Texas Standard For May 21, 2021

Days after marking zero COVID-19 deaths, Texas hits a grim milestone. How will the state prioritize federal funding for pandemic relief? And: State lawmakers get closer to passing the state’s two-year budget. We ask how schools will fare. Also: Why opponents to Texas’ restrictive new abortion law may have trouble challenging it. Plus: Fewer people are being sentenced to death across the country, but a new report shows there may not be adequate defense for those facing life-in-prison sentences. And what the 50th anniversary of the dedication of the LBJ Presidential Library and Museum reveals about Texas, then and now. Those stories and a whole lot more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardMay 21, 2021 10:16 am

Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Friday, May 21, 2021.

Abbott Controlling Pandemic Funds

Thursday, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced that the allocation of nearly $16 billion in federal funds for COVID-19 recovery will be left up to lawmakers during the fall special session. Bob Garrett, Austin bureau chief at The Dallas Morning News, explains the latest.

Texas Abortion Law

Gov. Abbott signed a new abortion restriction into law Wednesday. The bill bans abortions once a fetal heart rate is detected – which happens very early in a pregnancy. While courts across the country have struck down similar so-called “heartbeat bills” as unconstitutional… KUT Austin’s Ashley Lopez reports Texas’ new law is going to be a little harder for abortion providers and abortion rights activists to stop.

Wine Grape-Growing in West Texas

Texas grape growers are seeing their vineyards bloom and come to life this time of year. But to get to this point, the state’s booming grape and wine industry has had to become resilient to the ups-and-downs of changing weather patterns. Texas Tech Public Media’s Jayme Lozano checks in on some growers in West Texas.

Digging Into a Concept Album’s Backstory

Every song has a backstory. That’s the idea behind a new series of conversations our partner station KERA North Texas is having with North Texas music-makers. So what do you think is the meaning behind an album titled “Waitsgiving”? KERA’s Jerome Weeks talked with Eric Michener from his band Fishboy.

Life Without Parole

There are about 2,500 people on death row across the country, but there are almost 56,000 people serving sentences that will keep them locked up until they die. That’s an increase of 66 percent since 2003. Cary Aspinwall,investigative reporter for The Marshall Project, joins us to talk about the reasons behind the increase.

 LBJ Presidential Library and Museum 50th Anniversary

Fifty years ago tomorrow – on May 22nd, 1971 – the first presidential library to call Texas home opened its doors on the campus of the University of Texas at Austin. The library and museum commemorates one of the most turbulent and consequential presidencies of the 20th century — that of Lyndon Baines Johnson. And as the Texas Standard’s Shelly Brisbin reports, the dedication of the LBJ Library marked both a coming together, and an example of the divisions that the 1960s revealed in American society.

Typewriter Rodeo: A Pandemic Garden

The Week in Texas Politics With The Texas Tribune

All this and Texas News Roundup, plus Michael Marks with the talk of Texas.

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