Here’s what’s coming up on Texas Standard for Thursday, December 3, 2020. Listen on your Texas public radio station, or ask your smart speaker to play Texas Standard. We’ll have full posts for each story, including audio, a little later today.
The Texas Senate Without Its Supermajority
The Texas Senate this past Election Day lost its supermajority. And that impacts the rules for bill passage. It now takes 19 senators or three-fifths of the senate, to approve legislation for a vote. Now there’s 18 Republican senators. Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick, who has a track record of changing the rules to push through a GOP agenda, could do so again. Texas Tribune political reporter Patrick Sviteck writes about it today and talked to the Standard.
What’s Next On COVID-19’s Spread
Public health experts had warned the holiday season would be a dangerous time. With colder weather forcing people inside in addition to holiday gatherings, it was expected COVID-19 cases would spike in Texas. Now that we’re well into the holiday season, KUT Austin’s Ashley Lopez reports on what the winter could bring.
A Payday Loan Alternative
Last month, a nonprofit lender began offering low-cost, small-dollar loans to people with poor or no credit in Texas. It’s an alternative to lending services that often come with high costs and high risks for borrowers. As KERA’s Christopher Connelly reports, the new alternative lender arrives as more Texans are struggling financially.
Etsy A Haven For Local Businesses
When life gives you a pandemic, one way to make lemonade is to open an Etsy store. That piece of 2020 wisdom comes from Texas Standard tech expert, Omar Gallaga, who wrote recently for the local news site 3rd and Lamar about Austin businesses that have found a new home at the online craft marketplace, Etsy.
Cancer Risks Near Oil Refineries
A new study finds that Texans who live nearest to oil refineries are at significantly higher risk of getting cancer The study, recently published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute, was conducted by a team at the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. The researchers used Texas Cancer Registry and Census data from 2001 through 2014, to compare rates of cancer of people within 30 miles of 28 active Texas oil refineries. Stephen Williams, chief of urology at UTMB, co-authored the study and talked to the Standard.
A Book About Texas and Mexico’s Revolutionary Women
Much has been written and told about the men of the Mexican Revolution, but what about the women who played a major role in this transformative period between 1910 and 1920 for Mexicans and Texans? A new book out this week brings these stories of those revolutionary women to the forefront. Kathy Sosa, one of the editors for “Revolutionary Women of Texas and Mexico: Portraits of Soldaderas, Saints and Subversives,” talks to the Standard.
Hydrogen And The Future Of Clean Energy
Hydrogen is the most abundant chemical substance in the universe and it’s also famously explosive. But our understanding of that element and how to safely use it has come a long way since that famous Hindenburg disaster in 1937. Now, hydrogen is an emerging player in green energy, with some scientists optimistic that it could be a key player in reducing carbon emissions. Houston Chronicle business columnist Chris Tomlinson, who recently wrote about how Texas may also be well-positioned to break into the up-and-coming hydrogen industry, talks to the Standard.
All this and Texas News Roundup, plus Shelly Brisbin with the Talk of Texas.