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Posts Tagged ‘Tom Craddick’

More on the Mayor’s payday lending ordinance

From the Chron story on Mayor Parker’s proposed payday lending ordinance, which is described as having been toughened up from an earlier proposal: Consumer groups had called [City Attorney David] Feldman’s compromise proposal too weak; he said he preferred tougher restrictions but said those were unlikely to pass the Legislature, would invite a lawsuit, and […]

Who will be on the Ten Best and Ten Worst lists?

The Trib starts the speculation. Texas Monthly‘s list of the best and worst legislators of the 83rd session doesn’t come out until June 12, but why should Paul Burka and his colleagues have all the fun? Use this interactive to select your own personal best and worst list. Click or drag to put up to […]

House debates its budget

As you know, yesterday was Budgetpalooza in the House. The House budget puts more money into public education and less into health and human services than a Senate proposal that passed the upper chamber last month. “No one is or will be entirely happy with this bill, but there is something for everyone this year,” […]

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 […]

What can you get for $10,000?

You can now get a college degree – at some colleges, in some programs, if you’re lucky. Many were skeptical when Gov. Rick Perry last year challenged Texas public colleges and universities to offer degrees costing no more than $10,000. Now 14 institutions have embraced the concept, which Perry sees as a promising way to […]

Simpson in, Hughes out to challenge Straus for Speaker

It started with an announcement that Rep. David Simpson would make the Speaker’s race a three-way, which I assure you sounds dirtier than it actually is. Rep. David Simpson, R-Longview, filed papers to run for Speaker of the House, he said in a letter to colleagues Monday morning. He joins Rep. Bryan Hughes, R-Mineola, in […]

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 […]

The CFPB and payday lending

This ought to be good. Picking his first public fight with the banking industry, Washington’s top consumer cop, Richard Cordray, promised on Thursday that his examiners will scrutinize a handful of big banks that make high-cost loans. Inspection of major financial institutions will be part of a broader review of payday lenders, he said at […]

Payday lenders face new regulation

New regulations aimed at curbing the excesses of payday lenders are now in effect, but they will not be the last word on the subject. Proponents of the new regulations passed by lawmakers during the 2011 session say they’re needed because the practice of offering short-term, high-interest loans to consumers has led thousands of Texans […]

It’s news but it’s not new

Before the Labor Day weekend, Sen. Dan Patrick said something that was considered to be newsworthy even though he and others have been saying it for years. A Republican state senator calling for a tax increase is clearly in the man-bites-dog media category. When that senator is tea party champion Dan Patrick, R-Houston, it’s in […]

Texting while driving ban passed

Somehow, this managed to happen as everything else was going on at the end of the session. The Senate voted for a statewide ban on texting while driving Wednesday night, as an amendment added to another bill. Sen. Judith Zaffirini, D-Laredo, added the bill as an amendment to a bill that would allow retired peace […]

Lege gets set to tackle payday lending

The good news is that the Lege is ready to tackle legislation dealing with the scourge of payday lenders. The bad news can be summarized by the following remarks in this Chron story. This week, State Rep. Vicki Truitt, R-Keller, will ask the Texas House to approve a package of three bills written as part […]

Payday lending bills advance

Good. Legislation by Sen. Wendy Davis of Fort Worth that would cap fees and interest on loans made by payday and car title lenders was approved Thursday by the Senate Business and Commerce Committee. The bill, which now heads to the full Senate, has strong support from a coalition of consumer and faith-based groups, who […]

House passes texting while driving ban

Put that phone down and drive. This is no LOL matter: Texting while driving could soon be prohibited statewide. The House preliminarily passed a bill [Thursday] that singles out “text-based communication” — texting, instant messaging or e-mailing — while driving as a punishable traffic offense. Using other applications, like GPS, Google or Facebook, on a […]

It’s way past time to regulate payday lenders

From the Observer: As an industry, when you’ve got Tom Craddick, consumer groups, the Midland County District Attorney and Bible-quoting Baptists arrayed against you, most likely you’re facing a serious come-to-Jesus moment. Today, a House committee heard hours of impassioned testimony in favor of legislation that would curb Texas’ Wild West payday and auto-title lending […]

Another look ahead at redistricting

The short version of this Chron story is basically “Republicans would like to control every aspect of the redistricting process, while Democrats would at least like to win the Governor’s office and maintain some semblance of parity in the House”. A few points: “The governor’s race is critical to redistricting,” declares U.S. Rep. Kevin Brady, […]

The DeLay trial finally gears up

OMG, I’m almost as excited about this as I am about the World Series. Lawyers in the Tom DeLay conspiracy trial have subpoenaed a who’s who of witnesses, from associates of disgraced Washington, D.C., lobbyist Jack Abramoff to former Texas Speaker Tom Craddick, for the biggest political trial in Austin in years. The witness list […]

Chisum running for Speaker

We may have ourselves another Speaker’s race this January. State Rep. Warren Chisum is delivering a letter to colleagues today saying he will run for House speaker next year, challenging Speaker Joe Straus, his fellow Republican. He says the speaker should be elected from the majority of his own party. It was mostly Democrats who […]

