Texas Standard For December 10, 2020

The start of the next Texas legislative session is looming, but what will it look like during this pandemic? We’ll examine questions over how Texas lawmakers will vote and what access the public will have to hearings. And: Texas nursing homes will be among the first places in the state to get access to the COVID-19 vaccine. We’ll look at how that rollout will happen. Also: How a Texas town dependent on tourism is faring in this time of limited travel. That plus some options for safely connecting with Santa this holiday season. And why the keepsake could be more meaningful.

By Texas StandardDecember 10, 2020 10:19 am

Here’s what’s coming up on Texas Standard for Thursday, December 10, 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.

What’s the Deal with Texas Lege COVID-19 Preparation?

In about a month, the Texas Legislature opens for business. It’s the once-every-two years meet up that usually brings a lot of people to the Texas Capitol. But state lawmakers have been awfully quiet as to how they’ll be able to meet during a pandemic and keep everyone safe. Scott Braddock is editor of the Quorum Report. He’ll join us to talk about what type of legislative session will take shape and how public it will be.

Administering Vaccines in Nursing Homes

This week, Gov. Greg Abbott told the White House Texas is ready to distribute about 100,000 shots within days of the vaccine’s approval. First in line to receive COVID-19 vaccinations in Texas: frontline health care workers and nursing home staff and residents. Patty Ducayet, the state’s long-term care ombudsman, talks to the Standard about how vaccine distribution in nursing homes will happen.

CRF Deadline Municipalities

Cities and counties across Texas that were big enough to receive their own share of coronavirus relief money are now racing to spend it. They’ve got a deadline to do so by December 30th. As KERA’s Bret Jaspers reports, North Texas governments are confident they’ll be able to spend it all before then.

Travel Communities and Workers Suffering

Thanksgiving saw the biggest single day of air travel since the pandemic began. But Transportation Security Administration officials say Thanksgiving travel was still only 40% of what it was the year before. That’s good news to health experts but the lack of travelers has been devastating for cities that cater to tourists. Texas Public Radio’s Paul Flahive looks at how San Antonio is faring.

How to Zoom with Santa

Parents who would normally be lining up this time of year at the mall to snap a pic of their kids with Santa Claus have had to make other plans. Fortunately for them, entrepreneurs, including several in Texas, were thinking ahead, too. Tech expert Omar Gallaga talks to the Standard about his story on Medium called “How to Zoom with Santa.”

Heel to Toe: Barbara Anderson


The upcoming winter holidays approximately mark the midpoint for school districts across Texas. But the return to school after the New Year will look different for many. In the Austin Independent School District, more than 900 teachers have been denied medical accommodations to teach from home next semester as the coronavirus pandemic continues. KUT’s Claire McInerny spoke with AISD’s superintendent about why the district’s policy changed.

 Energy Transition Series, part 1

President-elect Joe Biden has been criticized for saying he will move the energy industry away from oil and gas. But the idea is not new in Houston. In fact, the transition to cleaner energy is drawing billions of dollars of investment to the city. And as Houston Public Media’s Kyra Buckley reports, it’s changing how major oil and gas companies operate.

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

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