Texas Standard For May 12, 2021

A $15 billion windfall for Texas, relief funds much larger than the pandemic’s projected economic impact here. Where will the money go? Todd Gillman of The Dallas Morning News with more on how federal pandemic relief money could lead to raises for firefighters, infrastructure changes and more. And: The boom in the Hispanic population in Texas. Does it equal political gains for the GOP? Arelis Hernandez of the Washington Post on how the numbers add up. Also: FDA approval for kids as young as 12 to to get vaccinated against COVID-19. How soon will shots be ready for Texas adolescents? Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardMay 12, 2021 9:30 am

Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Wednesday, May 12, 2021.

Texas and Federal Pandemic Relief Dollars

Texas cities and counties are set to get a share of the $15 billion the state is receiving from the federal government in pandemic relief aid. Republicans in Congress have derided the relief money as an unnecessary bailout for cities who mismanaged their budgets during the pandemic. But Texas city leaders have said they’ll use the money to give firefighters raises or help small businesses hit hard economically by the pandemic. Todd Gillman is Washington bureau chief for the Dallas Morning News, and joins us with more.

Hispanic Boom, GOP Gain

For years, Texas Democrats have bet on dramatic growth in the state’s non-white population as the key to turning the state blue. But because a mostly white Republican majority here controls the redistricting process of redrawing voting boundaries, it’s almost certain that the GOP will benefit from the growth, which has given the state two additional congressional seats. Here to explain is Washington Post reporter Arelis Hernandez.

RGV SpaceX Frustration

Local activists in the Rio Grande Valley are growing frustrated with Elon Musk’s SpaceX launch facility in Boca Chica, near Brownsville. Their concerns include blocked public access to parks and beaches,long-term ecological damage, regional gentrification and more. Texas Public Radio’s Pablo De La Rosa reports those activists have been getting creative to make their voices heard.

Kids and Vaccines

Starting this week, children as young as 12 will be able to get the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine, per new CDC guidance. What will it look like in practice? Dr. Jennifer Shuford, chief state epidemiologist and member of Texas’ COVID-19 Expert Vaccine Allocation Panel, joins us to answer some questions about youth and vaccination.

Vaccine Equality Fail

Since the start of Austin’s COVID-19 vaccination efforts, equity has been a big priority for local officials. In this case, equity means making sure Black and Latino Austinites get vaccinated at the same rates as their White neighbors. Five months in, though, data shows there is a lot of work to do. KUT’s Ashley Lopez reports communities of color in Travis County – which have been the hardest hit by the pandemic – are falling behind when it comes to getting vaccinated.

The Sounds of Texas: Beth Ullman After the Rain

Bone Marrow Bill

At any given time, around 7,500 people in the U.S. are looking for a compatible bone marrow donor.  For blood disorder patients, finding a match can be the difference between life and death. Now, the Texas Legislature just approved a bill designed to get more Texans – especially people of color – registered as potential bone marrow donors. Katya Bandouil has the story behind the legislation.

PolitiFact: Gas Plants ERCOT

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

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