Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Monday, Jan. 16, 2023:
The first 60 days of the Texas legislative session are marked by lawmakers introducing bills – with most of the voting taking place toward the end of the 140-day period. But that doesn’t mean nothing is happening at the statehouse, as elected officials take on their committee assignments and start to push for their priorities. Mark Jones, political science professor at Rice University, joins Texas Standard to break down the Legislature’s first week of work.
The Houston Independent School District is facing a takeover by the state. On Friday, the Texas Supreme Court sided with state education officials in a years-long dispute over who should run the district. HISD first came under scrutiny from the Texas Education Agency in 2019, due to poor academic performance at a local high school and allegations of trustee misconduct. Dominic Walsh, education reporter for Houston Public Media, talks to the Texas Standard about the latest news.
A Texas drought update
Last year’s drought was the worst Texas has seen since 2011. But, this year could bring much needed cooler and wetter weather. KACU’s Sheridan Wood has more:
When an oil spill was first reported in Corpus Christi Bay on Dec. 24, initial estimates were that only 90 barrels of oil had leaked into the water – but it’s now estimated that more than 335 barrels spilled into the bay. Armon Alex, co-founder of the Gulf of Mexico Youth Climate Summit and vice chairman of the Corpus Christi mayor’s environmental task force, shares what Corpus’ beaches look like.
These days, tractors are high-tech machines, controlled by software. That software – and a lot of other components on a modern tractor – is not controlled by the farmer who bought it, but by the company that built it. Farmers often can’t take their farm vehicles to independent service providers for repair, nor can they buy the parts to do the job themselves. Under a new agreement between the largest tractor maker, John Deere, and the US Farm Bureau Federation, that could change. Aaron Perzanowski, author of “The Right to Repair: Reclaiming the Things We Own” and a professor of law at the University of Michigan, talks to the Texas Standard about this next step for the “right to repair” movement.
Described as a Tex-Mex pop trio, the band the Last Bandoleros originated in San Antonio. Their albums have names like “Tex Flex,” “Live from Texas” and even “San Antonio.” While they now no longer call the Lone Star State home, Texas Public Radio’s Jack Morgan found that they are in a sense more connected with their roots than ever.
What would Martin Luther King Jr. make of today’s political and social landscape? He spent his years trying to build what he called “the beloved community” – what the King Center defines as a global vision in which all people can share in the wealth of the earth. Peniel Joseph, inaugural associate dean for Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at UT-Austin’s LBJ School and occasional Texas Standard commentator, reflects on King’s significance today.
All this, plus the Texas Newsroom’s state roundup and Michael Marks with the Talk of Texas.