Texas Standard for June 13, 2022: Retired teachers hit hard by inflation

While inflation is hurting the wallets of many, retired Texas teachers are getting hit especially hard: The Teacher Retirement System’s pension benefit payouts are not adjusted for inflation. And: Less than Democrats hoped for but more than they expected – that’s how a new bipartisan gun safety deal, led in part by Sen. John Cornyn, is being characterized by some. We’ll hear what’s in it and what isn’t. Also: The tight market for homes in Austin and elsewhere in Texas; would-be homebuyers might be surprised what they’re up against.

Those stories and more today on the Texas Standard:

By Texas StandardJune 13, 2022 9:34 am,

Here’s are the stories on Texas Standard for Monday, June 13, 2022:

U.S. senators reach deal on gun legislation in aftermath of Uvalde shooting

The Texas Tribune reports Sen. John Cornyn was one of the lead negotiators for the proposal, which would expand background checks for people under 21 and encourage states to enact “red flag” laws. President Joe Biden and House Democrats had wanted to go further. For more, we’re talking to Abby Livingston, Washington bureau chief for the Tribune.

FDA says Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are safe for children under 5

The federal Food and Drug Administration says COVID vaccines made by Moderna and Pfizer appear to be safe and effective for children under the age of 5. Later this week, a panel of outside experts will vote on whether the vaccines can be rolled out for the nation’s 18 million babies, toddlers and preschoolers. Dr. Trish Perl, a professor of internal medicine at UT Southwestern in Dallas, joins us with the latest.

Scientists think air pollution could be causing more intense thunderstorms

Scientists from across the country are in Houston this summer to study the correlation between dirty air particles and thunderstorms. Houston Public Media’s Katie Watkins visited the research site and reports on how this could help improve future Texas forecasts.

Investors purchased 28 percent of Texas homes last year

A new report [PDF] from the National Association of Realtors found 28 percent of homes purchased in Texas’ white-hot housing market last year went to institutional investors – more than double the national average of 13 percent. And the kicker? They’re paying in cash. Nadia Evangelou, a senior economist and the director of forecasting for the National Association of Realtors, joins us to share more.

Retired teachers hit hard by inflation

While inflation is hurting the wallets of many, retired Texas teachers are getting hit especially hard. The Teacher Retirement System’s pension benefit payouts are not adjusted for inflation, reducing its purchasing power. Texas A&M economic professor Dennis Jansen has more on how inflation equates to “the cruelest tax.”

Does TCU’s new concert hall make the cut?

The 16th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition continues in Fort Worth. The original 30 musicians are now down to six semi-finalists. From the start, both audiences and jury members have been judging the musicians – that’s part of any competition. But there was also another player on trial: the new hall at Texas Christian University. KERA’s Bill Zeeble asked if it delivers.

Voices from gun control protests: listen

Across the U.S. on Saturday, thousands of people participated in events calling for gun control, inspired by several recent mass shootings, including last month’s massacre at an elementary school in Uvalde. Public radio reporters across the state talked with people who attended – we’ll hear from them in this montage produced by The Texas Newsroom’s Rachel Osier Lindley.

Family matters in childhood type 2 diabetes

An American is diagnosed with diabetes every 21 seconds, according to the National Diabetes Statistics Report.  The CDC reports that over 30 million Americans have type 2 diabetes. We often think about diabetes in terms of these staggering statistics, but the disease impacts one person at a time – each with their own story. Texas Public Radio’s Yvette Benavides and David Martin Davies continue their series Diagnosis: Diabetes.

All this, plus the Texas Newsroom’s state roundup and Wells Dunbar 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.