The Tribune reported that the Senate has passed a payday lending bill that actually has some teeth in it. Unfortunately, that bill has not what came out of the meat grinder of politics a few days ago. The result was, by Senator Carona and LGov Dewhurst, was a bill that not only eliminated the tough local regulations in cities like Austin & Dallas, while doing nothing to cap annual interest, which sometimes exceeds 1000%.
That is, until Steve Mostyn got a hold of the news. According to a Chron column, after overhearing the lobbyist celebrating how they had pulled one over the public, Mostyn returned to Houston and blew the scandal wide open, and now, I am happy to report a good payday lending bill has been amended and passed in the Senate.
The Trib article indicates that this new bill does not overrule local regulations, and does set a max interest rate (I heard it is 30-something%). The bill passed 24-6 (you can guess opposed), and now heads to the House, where passage will be quite an uphill battle.
Eye on Williamson has more.