News Stories

FWST: Rep. Turner files bill to regulate trampoline parks

BY ELEANOR DEARMAN UPDATED FEBRUARY 14, 2023 4:22 PM A North Texas lawmaker is pushing for legislation to regulate trampoline parks for safety following a Star-Telegram investigation in 2022 that found hundreds of injuries. Rep. Chris Turner, an Arlington Democrat, on Monday filed two bills related to trampoline parks, which are neither inspected nor regulated […]

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It’s Time to Reform the Predatory Lending Industry

Interest and fees trap low-income families in a cycle of debt | 850 vehicles a week repossessed by auto-title lenders | Legislature must act

BY CHRIS TURNER
Special to the Star-Telegram

Can you imagine taking out a $500 loan and it costing more than $1,100 to pay it back?

Every day in the Fort Worth-Arlington metro area, many of our neighbors are doing just that and paying up to 484 percent in interest and fees on small, short-term “payday” and auto-title loans.

These absurd interest rates are completely legal in Texas, due to the inaction of the Legislature, which refuses to pass meaningful reforms to rein in what is largely an unregulated industry.

As a result, payday and auto-title lenders are allowed to charge unlimited interest and fees, effectively trapping low-income families in a cycle of debt.

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State Representative Chris Turner

The State of the State

This morning, Governor Greg Abbott delivered his first “State of the State” address to a joint session of the House and Senate. If you’ve never witnessed this address, it’s very similar to the “State of the Union,” but focused on the issues impacting Texas, while giving direction to the Legislature.

After touting our state’s successes, Governor Abbott focused on five emergency items, issues he wants the Legislature to address sooner than later. The issues include, education, transportation, border security, and ethics.

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Turner supports bill to create fund for Texas water, offers amendment to keep future bidding process transparent

Dallas Morning News | March 27, 2013

AUSTIN — Paving the way for Texas to finally implement its plan to ensure adequate water supplies, the House voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to create a huge revolving loan account for community projects and conservation.

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Star Telegram: “Double dipping” bill worthy of consideration

Last week, I filed my first bill of the session, HB 413, which will ban the “double-dipping” of a state pension and salary at the same time by elected officials. You may remember this issue from Governor Perry’s run for President when it was revealed that the governor has “retired” from state service in order to begin collecting a state pension – even though he was still on the job and collecting his regular salary.

It’s important to note that Governor Perry is almost certainly not the only elected official who is taking advantage of this loophole; he just happens to be the one we know about due to financial disclosures associated with his presidential campaign.

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Turner files bill aimed at Perry’s double-dipping

Rep. Chris Turner, D-Grand Prairie, filed a bill that would prevent future state elected officials from drawing their retirement while still accepting their regular salaries.

Just over a year ago, Gov. Rick Perry applied for his retirement funds and began drawing an extra $92,000 annually from the state in addition to his $133,000 salary.

The retirement only came to light after Perry filed the federal papers to run for president, necessitating his declaring his income sources.

“Our state leaders frequently tout Texas as a national example for fiscal responsibility,” Turner said. “This legislation helps accomplish that goal by not allowing elected officials to get paid twice for one job.”

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Turner Hopes Legislature Can Tackle Issues Pragmatically

BY ANNA M. TINSLEY

This year’s Legislature will have a different look and feel. New faces will make up nearly a quarter of the Texas House, and many government watchers believe that this could be one of the most conservative sessions ever in Austin. Five of Tarrant County’s seven new House members are ranked among the top 12 freshman lawmakers expected to be the most conservative in the 83rd legislative session.

Rep.-elect Chris Turner, D-Grand Prairie, was the only local House freshman not to make Hailey’s list.

He said he hopes that both parties can work together.

“The Republicans no longer hold a supermajority, and as a result, there will be a greater need for bipartisanship and compromise,” Turner said. “It is my hope that we can tackle the issues facing our state pragmatically, not based on political rhetoric.”Our state is changing very rapidly, and all the members must take the needs of the changing population into account.”

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Turner Calls for a Bipartisan Approach to Texas Issues

BY DAVE MONTGOMERY

The selection of a speaker will be one of the first orders of business in the 150-member House on Tuesday when lawmakers open their 140-day biennial session to deal with state spending and host of other issues.

Although Straus is favored to easily retain his post in the GOP-controlled House, Simpson’s challenge perpetuates an element of conservative dissent that has periodically dogged the speaker through his two terms in the leadership post. A threatened conservative uprising in 2011 evaporated when Straus’ two challengers withdrew.

Rep.-elect Chris Turner of Grand Prairie, a Democrat who will represent the new district in east Tarrant County, says he plans to cast his vote for the incumbent speaker and is calling for a more bipartisan approach in the Republican-controlled House to deal with issues such as health care, education and transportation.

“I think Straus is clearly going to be elected speaker again'” he said.

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Turner: Congress Should Close Gun Show Loophole

BY ANNA M. TINSLEY AND SCOTT NISHIMURA

Each year countless guns change hands at thousands of guns shows nationwide — including quite a few in North Texas.

But the way those guns are sold could soon change if President Barack Obama and gun control advocates succeed in closing the “gun show loophole” that has been hotly debated for years as criminal justice officials explore ways to keep weapons out of the wrong hands.

… [S]tate Rep.-elect Chris Turner, D-Grand Prairie, said he believes closing the loophole is reasonable.

“I think we should have background checks for all gun purchases,” Turner said. “I think the American public expects that. We want to know when someone purchases a gun, there’s no criminal or other history that would prevent them from buying it.”

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