Texas

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

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

Texas lawmakers heard hours of public testimony Thursday and into early Friday morning over a bill banning so-called “sanctuary cities” in Texas, ultimately voting early this morning 7-2 along party lines to send the bill to the full Senate.

Josh Wool

From Texas Standard:

Buddy Holly. Joe Ely. Butch Hancock. Jimmie Dale Gilmore. Natalie Maines of the Dixie Chicks. Terry Allen. And the list of musicians from Lubbock goes on. Over the years, music journalists have wondered what it is about this city that makes it produce so many musicians.

Amanda Shires, the current queen of Americana music, says that the answer is actually quite simple: there’s nothing else to do there except make music.

Martin do Nascimento/KUT

From Texas Standard:

Gov. Greg Abbott offered his State of the State address yesterday – his second since taking office. Unless you had the patience to sit through the whole hour, you may have missed something. So Texas Standard brings you the highlights of his speech.

"Well today I am proud to report the state of Texas is exceptional," Abbott said.

Screenshot via ESPN Outside the Lines

From Texas Standard:

A new Title IX lawsuit was filed late last week against Baylor University – the latest of six federal lawsuits against the school, and the second in a week. It alleges staff encouraged football players to commit sexual assault and that staff used female students to have sex with football recruits to make sure they had a “good time.”

The attorney who filed the case claims their investigation found at least 52 acts of rape committed by no fewer than 31 football players between 2011 and 2014 – including five gang rapes.

Bob Daemmrich for The Texas Tribune

Saying Texas government needs to live within its means, Gov. Greg Abbott on Tuesday imposed an immediate hiring freeze on state agencies through the end of August.

The freeze bans agencies from posting new jobs or filling ones that are currently vacant, according to a memo from the Republican governor’s office.  

“Just as families have to balance needs versus wants, so must we,” Abbott said during his State of the State speech in the Capitol.

From Texas Standard:

Early Saturday morning, a fire gutted the Islamic Center in Victoria, Texas. The images showed flames leaping out beyond the mosque's domed roof. By morning, that dome and much of what made the mosque recognizable was gone.

aaron gilson/Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

This story is part of a Texas Station Collaborative series examining Texas foster care. It looks at who's involved and affected by what has been deemed a "broken" system. 

 

Early into his tenure as governor, Greg Abbott said he was committed to overhauling the state’s struggling Department of Family and Protective Services, which oversees the foster care system. He was particularly focused on reducing child deaths as a result of abuse and neglect. From 2010 to 2014, 144 children died despite the fact that CPS was investigating claims of abuse in those cases. Back in 2015, Abbott’s office committed an extra $40 million to child welfare services.

Martin do Nascimento / KUT

Gov. Greg Abbott delivers his State of the State address in the House chamber at 11 a.m. Tuesday. Reporters from KUT and other public radio stations across Texas will be annotating his remarks.

Lucía Benavides/Texas Standard

From Texas Standard:

If you’ve ever traveled outside of Texas for a long period of time you’ve probably started to miss the unique aspects of the Lone Star State: friendly interactions with strangers, those wide-open sunsets – and probably the food. But most places you travel these days, you don’t have to go far to find a Texpat.

U.S Embassy Kabul Afghanistan/Flickr (CC BY-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

President Donald Trump signed a multitude of executive orders last week. One directive blocked Syrian refugees from coming to the United States indefinitely; banned anyone from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the country for 90 days; and put a 120-day suspension on all refugee admissions.

Trump also signed an order placing Steve Bannon on the National Security Council’s principals committee, while demoting the director of national intelligence and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

www.margaretriver.com (CC BY-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

President Donald Trump’s support of imposing a 20 percent tariff on all Mexican imports to the U.S. has some Texans running to the supermarket to stock up on Topo Chico and avocados. The proposal suggested on Thursday is designed by the Trump administration as leverage to get our southern neighbor to pay for a wall extending across the southern border.

Wikimedia Commons (Public Domain)

From Texas Standard:

The 10th Amendment, the Tea Party and sanctuary cities are three things that one wouldn’t imagine having much in common. But they do – perhaps now more than ever.

A few years ago conservatives pointed to the 10th Amendment, which safeguards states’ rights, as a bulwark against orders from the Obama administration.

Gabriel Cristóver Pérez / KUT

The governor’s office has asked state agencies to send a list of funds, including federal money, directed to Travis County last year. In a letter sent Thursday, Budget Director Steven Albright said the list “should be complete with the amount of funds and the purpose of the agreement” and be submitted by Feb. 3.

dagnygromer/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard

A robbery turned fatal at the Rolling Oaks Mall in San Antonio on Sunday. The shooting has brought up questions about concealed carry and when it’s appropriate for people to intervene in such incidents.

Courtesy Anthony Graves Foundation

Public radio stations from across the state collaborated on this series looking at the death penalty in Texas – its history, how it’s changed, whom it affects and its future. The following story is from KERA.

Texas is slated to execute Terry Edwards on Thursday evening. Barring an unexpected reprieve, Edwards will be the second man executed by the state this year. In Texas, 242 people sit on death row awaiting execution. Long the leading executioner in the U.S., the Lone Star State put to death fewer people last year than it has in two decades.

Luminitsa/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

Activists gathered on the south steps of the Texas Capitol Wednesday morning to pressure lawmakers to keep fighting human trafficking during the 85th Legislative Session.

Advocates say there’s lots of work left to be done to curb trafficking. Now there are hard numbers to show by how much.

Fronteras Desk/Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

From Texas Standard:

President Donald Trump signed an executive order Wednesday authorizing the building of a wall along the United States-Mexico border.

He told ABC News that morning that the U.S. will start building the wall “as soon as we can. As soon as we can physically do it. … I would say in months. Certainly, planning is starting immediately.”

Ken Piorkowski/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Public radio stations from across the state collaborated on this series looking at the death penalty in Texas – its history, how it’s changed, whom it affects and its future. The following story is from Texas Public Radio:

When you hear about the death penalty in Texas, the discussion often focuses on criminal proceedings or policy. Often overlooked – how the death penalty affects victim’s families – the people left struggling to find healing in the wake of violent crimes.

Screenshot/nytimes.com video

From Texas Standard:

At Donald Trump’s presidential inauguration on Jan. 20, he laid out his foreign policy plan for his next four years in office:

“We assembled here today are issuing a new decree to be heard in every city, in every foreign capital and in every hall of power. From this day forward, a new vision will govern our land. From this day forward, it's going to be only America first — America first."

Jorge Sanhuez-Lyon/Texas Standard

Public radio stations from across the state collaborated on this series looking at the death penalty in Texas – its history, how it’s changed, whom it affects and its future. From Texas Standard:

Death row inmates often spend decades between the day they're sentenced and the day they're executed. That can be due to many factors – from lengthy appeals to the state being unable to get the drugs it needs to carry out executions.

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