Texas Standard for January 10, 2022

As the omicron variant continues to feed a spike in COVID-19 cases in Texas, the Supreme Court hears arguments against vaccine mandates. We’ll have more on how the high court might be moving on vaccine mandates for large businesses and many health care providers. And: Texas restaurants asking the state for millions of dollars to help them make it through the pandemic. Also: Another round in the legal battle against SB 8, the recently passed abortion restrictions in Texas. We’ll have the latest. Plus: Could Texas be home to the nation’s new biotech triangle? A major development or mostly marketing? Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardJanuary 10, 2022 9:30 am,

Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Monday, January 10, 2022.

Mixed outlook for vaccine mandates at Supreme Court

Conservative justices on the U.S. Supreme Court indicated discomfort with the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for large employers. But another mandate aimed at healthcare worker vaccinations appears to face less skepticism from the high court’s majority. Steve Vladeck with the University of Texas at Austin’s School of Law joins us with more.

What’s next for Texas abortion restrictions?

Texas law outlawing abortion after six weeks of pregnancy will remain in place for at least a couple of more months. Arguments over the law in the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals indicated the law would head to the Texas Supreme Court, but it could take months for a decision to be made. Seema Mohapatra, professor in health law at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, joins with a recap.

COVID’s strain on Texas restaurants

The latest COVID surge has some Texas restaurants voluntarily scaling back capacity. Additionally, a federal program to provide funds to restaurants is coming to a close, putting further strain on eateries facing labor shortages, supply issues and slower-than-usual business. Will Texas restaurants be able to weather the storm? Emily Williams Knight, CEO of the Texas Restaurant Association, shares her forecast with us.

A biotech triangle for Texas

Could Texas soon be home to a biotech triangle? That’s how leaders across the state hope to position Dallas, Austin and Houston: a three-sided magnet for innovators and investors in the growing field. Maddie Bender wrote about the efforts for STAT News, which focuses on analysis of the biotech and pharmaceutical industries, and joins us today.

The Sounds of Texas

Overcome by the images of suffering among immigrants at the border, in 2018 Elisa O’Callaghan drove to Brownsville to see what she could do. We’ll learn what she did in this show ID.

COVID testing trouble in El Paso

Concerns about the highly contagious Omicron variant created a post holiday demand for COVID tests. People are waiting hours in line to get tested in El Paso. And as KTEP’s Angela Kocherga reports, they’re also waiting longer to get their tests results.

Matt Smith Monday

Mexico’s state owned oil company Pemex will be sharply cutting its exports in the coming year. Pemex’s CEO made the announcement at the end of December. And a refinery in Texas may help Mexico move toward its goal of refining most of its oil domestically. Here with more is Matt Smith, lead oil analyst for the Americas at Kepler.

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

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