Archive for March 25th, 2009
State Sen. Eliot Shapleigh responded to a Consumer Service Alliance of Texas press release earlier this week which accused him of using, “inflammatory, shameless and blatantly incorrect rhetoric to try to sway public opinion about short-term loan services in Texas.” [link]
Shapleigh said: “CSAT is a predatory lender lobby group. CSAT has one job: to guarantee 1,100 percent interest rates and obscene profits. All across Texas, CSAT and other predatory lobby friends have funded political campaigns to keep profits in their pockets. Predatory lenders have lost in Ohio, Georgia, Oregon and North Carolina, and will lose in Texas once people find out what they do.”
House Speaker Joe Straus said that Texas would not change the Top 10 percent rule for public universities if it were not possible to do so in a way that did not adversely affect minorities.
“I think if we don’t feel that is possible then we shouldn’t move forward on these changes. I think we ought to be sensitive to minority enrollment,” said Straus.
A bill passed the Senate on Tuesday that would allow Texas’ 35 public universities to cap the top 10 percent rule at between 50 and 60 percent of an incoming freshman class. The bill, if it became law, would expire in 2015. Currently, students who graduate in the top 10 percent of their high-school class are automatically awarded a place at their top pick university within the University of Texas system.
But Straus believes that, with the number of freshman who are now admitted under the rule in the 80th percentile, something needs to be done.
“I certainly favor taking action this session on that issue…Very soon I think there is going to be some forced changes. What do you do with that 100 percent plus one student, which is rapidly coming? We might as well deal with it now,” said Straus.
On Wednesday, state Sen. Eliot Shapleigh responded to the rule change:
“Top Ten Percent works well. At UT-Austin, 93 percent of all El Paso students who were admitted there in 2008 were admitted under Top Ten. Why change what works?”
You can read Shapleigh’s full response to the bill’s passage of the Senate after the jump.
–Ben Wright Read the rest of this entry »
On Monday, two bills relating to Tigua gaming will be given public hearing. HB 1308, which would authorize Tigua gaming under Texas law, will be heard in the Criminal Jurisprudence subcommittee on Criminal Procedure. HJR 108, which would amend the constitution to allow Tigua gaming will be heard in the Committee on Border and Intergovernmental affairs.
Both bills were filed by state Rep Norma Chavez but state Rep Joe Moody is a member of the Border Committee and chairs the subcommittee on Criminal procedure. Check back with NPT later today for more analysis.
News release from the office of U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes:
CHAIRMAN SILVESTRE REYES TO JOIN CHAIRMAN JOHN KERRY IN EL PASO
Senate Committee on Foreign Relations To Hold Field Hearing on Mexico’s Drug-Related Violence at UTEP
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Silvestre Reyes (TX-16), Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, will join Senator John Kerry, Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee at a field hearing on Mexico’s drug-related violence. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing entitled, “U.S.-Mexico Border Violence,” will take place this Monday, March 30, at 8:00 a.m. at the Thomas Rivera Center at the University of Texas at El Paso.
The Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce approved two resolutions on major issues facing the community. In regards to impact fees, the chamber adopted a flat “no.” As for the issue of the stormwater utility and the PSB management of it, the resolution was a little more nuanced — while it supports the PSB maintaining control, it also calls for “a major adjustment to the credits given for on-site ponding using a scientific basis for calculation” and asks that “in light of present economic conditions, the El Paso Water Utilities Public Service Board consider extending the schedule of the Capital Improvements Plan and reduce rates accordingly.”
The Consumer Service Alliance of Texas, CSAT which represents many small loan businesses across the state, accused Senators Eliot Shapleigh and Wendy Davis of, “using inflammatory, shameless and blatantly incorrect rhetoric to try to sway public opinion about short-term loan services in Texas.”
Shapleigh and Davis held a press conference on Monday about combating what they call “payday” or “predatory” lenders, including CSOs, many of which belong to CSAT.
Read what Shapleigh and Davis said Monday here. Read the full press release frm CSAT after the jump.
–Ben Wright Read the rest of this entry »