A bill that would restrict abortions and likely prompt a test of Roe vs. Wade is now on the fast track in the Texas legislature. Andrea Zelinsky of Texas monthly joins us with details of a fetal heartbeat bill picking up momentum in the Texas legislature. Also Lauren McGaughy of the Dallas Morning News with more hot water for the state’s attorney general. Plus a drop in people seeking vaccinations in west Texas. What comes next? We’ll explore. And a central Texas mother and her daughter on their options should a new bill pass defining gender affirming treatments as child abuse. Those stories and much more today on the Texas Standard:
Where’d the 11 billion go? Now there’s a plan for federal pandemic aid money for Texas public schools. Emily Donaldson of the Dallas Morning News education lab on how badly needed federal aid will be distributed to Texas public schools. Also it’s election day tomorrow and one of the most talked about ballot measures in the state will be decided in Lubbock. How that city found itself at the center of the debate over abortion restrictions. Those stories and much more today on the Texas Standard:
From guns to immigration, green jobs and more, an historic speech by President Biden with big implications for Texas and the nation. Todd Gillman of the Dallas Morning News with more on the President’s speech to congress. Also a supreme court case on how far public schools can go in trying to control off-campus speech by students. And the outgoing mayor of Fort Worth on policing, the pandemic, and changes to the city she’s governed for the past decade. Plus upsetting the Apple cart: facebook pushing back big time over a new feature on iPhones. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:
A downturn in travel. Layoffs in the energy industry, struggling small businesses, what’s it all add up to? Comptroller Glenn Hegar delivers some grim news about the Texas budget to lawmakers. But there’s a bit of a surprise, too: the news is not as bad as some feared. We’ll talk with him. Also, the after effects of COVID-19: could they linger even after the pandemic has passed? What known and isn’t about longer term health effects. And decades after they took off from Texas bases during WWII, the women with silver wings get overdue recognition…their story and much more today on the Texas Standard:
As officials confirm the killing of a soldier missing for months from Fort Hood, demands for the military to do more about sexual harassment, we’ll have details. Also, health officials in Texas concerned that finding a vaccine for COVID-19 may not be the final obstacle to a return to normal. Now some are speaking out about misinformation on vaccines. And many Texans are getting tested for the Coronavirus, but not all are getting their results. A firsthand account and what it says about the coordination of efforts in Texas to curb the spread of the virus. Those stories and much more today on the Texas Standard:
Despite hundreds of suspected positives for COVID-19 at Texas nursing homes, the state is refusing to release detailed data. Why the secrecy? We’ll take a closer look. Plus, nearly 1 in 3 apartment renters didn’t pay anything to their landlord April 1st. What happens next depends on where you live. Some tips for tenants from an expert. Also eliminating the insanity defense, unconstitutional? You might be surprised by the answer. And our go to expert from UT Health San Antonio answers your COVID-19 questions. All of that and more today on the Texas Standard:
Despite concerns over bias, judges rule Texas can remake its political maps without Federal oversight. We’ll take a look at what that means moving forward. Also, how did Texas lawmakers on both sides of the aisle try to score points in Wednesdays Mueller hearings? We’ll take a closer look. And danger people at work: on the job deaths on the rise in Texas. Plus Texans getting prosecuted for helping undocumented migrants. And the legacy of Freddy Fender, your latest weekend trip tips and so much more today on the Texas Standard:
The President promises millions to be deported starting next week as he gets set to launch his reelection campaign. The pledge comes amid record numbers of apprehensions at the border and as he prepares for his first big campaign rally of the 2020 election cycle. Empty politics, or the launch of a major new enforcement action? We’ll explore. Also- the best lawmakers in Texas, and the worst too. In the aftermath of the 86th Legislative session Texas Monthly issues its long awaited biennial rankings. Plus the rest of what’s what this Tuesday and more today on the Texas Standard:
You know the feeling, you need to use an app or a piece of software and, suddenly, you encounter a big, legal document asking for your consent. That was the inspiration for this Typewriter Rodeo poem.
