HB 3899: Don’t override local zoning ordinances

Testimony provided by Jennifer Allmon

On its surface, this bill violates the Catholic principal of subsidiarity, which notes that governmental decisions are best made by those closest to those impacted by the decisions. In political terms, this might be translated as legislation through consent of the governed.

We recognize it is legitimate to protect the livelihood of working Texans, but it is precisely this concern which moves us to oppose this bill.

The TCCB has worked for years in partnership with local officials and community organizations to curb the abusive practices of payday and auto title lenders. To date more than 40 cities have established regulations to reform the industry and protect borrowers, many of these with the direct and active involvement of the local Catholic bishop. Cardinal DiNardo and Bishops Olson, Guillory, Mulvey, Vasquez, Flores, and Zurek have all been personally involved in the passage of payday lending ordinances.

The passage of this bill would directly undermine their work. These ordinances remain on strong legal ground following the 2015 ruling in Ace Cash Express v City of Denton. Despite that, this bill would provide a path by which the payday lending industry could strike down the reforms, and again pull Texans into a cycle of debt.

We respectfully request Rep. Springer continue to work with local faith leaders to maintain the protections our pastors have fought for in their local communities.