Texas Standard For August 12, 2021

As some Texas Democratic lawmakers make their way back to Texas are there signs that the special session quorum break may be breaking up? How much longer can Democrats hold out? And: What some are calling a constitutional crisis looming over the budget. Also: With the rapid spread of the delta COVID variant and back to school pressures, what we know and what we don’t know about the spread among kids. Plus: More listener parents weigh in on what they plan to do about the return to school. All of that and then some today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardAugust 12, 2021 9:30 am

Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Thursday, August 12, 2021.

The Latest on the Lege’s Quorum Troubles

COVID-19. The delta variant. New census data and redistricting. These are just a few of the issues facing Texas lawmakers. Several statehouse Democrats who broke quorum in response to new proposed voting restrictions are back in Texas. Is it only a matter of time before the quorum break … breaks? Rebecca Deen is chair of political science at the University of Texas at Arlington. We’ll hear from her today.

Article X Funding

It’s been nearly two months since Gov. Greg Abbott vetoed the Texas Legislature’s budget. And that veto has loomed over the state’s special legislative sessions all summer. The governor and other state leaders recently came up with a temporary fix, but as Houston Public Media reporter Andrew Schneider observes, that doesn’t solve what some lawmakers are calling a constitutional crisis.

The Infrastructure Bill and North Texas

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg was in North Texas on Wednesday to promote the massive $1.2 trillion bipartisan infrastructure bill that just passed the U.S. Senate. The legislation still faces hurdles in the House, but KERA’s Bret Jaspers reports on how the region might benefit from the potential big increase in spending.

COVID Pediatrics

COVID-19’s delta variant is more transmissible. We’ve heard from children’s hospitals that COVID hospitalizations are up, as are hospitalizations for adults. But what’s the picture like for pediatricians who aren’t just seeing the sickest kids? Dr. Seth Kaplan is president of the Texas Pediatric Society and a practicing pediatrician in Frisco. He’ll tell us what he’s seeing in his clinic right now, and how it compares to earlier periods of the pandemic.

Turning Digital Art into NFTs

However you feel about non-fungible tokens – better known as NFTs – there’s no denying that they represent a new way for artists to reach willing buyers. Our tech expert Omar Gallaga recently wrote for Texas Monthly about how a Texas-based company called Art Blocks is exploring this new digital frontier. He joins us today.

Listeners Talk about Their Back-to-School Concerns

With coronavirus cases rising across Texas, and new concerns about the delta variant’s impact on kids, it’s a difficult time for parents and teachers alike. We’ve been asking listeners to share their thoughts about starting back to school. We shared some of them earlier in the week, but the messages just kept coming in. Here are some more of those responses. Listeners can share their own perspectives at texasstandard.org/backtoschool.

Texas Olympics

The Olympics are a fantastic display of athleticism – and a reminder of just how we could never do that thing that we’re watching other people do. But watching the games got commentator W.F. Strong thinking there’s quite a lot Texans seem to be pretty good at. And he thinks maybe there should be a competition that would be open to all while taking advantage of our state’s unique geography.

NCAA Violations

In 2015, several sexual assaults and subsequent cover-ups tied to Baylor University’s football team came to light, leading to several high profile firings and resignations. Only yesterday the NCAA weighed in with fines – fines which failed to deem officials guilty of inaction on sexual and interpersonal violence. Does the NCAA have any credibility when it comes to addressing these issues? We’re asking Jessica Luther, a journalist and sports writer who helped break the Baylor scandal.

All this and Texas News Roundup, plus Social Media Editor Wells Dunbar with the talk of Texas.

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