a very sordid aspect of the original casino and why it was closed. […]

Senate to consider expanded gambling

I didn’t really take it seriously when I heard that Sen. John Carona had filed his own gambling expansion legislation, but it seems it’s got some traction. A proposal from Dallas Republican Sen. John Carona would establish a commission that licenses 21 casinos throughout the state, including three mega-resorts in Bexar, Dallas and Tarrant counties […]

Somewhat improved payday lending bill passes Senate committee

I still don’t think it’s good enough. Breathing new life into a proposal that was doomed by the opposition of consumer groups only last week, a Texas Senate committee approved strengthened legislation Tuesday that imposes restrictions on the payday loan industry that could save desperate Texas consumers some $220 million a year. Sen. John Carona, […]

Payday lending legislation may go nowhere

I can’t say I’m surprised, since Sen. John Carona’s most recent version of a payday reform bill was not met well by advocates for consumers and the poor. Among other things, Carona’s proposal would limit the maximum size of loans to a percentage of the borrower’s monthly income and cap the number of times a […]

Craft beer bills pass out of the Senate

A good day indeed. The Texas Senate voted Monday to give craft brewers and brewpubs new opportunities to sell their beer. “To see that happen was amazing,” said Scott Metzger, a San Antonio brewpub owner who worked with other brewers, legislators and wholesalers in negotiating a compromise. Brock Wagner, owner of Houston’s Saint Arnold Brewing, […]

It’s good to be a payday lender

Bleah. Earlier this legislative session, a chief of staff for a senator noted that the $4 billion Texas payday and auto-title loan industry would soon grow powerful and lucrative enough that the Texas Legislature would be unable to take it on. That time may have already come. At a legislative hearing this morning, state Sen. […]

Why do we give tax breaks to country clubs?

As you know, I’ve talked before about sunsetting tax expenditures. Sens. John Carona and Rodney Ellis have filed a bill to require a periodic review of the many exemptions, exceptions, and other special cases in the tax code, with the aim of requiring legislative approval to renew or extend them. This is a good idea […]

Gambling interests narrow their focus

This is usually how it goes. Let Texans Decide, a pro-gambling organization that is fronted by former state Sen. John Montford, was aligned at the beginning of the 2013 legislative session with big casino interests in a call for full-scale casino gambling in Texas, whether at horse and dog tracks or at yet-to-be-built destination resort […]

Craft beer legislation advances

Moving forward. Legislation authorizing the most significant changes in 20 years to the way beer is bought and sold in Texas passed a key Senate committee Tuesday with broad support. Under terms of the bills, Houston’s Saint Arnold and other Texas craft breweries could sell a limited amount of beer on site and brewpubs like […]

More on sunsetting tax expenditures

I say again, this is a good idea that really needs to happen. The Texas tax code is rich with tax breaks. There are tax breaks for industries relocating to the state and for anyone with an Internet connection. Tax exemptions for groceries and bottled water. Tax holidays for back-to-school supplies. Tax exemptions for golf […]

Craft beer bills get their hearing

From the Trib: The Senate Business and Commerce Committee on Tuesday acted as legislative referee over bills that would allow craft breweries to sell on their premises and self-distribute in Texas, but critics said the legislation would hurt the state’s system of alcohol production and distribution. “It’s two different visions of where the beer industry […]

I knew all this beer harmony couldn’t last forever

We have some legislative beer controversy on our hands. Texas brewers would lose a potential source of capital and some flexibility in negotiating sales under a bill before the state Senate. The Texas Craft Brewers Guild immediately opposed the legislation, as did one of the state’s two major groups representing wholesale distributors – which called […]

Here come the craft beer bills

From Brewed and Never Battered. Senator Kevin Eltife (R-District 1) introduced bi-partisan legislation along with Co-Authors, Senators Brian Birdwell (R-District 22), John Carona (R-District 16), Eddie Lucio (D-District 27), Leticia Van de Putte (D-District 26), Kirk Watson (D-District 14), and John Whitmire (D-District 15) to modernize the state’s alcohol regulatory system to make more competitive Texas’s small, […]

Sunsetting tax expenditures

Sens. John Carona and Rodney Ellis have the right idea. Over the past 18 months, many of our constituents told us they have trouble finding a reliable, accurate and up-to-date source of information on these tax breaks, exemptions and special treatments — often called tax preferences or loopholes. Unfortunately, so do we. The Legislature makes […]

What does it mean to be a “craft” beer?

The Chron has a Q&A with beer aficionado Jenn Litz that raises an interesting question. Q: How are the major breweries responding to the craft beer trend? A: Mostly through the acquisition route. They know the milliennials are drinking craft, and the margins are good with craft beer. The majority of craft beer drinkers either […]

The payday lenders won’t go without a fight

Where there’s a fight, there’s sure to be lots of money. Payday lenders were big spenders in the most recent Texas political campaigns – contributing more than $1.6 million to state races in the 2012 election cycle and giving most generously to Republican committee members who soon will be reviewing proposed reforms for their industry. […]

The payday lenders’ new tricks

You really need to read Forrest Wilder’s story about the latest scheme by payday lenders to skirt regulation. As serendipity would have it, I had stumbled onto the latest mutant creature in the wild and wooly world of Texas payday lending. “What you’ve come across is really important,” said Ann Baddour of Texas Appleseed, an […]

The Lege will take another crack at payday lending

I’m glad to see this, because the Lege definitely left business unfinished last time. About 83 percent of customers in Beaumont and 75 percent in the Houston and San Antonio metro areas are locked in a loan renewal cycle, latest lender reports show. State Sen. Leticia Van de Putte, D-San Antonio, and state Sen. John […]

Carona comes out for equality

I have three things to say about this. In a rare if not unprecedented move for a Republican state legislator in Texas, Dallas Sen. John Carona expressed support for three key pieces of pro-equality legislation on Monday. Carona told Instant Tea he would support bills in Texas to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation and […]

We got those bad road blues

So many bad roads, so little funding to maintain them. Issues including traffic congestion, damage to vehicles from roads needing repair and costs incurred in accidents caused by insufficient safety features on roadways cost drivers in Texas $23 billion annually, according to a study released Tuesday by a national transportation research group. “Texas has fallen […]

Senate slap fight

Hilarious. The quiet race to be the next lieutenant governor of Texas spilled into a nasty email exchange between two senators with aspirations for that post. In an email apparently sent to all of his Senate colleagues — and obtained and published by a political news website, the Quorum Report — Sen. Dan Patrick, R-Houston, […]

Crowdsourcing legislation update

Back in October, I noted an effort by the Texas Senate Committee on Business and Commerce, which is presided over by state Sen. John Carona, to crowdsource its upcoming hearings on payday lending. The Statesman has a report on how things have gone so far. Several times in recent months, the Senate panel and the […]