Texas Standard For April 20, 2021

A bill to allow permitless carry of handguns in Texas has passed the House. A done deal in the Texas Senate too? Not so fast. Although Republicans have control of the senate, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick says he does not now have the votes to pass permitless carry. We’ll hear the latest. And: It was a rare act of bipartisanship to save music and theatre venues hard hit by the pandemic. Now months later, none of the money has been allocated. What’s the holdup and will Texas stages survive? Also: The push to address homelessness in the capitol city amid political controversy over public camping. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardApril 20, 2021 10:08 am

Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Tuesday, April 20, 2021.

Permitless Carry Faces Uncertain Fate In Senate 

A measure that would allow Texans to carry handguns without a permit appears to be losing traction in the Texas Legislature. Last week, the bill was passed in the Texas House. But after law enforcement groups voiced their opposition, Lt.  Gov. Dan Patrick says it doesn’t have the votes to carry in the Texas Senate. Jeremy Wallace has been covering this for the Houston Chronicle, where he reports on state politics. Jeremy, thanks for coming on the Texas Standard.

Vaccinating College Students

The one-dose Johnson & Johnson shot was seen as the answer to vaccinating certain populations against COVID-19. College students, soon to be on summer break, were one of those groups. But now, use of that vaccine has been “paused” after reports of serious blood clots. As Texas Tech Public Media’s Sarah Self-Walbrick reports, one provider in Lubbock serving a university campus, had to pivot last week.

In-Home Vaccinations

For older Americans, scheduling a vaccine appointment has been difficult. It requires internet savvy and online access. But a new effort in Dallas brings vaccines to elder Texans launched Monday. The program brings COVID-19 shots to seniors without transportation — or those who can’t leave their home. KERA’s Alejandra Martinez tagged along on day one.

Save Our Stages Act

Independent live music venues were some of the first businesses to close due to the pandemic and are among the last to reopen. While venues were denied government assistance under the Paycheck Protection Program, venue owners are optimistic about the Save Our Stages Act, which offered $16 billion in grants to help clubs weather the closure. But now, more than four months after its bipartisan creation, the Save our Stages Act has yet to “deliver a cent of relief” to struggling club owners, writes David Dayen, executive editor of The American Prospect.

COVID Vaccine Appointment Coaches

All adults 16 and older in Texas have been eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine for a few weeks now. But that doesn’t mean actually finding an appointment has gotten any easier. It takes time, patience and often some technological savvy to mine through a bunch of waitlists. KUT’s Ashley Lopez reports, that’s why there’s a whole army of volunteers in Austin helping people get a vaccine.

Sounds Of Texas: Allan Graham On Multifaceted Solutions To Homelessness

Austin’s Strategy For Tackling Homelessness

After a year of job loss from the pandemic more than 27,000 Texans are now homeless. And probably no other city has faced more criticism in its approach to homelessness than the state’s capital city. Austin Homeless Strategy Officer Dianna Grey, talks to the Standard.

Church Groups’ Property Battle

A decade-old property battle between two church groups in North Texas seems to be over. The case went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, which refused to hear the case. As KERA’s Miranda Suarez reports, that means some faithful in North Texas have to leave the buildings they have worshipped in for years.

All this and Texas News Roundup, plus Shelly Brisbin with the Talk of Texas.

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