Dallas Observer: John Carona’s Payday Lending Reform Crashed into a Wall of Lobbyists Today

April 18, 2013

If you want an idea of the near stranglehold payday lenders have on the Texas Legislature, the Senate floor was the place to be today. That’s where Senator John Carona watched as his payday lending bill was picked apart by colleagues, many of whom were taking calls from industry lobbyists as he spoke.  Carona’s bill was already a mere shadow of what consumer advocates would like. There’s no hard cap on interest rates, for example, and, while it limits loan size and imposes a waiting period between loans, the restrictions are soft. Worse, the law would strip cities like Dallas of the right to pass tougher rules.  Lawmakers added a half dozen amendments today to strengthen the bill by, among other things, reducing the ban on municipal enforcement to two years, so that the end product at least represented a step in the right direction. Then, the lobbyists got to work in earnest.  Read more here.