Texas Standard For April 6, 2021

Do the state’s numbers add up? A Houston Chronicle investigation finds twice as many deaths due to the February storm and blackouts. Other stories we’re tracking, the return of baseball and the absence of the governor who turned down the opportunity to throw the first pitch. But he may have lobbed an early salvo in a much bigger matter over changes to voting laws in Texas, one with huge implications. Gromer Jeffers of The Dallas Morning News explains. Also: The story of the Texas women who led a revolution in voting rights. Plus: Trying to buy a home in Texas? You may not believe who you’re competing against. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardApril 6, 2021 9:43 am

Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Tuesday, April 6, 2021.

Winter Storm Death Toll

A recent analysis from the Houston Chronicle shows that nearly twice as many Texans died in February’s winter storm as the state is reporting. The paper found almost 200 people died of hypothermia in their homes or when exposed to the low temperatures outside. Reporter Zach Despart is part of the team covering the story, and he joins us today.

Texas Election Law Backlash

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott says he’s no longer participating in any event held by Major League Baseball. This comes following the MLB announcement that they’re pulling their All-Star game from Atlanta, after Georgia’s governor signed off on more restrictive election law changes. Gromer Jeffers has been writing about this for The Dallas Morning News, where he covers state politics. He talks about the Texas bill and the backlash on today’s show.

Texas Insurrection

So far, three dozen Texans have been arrested and charged with various crimes in connection with the Jan. 6 storming of the U.S. Capitol. That’s more than from almost any other state in the country. Houston Public Media’s Andrew Schneider looked into why Texans had such an outsized presence at the riot.

Energy Bills Repricing and Reforms

With two months left in the legislative session, Texas state lawmakers are split on how to address the fallout of February’s sweeping power outages. As Texas Public Radio’s Dominic Anthony Walsh reports, there’s a lot to do but little consensus.

A Black Church versus Payday Lenders, part 2

Yesterday, we heard about the role Black churches played in passing Dallas’ first-in-the-state regulations on payday and auto-title lending. Today, hear how one Dallas church ended up buying a credit union to offer their congregation alternatives. KERA’s Christopher Connelly has the story.

“Citizens at Last”

One big issue this legislative session are proposed changes to how and when Texans can vote. But it wasn’t a right that was always guaranteed for everyone, of course – including women. A new documentary shines a light on the Texas women who fought for the right to cast a ballot. “Citizens At Last: Texas Women Fight For The Vote” is airing on PBS stations across the nation and streaming also. We’ll speak with two of the film’s principals, Ellen C. Temple and Nancy Schiesari.

Investors and the Housing Market

If you thought the Texas real estate market was tough these days, it’s not just buyers from out of state you’re competing with. It can be entire investment groups. Take Conroe, just 40 miles north of Houston. This past winter, a bidding war took place: not over just one house, but an entire subdivision. To find out about what’s going on to drive those housing prices even higher, we turn to Wall Street Journal reporter Ryan Dezember.

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

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