Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Thursday, Jan. 19, 2023:
Yesterday, the Texas House and Senate each released initial drafts of a state budget bill. At more than 1,000 pages each, the bills propose to spend at least $130 billion over the next few years. The even bigger question: what to do with an anticipated $33 billion surplus. Robert Garrett, Austin bureau chief of the Dallas Morning News joins us with details.
Since the May shooting at Robb Elementary in Uvalde, families of the victims and other gun-safety advocates have been calling on lawmakers to consider a series of bills they say could help prevent the next tragedy like this. But with the Legislature now back in session, the Texas Newsroom’s Sergio Martínez-Beltrán reports that history shows it’s unlikely Republicans will act on any of those proposals.
The latest on Southwest Airlines
At least two more lawsuits against Southwest Airlines were filed this week. KERA’s Bill Zeeble reports they’re all tied to the carrier’s historic Christmas-time meltdown:
Most countries around the world have reduced or eliminated restrictions aimed at reducing transmission of COVID-19. But the virus is still infecting people – and there are those for whom the pandemic remains a daily part of life because of long COVID. Some people with long COVID develop what is often called chronic fatigue syndrome, for which there is no known cure. Amanda Morris covers disability for the Washington Post and joins us today.
Central Texas’ Pflugerville Independent School District is considering closing several elementary schools. The district says it’s millions of dollars in the hole and blames a lot of that on insufficient state funding. The proposed closures shocked both parents and teachers. KUT Austin’s Becky Fogel reports families, students and school staff are urging the district to find other ways to save money.
Co-authors Suzanne García-Mateus and Mando Rayo set out to write a children’s book that reflected their own culture. What they ended up with is a series of three. We’ll hear from García-Mateus about the second book in the series, ‘Vitamina C for Cultura: An alphabet book, cultural dictionary and guide.’
If you are a PC gamer, it’s possible to find high-quality games for free. You just need to know where to look and be willing to exercise a little patience. So says our tech expert Omar Gallaga, who wrote recently for Wired about how you can build up a great library of PC games for free.
The University of Texas at Austin has blocked access to TikTok for anyone connected to campus wi-fi. Several other Texas universities done the same following Gov. Greg Abbott’s directive to ban the app from all state-issued devices. Sarah Winch, a junior public relations major at the University of Texas and the social media editor at the Daily Texan student newspaper, joins us today to talk about the ban.
All this, plus the Texas Newsroom’s state roundup and Shelly Brisbin with the Talk of Texas.