SB 1530: seeks to prohibit local cities from establishing payday and auto-title lending regulations

Michael Barba
Associate Director of Public Policy

I am testifying in opposition to SB 1530 on behalf of the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops.

SB 1530 seeks to prohibit local cities from establishing payday and auto-title lending regulations. 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.

Moreover, this bill undermines the efforts of Catholic Bishops and pastors across Texas who have partnered with local officials in the face of state inaction on payday and auto-title lending. Local communities have established over 40 local ordinances to rein in abusive lending practices. These ordinances remain on strong legal ground following the 2015 ruling in Ace Cash Express v City of Denton.[1]

We recognize that 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 to curb the abusive practices of payday and auto title lenders. This bill would provide a path by which the industry could strike down the reforms, and again pull working Texans into a cycle of debt. We respectfully urge the committee not to overturn the will of local communities to provide protection to 9.6 million Texans against these predatory loan practices.

[1] Court of Appeals, Fort Worth. ACE Cash Express, Inc. v City of Denton. ACE Cash Express submitted a petition for review to the Texas Supreme Court, which was denied on June 17, 2016.