Texas Standard For May 26, 2021

What a difference a year makes! The George Floyd Act, once poised to pass unanimously in Texas has stalled. Today we’ll tour the Texas Legislature and report on the progress, or lack thereof, legislators have made. From police reform bills to bail reform to permitless carry and marijuana related bills, we’ll take a look at the implications. And: In Texas literature, Pulitzer Prize winner Annette Gordon-Reed tells us how she mixed personal stories with history. Also: Jolting the electric vehicle market, here comes Lightning – ford’s newest F-150. Plus: Feral cats and the kids who are feeding them. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardMay 26, 2021 9:30 am

Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Wednesday, May 26, 2021.

Texas Lege Police Reforms Status

It’s been one year since the murder of Houston native George Floyd set off a reckoning over race and policing. As the Texas Legislature hurls toward adjournment next week, what’s the status of police reforms at the state level, including the George Floyd Act? We’ll talk to Mark Jones, a political science professor at Rice University in Houston.

Permitless Carry

Texans will soon be able to carry a handgun without a permit – or the background check and training that a permit requires. So-called constitutional carry passed a final hurdle in the Texas legislature Monday night. And Gov. Greg Abbott has said he’ll sign such a bill. Texas Public Radio’s Dominic Anthony Walsh has more on how people are responding.

Bail Reform

One of Gov. Greg Abbott’s top priorities for this legislative session is to make it harder for repeat violent criminal offenders to get bail. His preferred bill, known as the Damon Allen Act, has passed both houses of the Legislature, but in significantly different forms. Houston Public Media’s Andrew Schneider looks at the prospects for bail reform becoming law – and what it will mean for counties and poor defendants if it does?

Electric Ford F-150

The Ford F-150 is one of most popular personal vehicles in America, period. So any big changes to the tried and true pickup are going to make big news. Last week, Ford showed off its newest model of F-150, the Lightning edition, an apt name for the company’s first electric-powered truck. Base models start at $40,000 and have a range of about 230 miles on one charge. But beyond its capabilities as a vehicle, the F-150 Lightning could send a jolt through the automobile industry, too. Sean O’Kane, senior reporter for The Verge, talks to the Standard.

Marijuana Bills In Lege

The past few years have seen a shift in how the United States deals with cannabis. Texas has been slower to drop marijuana prohibition. But there are a handful of cannabis-related bills moving through the Texas Legislature right now. KUT Austin producer and host Jerry Quijano has been keeping an eye on these bills.

The Sounds of Texas: Annette Gordon-Reed On Juneteenth

Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian Annette Gordon-Reed’s new book is called “On Juneteenth” but, actually, only a portion of the text is directly dedicated to that topic. She tells the Standard about her own deep roots in Texas.

College Students Care for Feral Cats on Campus

Feral cats are common neighbors in many parts of North Texas. Some people consider them a blight and a nuisance. Others are happy to care for the wandering, furry felines that pad into their lives. KERA’s Miranda Suarez tagged along with a group that’s perpetually ringing the dinner bell.

PolitiFact Texas: Texas Job Openings Vs. Unemployment

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

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