Texas Standard For May 7, 2021

Changes to the state’s election laws approved by the House in the wee small hours of this morning. So what happens next? Richard Pineda of the University of Texas-El Paso on the battle in the Texas Legislature over more restrictions for what some voting rights groups claim are already among the toughest voting rules in the nation. And: In a state with one of the biggest Muslim populations in the U.S., not a single state lawmakers is a Muslim. How some in the Texas Muslim community are trying to offset a lack of direct representation. Also: A Grammy winner’s tribute to coastal Texas, and more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardMay 7, 2021 9:32 am

Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Friday, May 7, 2021.

Texas Election Measures

Texas is attempting to restrict some voting measures, as are Republican-controlled state government across the country. Following former president Donald Trump’s reelection loss, proponents continue to claim widespread election fraud, despite a lack of evidence. For a closer look at the state of Texas’ proposals, we’re joined by Richard Pineda, director of the Sam Donaldson Center for Communication Studies at the University of Texas in El Paso.

Muslims in the Texas Legislature

Texas has one of the highest Muslim populations in the country, with nearly half a million living in the state. But out of Texas’ 180-plus state lawmakers, not one identifies as Muslim. As the 2021 legislature races to its conclusion at the end of this month, Haya Panjwani reports on how many in the Muslim community are trying to compensate for a lack of direct representation.

The Sounds of Texas: Sexual Assault Legislation

A Houston area woman named Rhonda is sharing her story about sexual abuse as a child because she wants to push lawmakers to erase the statute of limitations on bringing civil suits in cases of rape or sexual assault. Her case was not included in recent efforts to expand the statute in Texas. HB 2071 would remove the statute for civil suits when the survivor was a minor and would open up prosecution in Rhonda’s case but, right now, it has not moved out of its house committee.

ICE Vaccines

Immigration detention centers have been hotbed for COVID-19 during the pandemic. But Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) still has no clear plan for how to vaccinate everyone in its care. Houston Public Media’s Elizabeth Trovall has more on how this is playing out in Texas, which has the largest number of these detention centers – and where the infection rate among detainees is 44 times the rest of the state.

Mother’s Day Voces

For Texas musicians, the pandemic has been devastating. And it’s not just concert stages either – consider the restaurants and other venues where mariachis would regularly play. But as Mother’s Day approaches, many mariachis are tuning their instruments again – including a popular group in San Antonio. Estrella Hernandez has their story.

Sarah Jarosz on “Blue Heron Suite”

When she was a child, Port Aransas was a  favorite getaway for Sarah Jarosz. She and her parents would often drive down from their home in Wimberley, where the Grammy Award-winning songwriter and musician grew up. The Texas Coast has stayed with Jarosz. Her latest album, “The Blue Heron Suite,” is a cycle of songs inspired by her time at the beach with her family.

Typewriter Rodeo

The Week in Texas Politics, with the Texas Tribune

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

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