The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.
In the wee hours of New Year’s Day, state representative Armando Martinez of Weslaco was struck in the back of the head by celebratory gunfire.
“My wife came over, gave me a hug and a kiss, wished me a happy new year, and right after that I was struck. Felt like a sledgehammer had just hit me over the head,” he said.
And Martinez wasn’t the only one to suffer from celebratory gunfire on New Year’s Eve. An Austin woman and two men in North Texas were also hit by stray bullets. This isn’t a new problem either – in 2015, a falling bullet killed a Houston man on New Year’s Eve.
Martinez is in stable condition. Now, he plans to try and solve the problem. He said yesterday that he will file a bill to prevent or reduce celebratory gunfire.
Abortion providers will appear in court today to ask a federal judge to strike down Texas’ fetal burial rule, currently set to go into effect on January 6. It requires fetal remains to be buried or cremated after an abortion or a miscarriage – state officials say the rule is designed to treat fetal remains with more dignity, rather than putting them in landfills.
One of the plaintiffs is Amy Hagstrom Miller, founder and CEO of Whole Woman’s Health. She says the new rule represents an undue burden for women seeking an abortion:
“To put forward a regulation that is actually impossible or next to impossible for people to comply with is a backdoor way of trying to close clinics, like you’ve seen them do by any means necessary in the state of Texas,” Miller says.
State health officials have said that the rule wouldn’t create such a burden because it would apply to facilities, not individuals.
Last week, odds were that a Texan would get the call to serve as the Trump administration’s agriculture secretary. The top three candidates considered to be in the running were agriculture commissioner Sid Miller, former comptroller Susan Combs, and former Texas A&M University president Elsa Murano.
But new reports say that all three of them have struck out – multiple news outlets say that Trump will select former Georgia governor Sonny Perdue for the post.