Texas Standard for February 21, 2022

The governor’s race gets most of the attention, but who really holds the reigns of power in Texas politics? A closer look at how Dan Patrick is leveraging the role of lieutenant governor. And: Changes to sex education standards in Texas schools; why some say the changes don’t go far enough. Those stories and much more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardFebruary 21, 2022 7:04 am,

Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Monday, February 21, 2022.

It’s more than the Senate: Dan Patrick holds sway over Texas politics 

Dan Patrick has held the lieutenant governor’s job since 2015. It’s a position that wields a lot of political power. New in-depth reporting from The Texas Tribune shows how Patrick’s influence has expanded beyond the Texas Senate chambers and into races up and down the ballot. James Barragán, who co-wrote the report, joins us today.

While the Dallas district attorney race may be a rematch, a lot has changed

The Dallas County Criminal District Attorney’s race this year is in many ways a replay of 2018. The Republican candidate will again be Faith Johnson. And the same two Democrats are running for their party’s nomination. But as KERA’s Bret Jaspers reports, the characters are the same but the circumstances are not.

The state of play in Houston’s new congressional district 

Houston’s newest congressional district was drawn with the aim of electing a Republican – one particular Republican, in fact. But as Houston Public Media’s Andrew Schneider found, that candidate faces a major obstacle on the road to his party’s nomination.

Giant investment firm waivers on climate change pledge following Texas pushback

Investment firm BlackRock is the world’s largest company of its kind, with more than $10 trillion in financial assets. Its leaders recently announced that they’re committed to helping limit the effects of climate change. In many corners, that pledge drew applause. But among certain Texans it raised concerns, especially regarding future fossil fuel investments in the state. Ross Kerber, U.S. sustainable business correspondent for Reuters, brings us the story.

‘Heartbeat’ laws prohibiting abortions are misleading, experts say  

So-called heartbeat bills prohibit abortions early in a pregnancy. But as Roni Caryn Rabin writes for the New York Times, that name is misleading: the claim that the electric current of cardiac activity detected via ultrasound at that stage is a beating heart is disputed by most medical experts. She joins us with more.

What happened at this North Texas mosque’s open house

More than 200 people attended an open house hosted by the Islamic Association of North Texas over the weekend. As KERA’s Stella Chavez reports, the Richardson mosque hoped to dispel misconceptions about Islam.

How many stories does San Antonio’s ‘enchilada-red’ public library have?

The story behind the San Antonio Public Library downtown is a fascinating one. Texas Public Radio’s Jack Morgan shares it with us.

Texas teens and educators say new sex education curriculum is ‘two steps forward, one step back’

Texas’ new health education standards were finalized a little over a year ago, but this is the first year they’ll be taught in schools across the state. The standards, which include sex education, had not been touched in more than two decades. KERA’s Elena Rivera reports educators and teens say there’s still a lot missing.

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

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