Texas Standard For June 1, 2021

An eleventh-hour walkout at the Texas Capitol as the Legislature prepares for an overtime session. High drama after Texas House Democrats break quorum to head off passage of a controversial measure to tighten the state’s election laws. Although the regular session comes to an end, an overtime session is already expected – we’ll look back at what got done, what didn’t and what comes next. And: Harris County’s Constable’s Office in the crosshairs of controversy – we’ll hear why. Also: Fifty years of Asleep at the Wheel: Texas music legend Ray Benson takes a glance in the rear view mirror. All those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardJune 1, 2021 9:30 am

Here’s what’s on Texas Standard for Tuesday, June 1, 2021.

Roundtable: Lege Recap

Texas’ 87th legislative session careened to a close yesterday, amid a quorum-busting walkout by House Democrats, follow-up threats from the governor and more. Here to walk us through what has happened are Madlin Mekelburg, state and environment reporter with the Austin American-Statesman and Jeremy Wallace, political reporter with the San Antonio Express-News and the Houston Chronicle.

Racial Profiling Report

New research looking at data from millions of police stops in Texas in 2020 found that officers are more likely to search Latinos than members of any other race or ethnic group. But those searches turn up far less contraband than searches of whites. KERA’s Christopher Connelly has more on the study.

Shareholder Activism in the Energy Industry

Last week Texas-based oil giant ExxonMobil saw a major shakeup in the boardroom: an activist investor group called Engine Number 1 grabbed two seats on the company’s board. The hedge fund is just six months old, and only owns 0.2% of ExxonMobil. But it’s been targeting the oil giant since December with its “Reenerrgize Exxon” campaign, which pushes the company to change its climate strategy. Here to discuss how this will affect the energy industry is Matt Smith, director of commodity research at Clipper Data.

McAllen Mayoral Runoff

The city of McAllen is the second largest in the Rio Grande Valley and is an important regional hub that connects the U.S. to Mexico. The city is also in the middle of choosing a new leader. Two McAllen city commissioners face off in a mayoral runoff election on June 5: Javier Villalobos and Veronica Vela-Whitcare. Reporter Reynaldo Leaños Jr. spoke with both candidates about their views on how border policy and immigration affect McAllen.

Benson on Asleep At the Wheel’s 50th Anniversary

When vocalist and guitar virtuoso Ray Benson founded Asleep at the Wheel at the dawn of the 1970s, no one quite knew what to make of them. They were a group with a lot of country and jazz influences, combined with rock and roll swagger. But in the years since, “Brother Ray” has become an icon himself, from acting as the voice of the “Don’t Mess With Texas” campaign to serving as a goodwill ambassador for Lone Star music. Benson joins us to talk about his group hitting the half-century mark and much more.

Harris County Constables

When it comes to law enforcement, police officers work for the city and sheriff’s deputies work for the county. But what do constables do? They typically handle minor traffic citations and issue subpoenas or temporary restraining orders. But a new federal civil rights suit against a constable precinct in Harris County states that not only did it set up a vice unit to investigate sex crimes, it also subjected female deputies to harrasment and forced them to participate in “bachelor party” sting operations. Here to talk about it is St. John Barned-Smith, a reporter for the Houston Chronicle.

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

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