Monday, the Senate passed a bill that includes tough new regulations on short-term loans commonly known as payday loans. Bill author John Carona, of Dallas, said that some lenders are squeezing their clients for exorbitant fees. "It's important to consumers because in some instances the reported APRs on the products exceed one thousand percent," Carona said of his bill. "I don't believe any of us can feel good about that." His bill was amended 15 times on the floor. After all the changes, the final bill would cap annual percentage rates on car title and payday loans at 36 percent. It would also permit debtors to pay back partial amounts, rather than requiring that they can only pay the full amount or nothing. Additionally, it would give clients access to civil suits against short-term lenders that violate state laws, and would permit the state to fine companies who break regulations. That bill now heads over to the House for consideration. In committee action this week, the Senate Transportation Committee looked at a bill that would ban texting and driving. Forty states and many Texas cities already have laws in place that permit police officers to ticket people who text while driving, but the only statewide restriction applies to school zones. HB 63, sponsored by Sen. Judith Zaffirini, of Laredo, would make it illegal to use a mobile device for text-based communication while driving. That bill remains pending before the committee. The Senate will reconvene at 2 p.m. Monday, April 29.