Dispatches from the Dome

The bill would require lawmakers to disclose any government contracts in which they or any family members own a majority stake.

Capriglione was chastised in the House State Affairs committee for the bill by senior members, who demanded to know if he thought they were unethical and accused him of carrying out a "vendetta" against the popular former Rep. Vicki Truitt, who lost to Capriglione in the Republican primary last year.

Without explaining how a person might carry out a vendetta against someone over whom they were victorious, the committee members all but promised Capriglione that his legislation would not see the light of day.

But a groundswell of support for Capriglione from taxpayers groups and backers on social media, who say his bill is good policy long overdue, has buoyed the freshman lawmaker. Now he appears to be reaching a compromise to get his bill out of committee, though his bill still faces multiple roadblocks before it could become law.

Addressing bigger issues

The House and Senate have begun addressing some of the biggest priorities of the session, with the Senate passing its version of the 2014–15 budget and the House readying for debates next week on a state water plan and public school accountability testing—both named top issues by Gov. Rick Perry, Lt. Gov. David Dewhurst and House Speaker Joe Straus.

Horseshoe Bay Republican Sen. Troy Fraser leads the Senate Natural Resources Committee and is carrying the Senate's version of the water bill, which seeks to ensure that the state has funded water projects during the next 50 years.

The bill uses $2 billion from the state's rainy day fund to create the State Water Implementation Fund for Texas. The House version hits the House floor next week, and Fraser will then shepherd the issue through the Senate.

Drawing back the curtain

Rep. Eddie Rodriguez, D–Austin, and Fort Worth Sen. Wendy Davis have filed joint legislation intended to unveil the third-party lenders who bankroll payday lending operations they say take advantage of low-income people.

The bill would allow the Office of the Consumer Credit Commissioner to disclose the names of the secret financial beneficiaries of these loans.

"We've been trying to find out who the big-money interests are that benefit from these lenders' predatory practices," Rodriguez said. "Until we know who is really behind the curtain, we won't make legislative progress to rein in the worst abuses."

Quote of the week

"Plastic bags were banned in Austin. I can see the icecaps already growing back." —Rep. Giovanni Capriglione, R-Southlake, on his Facebook page


Which Wich is coming soon to Cypress. (Courtesy Which Wich)
Which Wich plans to bring new location to Cypress

The shop will open by the end of 2019.

The Texas Department of Transportation has announced several lane closures planned in the Cy-Fair area this weekend. (Courtesy Fotolia)
7 Hwy. 290 lane closures affecting Cy-Fair drivers this weekend, Nov. 15-17

The Texas Department of Transportation has announced the following lane closures planned along Hwy. 290 this weekend.

Aldi opened its newest location on Rayford Road in Spring on Nov. 14.
Aldi opens new Spring store on Rayford Road

The grocery chain marked the launch with a grand opening ceremony Nov. 14.

KDS Insurance relocated from FM 1774 to 17902 FM 1488, Building A, Magnolia, on Sept. 1. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
KDS Insurance relocates in Magnolia

KDS Insurance relocated from FM 1774 to 17902 FM 1488, Building A, Magnolia, on Sept. 1.

Big Z’s Pizza House & Brew opened in Katy. (Courtesy Big Z’s Pizza House & Brew)
Big Z’s Pizza House & Brew opens in Katy area

The restaurant’s menu is made from scratch and includes Chicago fare

Hope Center Houston
Hope Center Houston to celebrate new location with ribbon-cutting ceremony, building blessing Nov. 14

Hope Center Houston will celebrate its grand opening in its new location at 821 Peakwood Drive, Houston with a ribbon-cutting ceremony and building blessing Nov. 14 from 4-5 p.m.

House Bill 2439
Friendswood reacts to new development requirements caused by House Bill 2439

Areas such as Downtown Friendswood are affected by House Bill 2439.

Fire truck and numbers
Pearland opens fire station, improves response times

The Pearland Fire Department has transformed from a volunteer department to a fully staffed and growing department over the course of 12 years, and the city is still preparing for more changes.

Meyergrove Apartments detention pond
Harris County Flood Control district buys former Meyerland apartment site for detention

After enduring multiple floods, the demolished Meyergrove Apartment property located at North Braeswood and I-610 could soon become a flood mitigation project in the Brays Bayou watershed.

The Shenandoah City Council denied a permit appeal Nov. 13. (photo by Hannah Zedaker/Community Impact Newspaper).
Shenandoah council denies developer's permit appeal for five houses

The Shenandoah City Council voted to deny a permit appeal for a new residential development coming into the city.

Nestle Tollhouse locations feature coffee drinks and bakery items. (Courtesy Nestle Tollhouse)
Nestle Tollhouse under new ownership at Hwy. 290 and Spring Cypress Road

The new owner said he has nearly 20 years of experience with the franchise.

Clayton Dean, Cole Greenberg, Luke Thompson, Drue Hirth, Elliott Jones and JT Tackett signed letters of intent Nov. 13 at Cypress Christian School. (Courtesy Cypress Christian School)
Cypress Christian School holds first National Signing Day event

Cypress Christian School seniors were celebrated on National Signing Day as they committed to participating in athletics as college freshmen in 2020-21.

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