Texas Standard for February 11, 2022

The Texas attorney general files a legal challenge against the Biden administration’s plans for a minimum wage hike. And: Why are witnesses being instructed not to talk about race as they come before a Dallas grand jury to testify about police actions in the George Floyd protests? Those stories and much more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardFebruary 11, 2022 9:33 am,

Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Friday, February 11, 2022.

Biden doubled the minimum wage for federal contractors. Ken Paxton’s suing to stop it.

Texas hasn’t increased its hourly minimum wage from $7.25 dollars in decades. The Biden administration recently raised it to $15 for federal contractors. Now Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is suing to stop the increase. Mark Jones, political science professor with Rice University. He joins us now.

The ‘primary problem’ in Texas politics 

Monday is the start of early voting for Texas’ March 1 primaries, when Democrats and Republicans choose party candidates for November. And if this year is anything like past primaries, low voter turnout means a very small portion of Texas voters will decide who makes it onto the final ballot. Texas Public Radio’s David Martin Davies explains that this could be the “primary” problem in Texas politics.

Why are so many candidates running for Texas land commissioner?

Another contest on Texans’ ballots this primary is for General Land Office commissioner. It’s the oldest office in the state, predating governor, but few Texans understand its responsibilities. Houston Public Media’s Andrew Schneider delves into what the commissioner does and why it matters.

Change is coming to Alamo Plaza – believe it or not

Speaking of the General Land Office: the Alamo and its surrounding areas have consumed much of incumbent Commissioner Bush’s tenure. Now more change is coming: longtime tourist attractions across the street – including Ripley’s Believe It or Not! – plan on leaving to make way for more historical offerings. Lewis Fisher, San Antonio historian and author, joins us to talk about plans for the area.

The shocking sign in a secret Dallas grand jury room 

“Do Not Mention Race While Testifying.” Those are words on a sign in a grand jury room in Dallas. And for witnesses hoping to testify about police brutality during 2020 protests over racial injustice, the admonition was an unwelcome surprise that may have undermined their testimony. Miles Moffiet writes for The Dallas Morning News that sign has likely been up for decades. He joins us today with the story.

This new book follows the race to create a COVID-19 vaccine  

The development of COVID-19 vaccines was a scientific feat that required intense and messy collaboration to achieve the seemingly unachievable in record time. Brendan Borell has documented the effort in a new book called “The First Shots: The Epic Rivalries and Heroic Science Behind the Race to the Coronavirus Vaccine.” He joins us today in this extended Q&A.

Typewriter Rodeo

The type writers deliver another timely poem. Submit your own suggestions online!

The week in Texas politics

Texas Tribune political reporter James Barragán recaps some notable developments this week, including Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller’s reelection fight, U.S. Rep. Troy Nehls’ strange spat with Capitol Police and more.

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

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