Texas Standard For July 15, 2021

The quorum-busting impasse at the Capitol continues, and the governor is promising to arrest absent lawmakers – Gov. Greg Abbott joins us today. Texas House Democrats say their decision to leave the Capitol and break up a quorum was a last-ditch effort to stop restrictive changes to voting laws. Abbott promising to keep calling special sessions until lawmakers come back, and calling into question the character of Texas House Democrats. And: A lawsuit filed this week against new abortion restrictions set to take effect in Texas on Sept. 1 – we’ll explore what’s at stake. Those stories and much more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardJuly 15, 2021 9:35 am

Here’s what’s on Texas Standard for Thursday, July 15, 2021.

Gov. Greg Abbott on Special Session 

Texas Republican Gov. Greg Abbott has said he’ll call special session after special session until controversial voting legislation is passed – the same legislation Texas Democrats broke quorum over. We’ll talk to Gov. Abbott about this and more in an extended interview today.

Can Sheriff Ed Gonzalez Reform ICE?

Today, U.S. Senators examine the viability of Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez to lead Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). If he’s confirmed, Gonzalez will head up one of the most controversial agencies in the federal government. Houston Public Media’s Elizabeth Trovall spoke to national and local advocates on what they expect from Gonzalez.

Big Tech Goes Back Into The Office

Like a lot of companies in Texas and elsewhere, tech giants are beginning to bring their workers back into the office – at least part time. Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google have all announced policies that tell their employees how often they can work from home if they choose to, and when they’re expected to show up at the office. Omar Gallaga has been taking a look at how different tech companies are navigating a return to the workplace.

Will Energy Consumers Eat The Cost of Weatherization?

During the regular Texas legislative session, lawmakers passed new rules aimed at making the state’s electric grid better equipped to withstand harsh weather. Though critics say the legislation didn’t go far enough, energy companies say the changes will be costly. And Houston Chronicle reporter Eric Dexheimer reports there’s evidence that that expense will be quickly shifted over to consumers.

The Stuff They Leave Behind

As we begin to understand the magnitude of the number of people killed by COVID-19 – more than 51,000 in Texas alone – it also forces us to take a look at the world of physical things people left behind. The Texas Standard’s Joy Diaz reports. See Part 1 of her COVID series looking at wills and Part 2 on probate courts.

New Lawsuit Against Abortion Restrictions

Twenty abortion rights groups are suing the state over a measure signed into law by Gov. Abbott that bans abortions after six weeks and would allow people to sue providers – or anyone who helped a woman get an abortion after that time. For more about the lawsuit we’re joined by Professor Caroline Mala Corbin at the University of Miami School of Law.

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

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