The story of a same sex marriage, and a wedding cake that a christian baker wouldn’t bake. There are implications for Texas, we’ll explore. Also, did you realize that as of last week, we are now just one state away from necessary number of states ratifying the Equal Rights Amendment? But there’s a catch. We’ll explore what could be a profound moment in American history and why it may or may not come to pass. And people say stupid things online and on Twitter, with or without the help of Ambien. And as sure as the sun rises come calls for retribution. But is there a way to apologize and do it right? We’ll explore. And Houston, we have a problem, and it’s name is Elon Musk? Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:
A Foster care system so dangerous to kids, its been ruled unconstitutional. Should the Feds be permitted to order a fix for Texas? We’ll have the latest. Also, after parkland everyone seems to have an opinion on whether there should be tighter controls on guns. But some Texans with a personal stake in the matter say they don’t have a seat at the table, and they’re demanding a hearing. We’ll hear why. Also, Sprint and T-Mobile want to get married. If anyone has reasons why these two should not be wed, it might be Texas-based AT&T who’s fighting its own anti-trust battle at the moment. We’ll hear why that might matter to you. Plus a surprise endorsement in the Governor’s race and so much more today on the Texas Standard:
Of the 19 items on the governor’s agenda 17 are already headed to the Texas senate for a full vote. The House: that’s another story, we’ll have details. Also, how did it happen? The deaths of at least 9 locked in the back of a tractor trailer in San Antonio this weekend raise concerns about the persistence of human trafficking in Texas. And government by and for the donors? Why watchdogs are worried this special session is becoming a spigot for campaign contributions. And the appeal of California vs. the lure of Texas: the migration patterns are clear, but what might this mean in political terms? Those stories and lots more today on the Texas Standard:
Stuck and frustrated. Several immigrant families are being held in Texas Detention Centers far longer than law allows, we’ll explore. Also, Texas Lawmakers left Austin without making real changes to the state’s barely constitutional school finance system. Coming up: what they did do this session when it comes to education. And a Supreme Court ruling over printer cartridges affects every American consumer. We’ll explain. Plus, did political infighting just leave several Texas agencies in limbo? We’ll hear from an insider. Those stories and a whole lot more today on the Texas Standard:
The price of disagreement in Texas: it comes to 5 point 3 billion dollars. But what does the chasm between the house and senate add up to? We’ll explore. Also with the nation getting set for an inauguration, hundreds of thousands of women prepare to go marching on Washington. But to what effect? We’ll explore the power of a mode of protest. And Venezuela scraps old paper for new. Hardly a solution to hyperinflation, but might it cause more problems than it solves? Also a teen pregnancy video contest, not another MTV reality show, but an exercise to address a real world challenge facing Texas. Those stories and lots more today on the Texas Standard:
Does the voting rights act still protect minorities? A working-class Texas town could be at the heart of a new test for the landmark law, we’ll explore. Also for decades, Texas has permitted vaccination exemptions for reasons of conscience. We’ll hear about a plan to change that. And if they build it, will they come? Selling state planners on a “prairie to port superhighway” thru Texas. And cattle rustlers beware: the big money’s on a new outlaw …time to lock up your beehives? And in south Texas scores of pelicans falling from the sky directly onto traffic below…the mystery…and much more today on the Texas Standard:
What happens now? On the day after an historic vote with the potential to shift national direction, whither the Lone Star State? We’ll explore. From immigration to energy policy, women’s health to guns, the tectonic shift at the federal level will reverberate across Texas. We’ll examine the likely ripple effects. A Trump administration promises to recalibrate our relationship with the rest of the world, beginning with Mexico and the border. How is the demographic majority in Texas talking about what lies ahead? And a single digit republican presidential victory in Texas–did last night’s results affect our political map? All that and much more coming up on the Texas Standard:
A so called bathroom law in North Carolina and the blowback from the business community: could it happen here? We’ll explore. Also some say Dallas has gone to the dogs. Big D thinks its found just the ticket. Lots and lots of tickets, actually…we’ll explain. And 40 years ago, an accident on a Texas expressway changed how cities across the nation handle crises…but does shelter in place still make sense today? And Could you draw an outline of the state of Texas? Are you sure you know what that looks like? The state acquires some new maps that push the historic boundaries. Those stories and lots more today on the Texas Standard:
If you want to hold public office in Texas, you have to believe in God. You cannot serve even as dog catcher – if it’s an elected office, you must believe in God.
Given the long history we have had of con artists, and scofflaws, carpetbaggers, and white-collar criminals holding public office around the state, this may seem hard to believe.
But it is right there in the Texas constitution. Plain as day.
Section 4 of the Texas Bill of Rights says that if you wish to hold elected office in Texas you must “acknowledge the existence of a Supreme Being.”
There is no requirement respecting any specific religion. Nothing says a person has to be Baptist or Catholic or Mormon, but it is clear, “No atheists need apply.”
And this would presumably rule out agnostics, too, since they are eternal doubters and could not, with confidence, say that they believe in a Supreme Being. This is just one of the unusual dimensions of the Texas Constitution that few people know about.
Texas protects individual rights more than most states.
In Texas, credit card companies cannot garnish your wages to collect on a bad debt.
Texas is exceptionally protective of debtors in bankruptcy cases, too – especially if you actually own anything worth losing.
If your house is paid for – even if it’s worth $2 million – you get to keep it. If your house sits on 200 acres in the country, you get to keep that. If you have a big, bad, fully decked out pick-up, and it’s paid for, you get to keep it.
Finally, you get to keep two firearms. I don’t know why. I suppose to help you protect your property from pesky bill collectors.
Most Texans seem to believe that Texas has a constitutional right to secede from the U.S. when it feels like it.
It does not. This is a myth.
However, Texas does have the right to divide itself into two, three, four or five states. The only advantage would be to give us 10 senators instead of two.
I don’t know what advantage that would be, since eight more senators would be about as useful as a bucket of water to a drowning man.
But Texas would not be Texas if it were divided. Such plans have actually been discussed.
According to the Handbook of Texas, one plan wanted to divide the state along the Colorado River, with the new territory south and west to be called Lincoln and the part north and east to be called Texas.
Another plan proposed dividing us into three states. These would be called Jefferson, Texas, and Matagorda.
None of these plans ever made it out of committee. I suppose the legislators knew that had the good people of Texas gotten wind of it, they would have gotten a long Texas rope, and strung them up from a live oak.
W.F. Strong is a Fulbright Scholar and professor of Culture and Communication at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley. At Public Radio 88 FM in Harlingen, Texas, he’s the resident expert on Texas literature, Texas legends, Blue Bell Ice Cream, Whataburger (with cheese) and mesquite smoked brisket.