Texas Standard For May 10, 2021

Politics as unusual? Republicans not exactly in lockstep as the legislative session races to a conclusion, we’ll hear why and the potential implications. And: A foster care system so dangerous is was once ruled unconstitutional. A new report finds young Texans still dying from abuse and neglect. Also: Why quinoa could become Texas’ next big cash crop. Plus: Hemp into another kind of green…the Texas Rangers asking questions. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardMay 10, 2021 9:30 am

Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Monday, May 10, 2021.

Tone of the Legislature

The Legislature still has plenty of big issues to address in its last month: electric outages, the budget and policing, writes Texas Tribune executive editor Ross Ramsey. At the same time, the Republican majority has its eye on issues that are dear to the conservative base: abortion, guns and elections. Ramsey joins us today to talk about the Lege’s right turn ahead of the 2022 primaries.

Increased Foster Care Monitoring

Foster care providers in the state continue to face heightened scrutiny as a new report indicates dozens of children died in 2019 while in foster care. There has also been a spike in the number of foster children sleeping in state offices as providers say they’ve been hit hard by the pandemic, low state reimbursements and tougher enforcement. Bob Garrett, Austin bureau chief for The Dallas Morning News joins us with the latest developments.

Mona Ogas Update

In March, Mona Ogas was waiting for help from the Texas Rent Relief Program. Then her landlord evicted her. After she lost her home, Ogas learned that the state had sent her landlord the money she’d applied for: $6,000 that was supposed to keep her from being evicted in the first place. Now the state is demanding the money back. KERA’s Christopher Connelly reports the landlord says it will comply.

Rio Grande Salinity

Salt is an abundant mineral, a staple on the counter or kitchen table. But for farmers and agriculture along the Rio Grande, salt has become a problem. For more, we’re talking with Girisha Ganjegunte, professor in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences at Texas A&M AgriLife Research Center at El Paso.

Paxton Cruise Lawsuit and Port of Galveston Economic Impact

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is joining Florida and Alaska in a lawsuit against the Centers for Disease Control over COVID-related guidelines running the cruise ship industry aground. Paxton intervened in a lawsuit brought originally by Florida, which seeks to overturn the CDC order due to concern about economic losses in the industry. John Wayne Ferguson, senior reporter for the Galveston County Daily News, joins the Standard with more.

The Sounds of Texas: Mother’s Day – Pye Brown and Chloe Surrogacy

Fort Worth Muralists Fair Pay

For years, local artists in Fort Worth have painted murals for a city program for free. As KERA’s Miguel Perez reports, they are now pushing back and asking for fair pay.

Hemp Licenses

When hemp became legal to grow again in Texas, it was pitched as a rare thing in agriculture: a new financial opportunity. Lots of folks bought into the vision of turning hemp into cash. But there are certainly different ways of doing that – including some that recently caught the attention of the Texas Rangers. The Texas Standard’s Michael Marks reports on an investigation into pay-to-play hemp licensing that’s already ensnared Texas Agriculture Commissioner Sid Miller’s top political aide.

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

If you found the reporting above valuable, please consider making a donation to support it here. Your gift helps pay for everything you find on texasstandard.org and KUT.org. Thanks for donating today.