Texas Standard for October 18, 2021

Raise your hands if you knew there was an election on Nov. 2. Eight proposed constitutional amendments will be in front of voters statewide next month – we’ll look at some of the top-line proposals. And: Billions in COVID relief money. How are Texas lawmakers using those dollars? Also: A longtime NPR journalist sharing her journey of what it means to become a parent to your parents. Plus: The struggles some school districts face trying to comply with a law designed to push back against critical race theory.

By Texas StandardOctober 18, 2021 8:53 am,

Constitutional amendments

Early voting begins today in the November election. On every Texan’s ballot will be eight proposed constitutional amendments. So what should you know about them before heading to the polls? We asked Houston Public Media politics and government reporter Andrew Schneider to help us figure that out.

COVID relief money

The Biden administration’s American Rescue Plan was an historic, $1.9 trillion response to the coronavirus pandemic. It passed through both chambers of Congress without a single Republican vote. But that’s not stopping GOP leaders in Texas from sharing in the spoils of the program – and drafting plans to use billions of dollars to offset voters’ property taxes, just in time for the 2022 elections. Investigative reporter Jay Root has been following the money for the Houston Chronicle and joins us today.

‘Demented’ podcast 

More than 42 million Americans are unpaid caregivers to an adult over the age of 50 – often a parent. Close to half of those older adults needing care have some form of dementia. That’s the situation longtime NPR journalist Kitty Eisele found herself in with her dad. She began documenting her experiences through audio diaries. Now she’s sharing them along with conversations with friends and experts in a new podcast distributed by Texas Public Radio called “Demented.” We’ll hear from her today.

Bexar County jail holds man extra five months

The Bexar County Sheriff’s Office mistakenly kept a man locked up an extra five months, Texas Public Radio has learned. TPR’s Paul Flahive reports the unjust incarceration highlights a county jail system inundated with inmates, struggling to keep up with its basic functions.

Torben Bech on ‘Swamp Lion’

Torben Bech is a Danish filmmaker, but his latest film is based in Pharr and McAllen, Texas. “Swamp Lion” follows a couple making dangerous sacrifices in an effort to get medical care for their child. Bech was inspired to write the film based in part by his own experiences worrying about getting sick while living in the United States. We’ll hear from Bech ahead of his film’s premier at the Austin Film Festival.

Leaving Beaumont Parish

In 1951, a young Roman Catholic priest from Spain came to southeast Texas. After a short time in Port Arthur he went to Beaumont, and started a church there. Seventy years later, both Father Luis Urriza and Cristo Rey Parish in Beaumont are still there. But after decades of service, he’s suddenly been asked to retire and to return to Spain by a bishop in the Catholic Church.We’ll get the story from the father today.

Latest at Southlake

Legislation preventing Texas schools from teaching critical race theory has put teachers and school districts on the spot. It‘s led to much confusion and debate – possibly nowhere more so than at Carroll ISD in Southlake, Texas. NBC News investigative reporter Mike Hixenbaugh has been following the story there as part of his “Southlake” podcast. He joins us with an update and reporting on a new controversy roiling the district: an administrator’s admonition that books about the Holocaust be balanced with “opposing” views.

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

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