HB 2266 is a step backward for Texans, democracy, and freedom
Chairman Leach and Members of the House Committee on Judiciary and Civil Jurisprudence, I, Luis Figueroa, Chief of Legislative Affairs on behalf of Every Texan (formerly CPPP) oppose HB 2266. In the absence of state action, local jurisdictions across Texas have listened to the needs of their constituents and responded to calls to pass local ordinances that seek to raise standards for working families, provide for the safety of their constituents and innovate to meet the needs of their communities. Cities and municipalities have passed laws that improve economic security and public health such as non-discrimination ordinances, fair chance hiring policies, payday lending limits, and other ordinances.
HB 2266 is an attack on local democracy.
State officials should ensure basic protections for Texans across the state but allow locally elected officials to set higher standards as their communities see fit. A Baselice and Associates statewide poll of Texas voters conducted in February 2019 found the following: 87% of Texas voters believe their local elected officials are better connected to their communities and should be allowed to pass policies that reflect their community’s needs and values. 83% agreed that local governments pass local ordinances that create strong local economies which contribute to a strong state economy. 82% of Texas voters were bothered that the state legislatures were passing laws that ban all local governments in their state from passing any policies that address economic issues, meaning that local communities are powerless to do anything to regulate a business that might help their local economy or protect workers.
HB 2266 is an attack on Texas consumers
Since payday and auto-title lenders are licensed by the Office of Consumer Credit Commissioner, this legislation would make the payday and auto-title lending ordinances in all 49 cities void and unenforceable. Local officials have worked to protect their communities from predatory lending. Citizens most likely to be impacted, such as women with lower incomes, and racial and ethnic minorities, should have a chance to provide for their families without ending up in an endless cycle of debt.
Rather than banning local governments from ensuring their communities are safe, more equitable, and fair for hard-working Texans, state leaders should be working to pass stronger statewide protections for Texans. In the absence of statewide protections local voters and elected officials should be allowed to reflect the needs and values of their communities.