Texas

News, policy discussions, and major events happening in or related to Texas, told from an Austin perspective

KUT News

Faculty members at the University of Texas at Austin have approved a measure calling for banning guns in classrooms, labs, dorms and university offices under the state’s campus carry law.

The law, SB 11, goes into effect in August of next year. People with concealed handgun licenses will be able to carry a gun on a campus, as they already can, but schools can set some limits to where exactly they can bring them in. The UT Faculty Council says it doesn’t want them in classrooms. UT Professor Carolyn Brown at the College of Pharmacy is a member of the Council and says she and her colleagues voted unanimously to oppose guns in education spaces.

Image via Beth Cortez-Neavel/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

The morning routine of Kai Alterman includes a stop at a café and a cab ride. When it comes time for her to pay,  the server slides her credit card, then hands her a screen similar to an iPad to sign – complete with choices of how much to tip. Alterman hits the middle option, leaving a 20 percent tip.

"I think this makes people tip more often, because you feel more guilty not to tip with those," Alterman says.

 


Image courtesy John Savage

From Texas Standard:

According to the latest statistics, about 12 of every 10,000 Texans are living homeless, many of whom have an intellectual or developmental disability. While state programs and aid are available, the wait times are daunting. Some services have lists with applicants waiting for well over a decade.

Some reports rank Texas near last place with regard to well-being of those with intellectual disabilities.  John Savage has been following the story for the Texas Observer.

 


Image via Flickr/IHH Humanitarian Relief Foundation (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Over the past several months, Texas has become home to hundreds of Syrian refugees. These people fled their homes because of terrible war conditions that made life dangerous, unstable and completely unpredictable – a far cry from the ideals of freedom that both Texas and France uphold today.

After Friday’s attacks, and a report that at least one of the Paris attackers slipped through Europe’s refugee screening system from Syria, many are beginning to wonder if Western countries will continue to be as welcoming.

 


KUT News

The U.S. Supreme Court will review a case next year that challenges a Texas abortion measure signed into law in 2013. Justices will use what’s called the undue burden test to decide whether the law’s requirements are constitutional or not.


Bob Daemmrich, Texas Tribune

Gov. Greg Abbott says Texas will not accept any Syrian refugees, after the attacks in Paris that left 129 people dead. He's directing the state's Health and Human Services Commission's Refugee Resettlement Program to not participate in any resettlement of Syrians in Texas.

At least 13 other governors have taken similar steps since the terror attacks in Paris, including the governors of AlabamaLouisiana, Indiana and Michigan

Image courtesy ROAR for Good

From Texas Standard:

If you ask a woman what her self-defense techniques are when she walks alone at night, you’re likely to hear a variety of answers. “I carry pepper spray,” “I hold a set of keys gripped between my fingers,” or “I pretend to talk on the phone” are just a few responses.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been under fire for opening three detention centers to hold Central American immigrant families who fled to this country seeking asylum.

Under the pressure of a federal court order, ICE is now exploring ways to release the mothers and children with alternatives to detention — but human rights activists are unhappy that the same for-profit prison company that locked up the families now manages their cases after release.

Image via Flickr/ARTS_fox1fire (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

A group made up of professors, and a few others, rallied behind their common goal of a gun-free UT on Monday at the University of Texas at Austin. This pushback against a state campus carry law passed last session has been building for months. The new law is set to take effect next year.

The protesters' message was loud and clear: ban guns or we could sue. Law professor Ken Williams from South Texas College of Law in Houston says their main claim will center around how universities will ensure a safe environment for both students and faculty.

 


Image via Flickr/Kent Wang (CC BY-SA 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

In the face of fierce opposition calling it a "bathroom bill," the Houston Equal Rights Ordinance (HERO) was rejected by voters last week.

Houston's ordinance sought to extend civil rights protections to transgender individuals and several other groups of citizens, but quickly came under fire for its proposed extension of equal rights to public restroom use.

 


Jason Farrar via flickr

From Texas Standard:

Dallas-based Securus Technologies is one of the leading providers of phone services inside prisons across the nation. And now they could be responsible for what's being reported as possibly "the most massive breach of the attorney-client privilege in modern U.S. history."

Investigative website The Intercept is reporting the breach involves records from prisoner phone calls in 37 states, including Texas. The records were leaked by an anonymous hacker on the Intercept's secure and anonymous contact site SecureDrop.

 


Image via Pexels (CC0)

From Texas Standard:

A story about a protest on a campus a few states away could have implications for one of the biggest industries in Texas – college football. At the University of Missouri, there were protests going back to September against racism on campus, a social media campaign called Concerned Student 1950, and a hunger strike by a graduate student. But most folks outside of Missouri did not know about any of this until last weekend.

Hundreds of veterans and their supporters marched up Congress Avenue Wednesday to the state capitol, where a commemoration ceremony took place for Veterans Day. Among those attending were Austin Mayor Steve Adler and Texas Governor Greg Abbott.

Image credit Joy Diaz/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

Part of the mission at Dress for Success is to help women achieve financial independence. That includes women veterans. A higher percentage of female vets are unemployed than male vets.

"I have an interview this afternoon," Julia Hill says.

 


Image via Flickr/House GOP (CC BY-NC 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Last week, Texas Rep. Kevin Brady won over the chairmanship of one of the most powerful groups of congressional lawmakers, the House Ways and Means Committee.


Image via Flickr/The White House (U.S. Government Works)

From Texas Standard:

Following another legal setback to President Barack Obama's immigration executive action, the Justice Department says it plans to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to review the lawsuit.


Veronica Zaragovia/KUT

Think Killeen, Texas, and the U.S. Army post Fort Hood probably comes to mind.

The military facility was created in 1942, and it's been the town's most defining feature. But as millions of soldiers have flowed in and out of Fort Hood over the years, an interesting food culture has sprouted outside its gates.


Image courtesy Deborah Cannon

From Texas Standard:

Most adoptions are about children finding their "forever homes," or their permanent families. Other adoption proceedings are for parents who want to make sure their kid remains a part of their family, as is the case for many same-sex parents.


Image via Wikimedia Commons/Larry D. Williams (CC BY-SA 3.0)

From Texas Standard:

Earlier this year, when Texas' 84th Legislative Session was just shifting into gear, Gov. Greg Abbott was urging sweeping ethics reform. He characterized government transparency as the most important commodity to bolster the bond of trust between lawmakers and the people. Despite the promises, not much changed last session.

The Pulitzer Prize-winning Center for Public Integrity released a new scorecard for what it's calling "state integrity." Out of all 50 states tested, Texas didn't do so well. The Lone Star state got a "D-" grade, putting us as number 38 on their public integrity meter.


Image via Miguel Gutierrez Jr./KUT

From Texas Standard:

There have been a lot of non-Texans talking about the southern border lately. Presidential hopefuls, public officials and others seem to all have opinions on what's wrong with border security and how to fix it.

Take, for instance, talk-show host Sean Hannity. "[We need] virtual fences, virtual surveillance – impenetrable border," he says.

 


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