Here’s what’s coming up on Texas Standard for Tuesday, July 6, 2021. Listen on your Texas public radio station, or ask your smart speaker to play Texas Standard. We’ll have full posts for each story, including audio, a little later today.
A special session of the Texas Legislature begins Thursday, and a controversial elections law is set to take center stage. The extent to which Republicans’ proposed voting restrictions might affect voters of color has received much attention, writes the Texas Tribune’s Alexa Ura, but Texans with disabilities also face the prospect of new barriers to the ballot box. She joins us with more today.
Immigration Courts Reopening
Immigration judges in Texas cities will start hearing cases today after hearings were paused for more than a year due to the pandemic. Judges face an immigration court backlog that has ballooned to a whopping 1.3 million cases nationwide. Some people have been waiting a decade or longer for their day in court. Houston Public Media’s Elizabeth Trovall has the story.
Health officials are concerned about high levels of formaldehyde in communities along the Houston Ship Channel. And a report by the EPA indicates formaldehyde is the main cancer-causing chemical in certain Houston census tracts. Houston Public Media’s Katie Watkins has more on what local health officials are doing to address this.
If you are a caregiver to an adult family member, those responsibilities are likely straining your personal finances. A new report from AARP finds 78% of people caring for adult loved ones average more than $7,000 a year in caregiving expenses. The costs are even higher for young people and Black and Brown caregivers. Armed with this data, AARP is urging Congress to provide more financial support to caregivers. Amanda Fredriksen, associate state director of advocacy and outreach for AARP Texas, joins us with more.
Asian American History
Amid the surge in anti-Asian attacks during the pandemic, there’s also been conversations in Texas and across the U.S. about the lack of Asian American history in classrooms. As KERA’s Elizabeth Myong reports, educators and learning experts say the complicated reasons behind the absence include state curriculum standards, textbooks and politics.
You’ve seen the image of the first man who did an untethered spacewalk in 1984. It’s both majestic and terrifying to look at. That man was astronaut Bruce McCandless II. His son just released a book called “Wonders All Around: The Incredible True Story of Astronaut Bruce McCandless II and the First Untethered Flight in Space.” We’ll hear from him today.
Yesterday, the Standard spoke with a Democratic analyst about how party legislators would play defense in the upcoming special session, especially over a controversial Republican-led voting bill. While that voting bill will likely be the marquee issue on Gov. Greg Abbott’s special session agenda, there could also be a slew of other politically and culturally-charged issues Republicans will be tasked to take on starting Thursday. Here to weigh in on what could be some of the top priorities for the GOP this special session is Republican political consultant Brendan Steinhauser.
All this and Texas News Roundup, plus Social Media Editor Wells Dunbar with the talk of Texas.