Texas Standard For May 18, 2021

The Supreme Court is slated to hear a challenge to Roe v. Wade in a case from Mississippi. We’ll learn how the decision to hear a challenge to this landmark abortion ruling may affect efforts to change abortion laws in Texas. That story, and much more, on today’s show.

May 18, 2021 9:50 am

New Challenge To Roe v. Wade

This fall the U.S. Supreme Court is set to take up a case involving a Mississippi abortion law that could challenge Roe v. Wade. The law would ban abortions after 15 weeks of pregnancy, and has been blocked by lower federal district courts and the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals since 2018. This could be a test case for other Republican state legislatures promoting stricter abortion laws… including here in Texas. Joanna Grossman is a law professor at Southern Methodist University, and she joins us to speak about it today.

Gov. Abbott Ends Fed Unemployment Benefits

Some federal unemployment benefits will soon coming to an end for Texans. On Monday, Gov. Greg Abbott announced that Texas would be halting the $300 federal money paid on top of state benefits. Those payments will end on June 26, more than two months before the would end otherwise. It’s a story Dom DiFurio has been following for The Dallas Morning News, where he covers breaking business news. He returns to the Standard today.

Kids And The Vaccine

Approval of the Pfizer COVID vaccine has now been extended to 12 to 15-year-olds. Children across Texas started getting their shots last Thursday. Texas Public Radio’s bioscience and medicine reporter Bonnie Petrie met some of them over the weekend at a vaccine clinic in San Antonio.

Texas’ Beef With Plant-Based Meat Labeling

Nothing says summer in Texas like the smell of barbecue, though cookouts now have plenty more options for the vegetarians out there. But, depending on some product’s labeling, that could change. A bill passed last week by the Texas House aims to ban the words “meat,” “beef,” “chicken,” and “pork,” from the labels of plant-based and lab-grown food products. For more we’re talking with professor Darren Hudson from Texas Tech University.

Texas Police Departments and Sexual Misconduct

Between 2015 and 2019, about a quarter of Texas police officers fired for misconduct were still able to get jobs in law enforcement elsewhere. Some of these officers had been accused of sexual misconduct and dishonorably discharged from their departments – but were still able to work as officers in other departments for years. James Barragán has been investigating this issue for The Dallas Morning News, and joins us with the story today.

Graduating In A Pandemic

For students graduating high school this year, much of the last two years were dominated by the pandemic.That meant learning from bedrooms and adjusted extracurricular activities – but for some it also meant finding new callings. Philanthropy was always part of Yazzen Turk’s life experience. But the Austin high school senior tells KUT’s Claire McInerny says he wanted to do even more.

Texas And Teacher Pay

Experts have continued to sound the alarm on the loss of learning students are experiencing due to COVID-19. One strategy Texas is taking to fight it? Paying teachers more. An incentive pay program from the Texas Education Agency is “the fruit of an unusually cooperative Legislature in 2019,” writes Bekah McNeel. She’s a correspondent at The 74, covering the impact of the pandemic on America’s education system, and joins us on-air today.

Texas’ Police Chiefs Turnover

Texas police chiefs are staying in their jobs for shorter and shorter periods of time. In recent months, the top cop in six of the state’s largest cities has left. To find out why, KERA’s Hady Mawajdeh dug into the topic with law enforcement experts and learned there are many contributing factors.

All that plus the Texas Roundup, social media host Wells Dunbar with online reactions to the day’s events and more.