Texas Standard for July 11, 2023: 2024 Senate race comes into focus as Gutierrez announces candidacy

State Sen. Roland Gutierrez has announced his candidacy for U.S. Senate, making him the second high-profile Democrat to challenge Sen. Ted Cruz.

By Texas StandardJuly 11, 2023 9:09 am,

Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Tuesday, July 11, 2023:

Texas House and Senate reach deal on $18 billion property tax cut package

After a months-long standoff, state lawmakers finally struck a deal on how to cut property taxes. The compromise between the Texas House and Senate would give tax relief to Texas’s 5.7 million homeowners and create a tax-credit pilot program for properties that aren’t covered under the homestead exemption. Andrew Schneider, who covers politics for Houston Public Media, shares details about the deal.

2024 Senate race comes into focus

State Sen. Roland Gutierrez, a Democrat who represents Uvalde and parts of San Antonio, has announced his candidacy for U.S. Senate, making him the second high-profile Democrat to challenge Sen. Ted Cruz. Rep. Colin Allred, a Democrat from Dallas, announced his candidacy in May. We’ll check in with Jim Arnold, a lobbyist and strategist with Arnold Public Affairs, about what to expect in the primary and general elections.

West Nile case in North Texas

The Dallas County Health and Human Services Department has reported the state’s first human case of West Nile Virus for 2023. And 15 counties across Texas – near Amarillo, Lubbock, Wichita Falls, Austin, San Antonio and Houston, among others – have identified mosquitoes carrying West Nile. Check out these tips on avoiding mosquito-borne illnesses.

Self-driving semis could be in Texas next year

From Tesla’s autopilot mode to the Cruise rideshare program in Austin, it seems like there are more autonomous (or self-driving) vehicles around us by the day. Another company, Aurora, hopes to have a full fleet of self-driving semis carrying goods across Texas by the end of 2024. Alexandra Skores, business reporter for the Dallas Morning News, shares the newest developments.

Researcher visits the Odessa Meteor Crater — hoping it will help prepare humanity for future asteroid strikes

About 60,000 years ago, when woolly mammoths and saber-toothed tigers roamed the Earth, an asteroid slammed into today’s West Texas. Now a researcher is taking a closer look at Odessa’s Meteor Crater to see what she can find to help respond to future asteroid strikes. Marfa Public Radio’s Mitch Borden takes us there.

What’s the difference between dragonflies and damselflies?

Wizzie Brown, program specialist with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and our resident insect expert, teaches us about these oft-confused winged creatures.

Summer ice businesses help Texans beat the heat

When the summer heat starts slowing most people down, ice businesses across Texas really ramp up. KUT’s Krissi Micklethwait takes a look behind the scenes of what it takes to keep Austin cool.

Latest on dispute between Arlington nuns and Fort Worth bishop

Marissa Greene, faith reporter for the Fort Worth Report, shares the latest in a legal battle between a group of Carmelite nuns in Arlington and Bishop Michael F. Olson of the Catholic Diocese of Fort Worth.

All this, plus the Texas Newsroom’s state roundup and Michael Marks with the Talk of Texas.

If you found the reporting above valuable, please consider making a donation to support it here. Your gift helps pay for everything you find on texasstandard.org and KUT.org. Thanks for donating today.