Texas Standard For April 22, 2021

With six weeks left in the session, a look at how the Legislature is progressing through a long list or priorities. And: Families who’ve lost loved ones to COVID are getting help paying for funerals. Also: South Texas landowners continue to face seizure of their property to build border barriers. All this an more on today’s Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardApril 22, 2021 7:44 am

Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Thursday, April 22, 2021.

Texas Lege Update

The clock is ticking down for the Texas Legislature, with just six weeks left in its 140 day session. With voting laws to policing and criminal justice reform, the future of Medicaid in Texas, abortion laws, gun laws, and steps to prevent catastrophic power outages,  the Lege is far from finished. So where do we stand? We’re blowing out the A segment for a talk with Andrea Zelinski, politics reporter for Texas Monthly and Cassi Pollock, state politics reporter for the Texas Tribune.

FEMA Funeral Assistance

For the nearly 50,000 Texas families who lost a loved one to COVID-19, there’s the shock and grief – but also the added burden of arranging cremation or burial services during a pandemic. The Texas Standard’s Kristen Cabrera reports on how the federal government is now offering a way to ease that financial burden for loved ones.

Wasting Less Time in Meetings

A lot has changed about work during the past year. But if you have an office job, you’re probably still attending your fair share of meetings. And while you’re on Zoom, you probably aren’t getting much work done. Our tech expert Omar Gallaga says there are plenty of ways to make meetings more useful and even less frequent.

 Borderland Eminent Domain

An end to an ongoing court battle on the Texas southern border has left one family upset and confused. Under the Trump administration, the Cavazos family fought to keep the U.S. government from seizing their land for border wall construction. Joe Biden’s election seemed like a ray of hope. But despite the change in administrations, a federal judge just ruled in favor of the government’s “immediate possession” of a portion of the family’s land. Joining us today is Rey Anzaldua, a cousin of the Cavazos siblings who own the land.

Lanny Smith on Earth Day


As awareness of transgender and nonbinary identities grow, the formerly sleepy grammatical field of pronouns –  “he,” “she” and “they,” to name a few – have sparked a ton of conversation. Linguist Laurel Stvan teaches at UT Arlington. She joins us today to talk about pronouns’ evolving use and how we relate to each other.

Criminal Justice Reform Proposals at the Legislature

With only weeks left at the Legislature, one key issue working its way through the Texas House is criminal justice reform. There, a bipartisan push for a package of reforms branded as “Smarter Justice, Safer Texas” is underway. It’s key proponents are Republican House Speaker Dade Phelan and Democratic House Speaker Pro Tem Joe Moody. Rep. Moody joins us today to talk about this priority legislation.

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

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