Texas Weekly Update

We are very pleased that the Sonogram Bill (SB 16) passed the Senate on Thursday, February 17. Thank you to everyone who contacted your Senator to ask for his or her support. The bill will now go to the House, and we will keep you up-to-date on its progress. Also this week, Texans from across the state, including some TCC staff, participated in a legislative advocacy day as part of the Catholic Social Ministry Gathering, which advocated on behalf of
the poor and vulnerable in our nation and around the world. We'll post a news article with more information on the Gathering next week. 

Bishop Vásquez, Bishop of the Diocese of Austin, will be testifying in support of SB 253 next Tuesday, February 22. This bill closes the loophole that allows payday and auto title lenders to charge extreme interest rates which create a painful cycle of dependence that traps financially vulnerable families throughout Texas. See below for an action alert regarding this bill that contains information on how you can help support our advocacy efforts by making calls to the committee.  Next week we will also be providing testimony regarding budget cuts to the chaplaincy program. 

Please Update your Profile: We are again asking that you please submit your House and Senate district information to us by email or by updating your profile. If you don't know that information, you can look it up online here. Alternatively, you may also provide your address to us via email or update your address in your profile. Providing this information is valuable to you, because we can customize your email alerts to include your legislators' names and contact information. It is also helpful for us because we often need to target specific legislators, and this information lets us know if you are a constituent of these legislators. Thank you to everyone who has provided us with this information.

Action Alert: Support Fair Lending Practices

The payday and auto title loan business model is designed to trap people in debt. More than 75% of payday loans are taken out within 2 weeks of the previous loan in order to fill the financial gap caused by the loan itself. Regulatory standards are already in place for these lenders, but payday and auto title loan operators take advantage of a loophole in Texas law to avoid that regulation.  
SB 253 is a bill that the Texas Catholic Conference supports because it closes the loophole that allows payday and auto title lenders to operate without following the regulations outlined in Chapter 342 of the Finance Code. It will be heard in the Senate Business and Commerce committee hearing on Feb. 22 at 8:00 a.m. Bishop Vásquez, Bishop of the Diocese of Austin, will be testifying on this bill in committee. Calls of support  to committee members are critical.   

Click here to see all TCC action alerts.
Sonogram Bill Passed by the Senate