Texas Standard For January 15, 2021

The November elections suggested it wouldn’t be business as usual at the state house – unless of course, lawmakers changed the rules, we’ll have details. And: When Republicans lost a key seat in the Texas Senate, they lost their supermajority… a tool they’ve used to keep Democrats from blocking their priorities. We’ll hear what a new rule change means for the status quo ante. Also: Snow in Texas. Fun for kids, but farmers hope a harbinger of wetter and better days as they struggle with drought conditions. Plus: The Latino voices of the pandemic in Texas. Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardJanuary 15, 2021 9:30 am

Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Friday, January 15, 2021.

Texas Senate Republican Supermajority Rules

One of the first actions in the newly-convened Texas Legislature is making the rules – again – more advantageous to Republicans. This week, the GOP-led Texas Senate voted to undercut Democrats’ power changing a rule that now requires 19 senators to move legislation forward. It’s the second time Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick has worked on lowering the bar for approval in the chamber. Austin-based Dallas Morning News reporter Allie Morris talks to the Standard.

House Rules Debate

There’s new rules in the Texas House to keep lawmakers and staff safe during a pandemic. Here to discuss the debate over rules in the Texas House this week is Scott Braddock, editor for the Quorum Report.

Government Security

Last week’s insurrection at the U.S. Capitol building has forced local governments across Texas to rethink their own security. The Texas Capitol shut down temporarily on the day of the deadly riot in Washington, D.C., but could that happen again in the future? Houston Public Media’s Florian Martin has more on state and local efforts to safeguard against a similar threat.

Drought in Lubbock

Earlier this week, snow fell across different parts of Texas. But, it didn’t do much to help drought conditions in the South Plains region. Texas Tech Public Media’s Sarah Self-Walbrick reports, after a dry 2020, farmers and other agriculturists hope for more precipitation this year.


As UT-Austin Professor Maggie Rivas Rodriguez has discovered, being heard can be healing. For the past year, Rivas Rodrigues has been preserving the stories of Latino survivors of a global pandemic at the Voces Oral History Center, part of the Moody College of Communication at UT Austin.

‘The Cube’

COVID-19 restrictions have forced arts groups to offer shows online. But KERA’s Jerome Weeks reports a small group of Dallas artists has developed something different: a high-tech hybrid of the live and the digital.

Next Gen: Ariel Lee

COVID-19 has changed daily operations in almost every industry. It’s shuttered long-time businesses and it’s shattered the dreams of new ones. An entrepreneur in the Austin area has been rethinking her startup.She talked with Rolando Hernandez as part of NPR’s Next Generation Radio project.

Typewriter Rodeo

The Week in Politics with The Texas Tribune

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

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