Texas Standard For July 6, 2021

Today is the day when you will learn what SB7 stands for. In short it’s the voting bill that was killed, but could come back, we’ll have the latest. And: Immigration courts are re-opening today after being out for a year, we’ll have details. Also: Are you one of the 3.4 million Texans who are caring for an adult family member? It’s pricey and it’s uncomfortable to put a price tag on their care, but there may be some help on the way. Plus: Do you know your history? What about your Asian American history? And speaking of history and historic moments – the story of the first astronaut to do an untethered space walk. All of that and more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardJuly 6, 2021 9:30 am

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.

SB7 and Disability Voting Rights

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.

Houston Formaldehyde Levels

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.

Financial Strain on Family Caregivers

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.

“Wonders All Around” 

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.

GOP Special Session Strategy

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.

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