Texas Standard For September 8, 2021

The date’s been set: September 20. And so has the agenda, if the governor has his way. What’s in store for a third special session? We’ll have details. And: New lawsuits take aim at Texas’ new election laws. Also: As the U.S. goes, so goes Mexico? Quite the contrary, as Mexico’s Supreme Court, in a dramatic step, decriminalizes abortion. A victory for an increasingly strong women’s rights movement there. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardSeptember 8, 2021 9:30 am

Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Wednesday, September 8, 2021.

Third Special Session

Gov Greg Abbott has called a third special session for the Texas Legislature. While the session will focus on redistricting, the governor included right-wing issues like transgender student sports. Here to help us breakdown the governor’s agenda Juan Carlos Huerta, political science professor at Texas A&M Corpus Christi.

SB1 Lawsuits

Senate Bill 1 implements new voting restrictions. It’s now been officially signed into law,  and with the governor’s signature come several lawsuits. The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), the NAACP and the Texas Alliance for Retired Americans are just some of the organizations aiming to fight the state in federal court. For more on how these lawsuits could pan out is Mark Jones, professor with the Baker Institute For Public Policy at Rice University.

Worker Heat Death Series, part 2

Over the past decade more than four dozen workers have died from excessive heat in Texas, according to an investigation by Columbia Journalism Investigations, NPR and The Texas Newsroom. Many of those who died were workers of color in construction, trash collection, mining and gas extraction. In part two of our seven-part series, KERA’s Stella Chavez continues the story of Karl Simmons, a North Texas man who died after repairing soccer fields in Fort Worth. Warning: this story contains sensitive audio that may be upsetting for some listeners.

W.F. Strong: Words That Migrated to Modern English

Texans have a unique way of talking. What we say, and how we say it are important. But it can be easy to lose the plot. Where do some of the words we use but think little about actually originate? Our commentator W.F. Strong considers himself an amateur linguist, and wondered how certain words ended up as common words in English.

Eyes of Texas Lawsuit

Football season is underway at the University of Texas at Austin, and with it comes “The Eyes of Texas,” the school’s alma mater song. But “The Eyes” are under fire again. Last week, the Texas and UT-Austin chapters of the NAACP, along with a group of anonymous UT students, filed a complaint over the song with the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights. They claim UT-Austin is creating a quote “hostile environment” for Black students by continuing to play the “The Eyes of Texas,” since the song likely debuted at a minstrel show. Here to talk about the recent complaint is Texas Tribune higher education reporter Kate McGee.

 Bill Comes Due on $7 Billion Bailout

Texas leaders had long known they weren’t charging businesses enough unemployment insurance tax to ride out a deep, job-killing recession like the one last year. The federal government bailed it out last June and paid some portion for 10 of the last 18 months. Texas Public Radio’s Paul Flahive reports the bill on nearly $7 billion in loans is now coming due.

 Pediatric Hospitalizations

Another grim milestone in Texas’ latest COVID surge: hospitalizations of children with the illness recently hit an all-time high. Once seemingly spared from the worst effects of COVID-19, the spreading delta variant appears to be landing more children in the hospital, though it’s still unclear if it is actually more dangerous for kids. Julian Gill has been reporting on this for the Houston Chronicle, where he’s a medical reporter.

Abortion Law in Mexico

Yesterday, Mexico’s Supreme Court unanimously ruled that penalizing abortion is unconstitutional. Currently, abortion is legal up to 12 weeks into a pregnancy in Mexico City and a handful of the country’s 31 states. The new decision is expected to clear the way for the legal status of abortion nationwide. For more, we’re joined by Mary Beth Sheridan, Mexico and Central America correspondent for The Washington Post.

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

If you found the reporting above valuable, please consider making a donation to support it here. Your gift helps pay for everything you find on texasstandard.org and KUT.org. Thanks for donating today.