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 aired last night is a faint shadow of the Senate bill, it got a rough treatment from six of the seven committee members.
Only the chairman and author of the bill, Rep. Mike Villarreal (D-San Antonio) evidenced any interest in cracking down on the industry.
“I think the tone of the committee was that clearly there was no support for what Villarreal put out there, at least right now,” said Ann Baddour of Texas Appleseed.
What happens next is anyone’s guess but it is possible that payday reform is dead for the session.