Interview with State Rep. Armando Walle

State Rep. Armando Walle is finishing his first term representing HD140 in northeast Harris County. Walle won a contested primary in 2008 against Craddick D Kevin Bailey, which helped contribute to the downfall of the former Speaker. At 32 years old, he’s one of the youngest members of the House, but he had plenty of […]

Interview with State Rep. Jessica Farrar

State Rep. Jessica Farrar has represented me in the Lege since I moved into the Heights in 1997; she was first elected in 1994, and is now the longest-serving Latina in the House. I have always admired her progressive values and her willingness to speak out when needed. She was one of the first Democrats […]

Interview with State Rep. Sylvester Turner

State Rep. Sylvester Turner is one of the senior members of the Houston-area delegation, having served HD139 since he was first elected in 1988. He doesn’t have a campaign webpage, so let me refer you to his Texas Tribune biography for a brief summary of his career. He was Speaker Pro Tempore under Tom Craddick […]

Let’s call it what it is

I do not understand the resistance to renaming the Texas Railroad Commission to reflect what it actually does. The Railroad Commission is the state’s chief regulator of oil and gas production. The agency no longer deals with railroads yet still regularly receives calls from Texans about train schedules. In 2005, when its last shred of […]

Berman to challenge Straus

I can’t say I’ve been thrilled with Joe Straus as Speaker of the House. He’s worlds better than Tom Craddick was, which still isn’t saying that much, but he hasn’t been all that friendly to his largely Democratic group of supporters. Which I expected to some extent, but still. Having said all that, I’ll take […]

An early look at redistricting

The House Redistricting Committee is holding some hearings around the state in advance of the 2011 Census reports, and if there’s one thing we know already, it’s that West Texas will be losing influence next year. The state population increased from 20.8 million in 2000 to an estimated 24.8 million in 2009, or 18.8 percent, […]

Edwards drops lawsuit to challenge election result in HD146

Former State Rep. Al Edwards, who had filed a lawsuit challenging his electoral loss in the HD146 primary to Rep.-elect Borris Miles, has now dropped the suit, which should clear Miles’ path to Austin. Miles’ lawyer, Randall “Buck” Wood, of Austin, said he received notice Thursday afternoon that Edwards had dropped his suit, but he […]

The question to ask

From State Rep. Mike Villarreal’s blog, explaining the benefit of the Affordable Care Act for Texans: Beyond this next year, many of the six million uninsured Texans will have health insurance, improving their health and financial stability, and saving all of us money. Middle class and low-income Texans who don’t have insurance through their jobs […]

Fixing school finance, the neverending story

Work on dealing with the state’s revenue shortfall and what it will mean for the schools is already underway. Senate Education Committee Chairwoman Florence Shapiro, co-chair of the 15-member panel, acknowledged that the funding system is in trouble and needs change – particularly with a massive revenue shortfall facing the Legislature when it convenes in […]

We’re not likely to have a Speaker’s race

Jason Embry makes the case that the start of the next legislative session will be much calmer than the previous one, and it’s hard to argue. Republican Joe Straus finished his first session as speaker of the Texas House well-positioned to return for a second. His chances of remaining speaker seem only to have improved […]

Two Trib primary stories

The Trib has done a series of good, informative stories on primary battles across the state, which I recommend you read. Two of their most recent are especially worthwhile: First is HD43, in which freshman Dem Rep. Tara Rios Ybarra is being challenged by JM Lozano. Lozano’s strategy is to label Rios Ybarra a “red […]

HD146 overview

Here’s the Chron on the one local Democratic legislative primary, Round Three of Al Edwards versus Borris Miles. Edwards has represented District 146 since 1979 — except for 2006-08, when Miles won the heavily black district. It has some of Harris County’s poorest neighborhoods, including much of Third Ward. The 71-year-old Edwards, a lay minister […]

McCall not running for re-election

State Rep. Brian McCall (R, Plano), one of the Republicans that helped oust Tom Craddick as Speaker, will not run for re-election next year. McCall, 51, said he is looking at other opportunities because it is time to try something new after 19 years in the House. “When I took my first oath of office, […]

TPJ files complaint with Ethics Commission against Craddick

Texans for Public Justice has filed a complaint with the Texas Ethics Commission against former Speaker Tom Craddick, alleging that he obfuscated campaign donations made to several Democratic supporters of his prior to the 2008 primaries. From their press release (PDF): Jobs PAC reported that it received $250,000 from Tom Craddick’s campaign committee on January […]

Kino Flores not running for re-election

The March primary season just got a little more interesting. Embattled state Rep. Ismael “Kino” Flores announced Tuesday that he will not seek re-election to an eighth term in 2010. Citing recent indictments handed down against him, the legislator said in a statement that he must concentrate on clearing his name and spending time with […]

Edwards gets a primary challenger in HD146

For the third straight election cycle, there will be a contested Democratic primary in HD146. Harvey Kronberg reports. Billy Briscoe, who served as Paul Hobby’s travel aide during his campaign for Comptroller in 1998, says that he is running in the Democratic primary. Briscoe worked for Public Strategies after leaving the Hobby campaign, representing telecomm […]