Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Thursday, June 29, 2023:
In two closely watched cases, the high court ruled that affirmative action programs at both Harvard and the University of North Carolina violate the Equal Protection Clause and the 14th Amendment of the Constitution. We’ll speak with Lisa Eskow, clinical professor and co-director of the Supreme Court Clinic at the University of Texas School of Law, about the rulings.
Abortion was a right for all Americans for about 50 years after the landmark Supreme Court ruling in Roe v. Wade. That changed when the same court ruled differently last year. Now, those seeking an abortion in states like Texas must travel hundreds – or even thousands – of miles to places where abortion is still legal. KERA’s Caroline Love reports they face more risk as anti-abortion violence rises.
State Senate approves property tax relief, but its fate is uncertain
The Texas Legislature is still at a stalemate over property tax relief. The second special session kicked off this week, and yesterday the Senate passed its version of property tax relief, which includes increasing the homestead exemption and also gives supplemental payments to public school teachers. But the fate of the proposal is grim. The Texas Newsroom’s Sergio Martínez-Beltrán reports:
The area around San Antonio’s Medical Center has developed into a hub for immigrants from South and Central Asia, as well as the Middle East, during the last several decades. Most recently, thousands of Afghans fleeing the Taliban now call this area home – with a growing economy around them offering food from home and a sense of community. Texas Public Radio’s Joey Palacios reports as part of the series “Between Here and Home.”
Texas stands to receive more than $3 billion in federal funding to build out broadband Internet across the state. It’s the largest single chunk of money for broadband available to any state, and it’s among the fruits of the Biden administration’s bipartisan infrastructure law. State funding for broadband is coming, too. It’s estimated that millions of Texas households lack access to broadband. Our tech expert Omar Gallaga joins us with a few more details.
The latest housing boom reshaped many Texas communities, leaving some cities unrecognizable to locals. The Texas capital city is such a place – but what makes Austin different is that while it’s been booming, it’s also been losing its Black population. A new podcast from our home station KUT, “Growth Machine,” explores how decisions made now and in generations past have impacted how Austin has grown. Audrey McGlinchy, the podcast’s host and KUT’s housing reporter, joins us.
The ACLU has sent a letter to Texas school districts and charter schools warning them about a bill that allows school counselors to be replaced by religious chaplains. Gov. Greg Abbott recently signed into law SB 763, which requires school districts to vote by March 1 on whether they will allow schools to have chaplains on staff. The Rev. Erin Walter, executive director of the Texas Unitarian Universalist Justice Ministry, has written about this bill for ACLU Texas and joins us today.
All this, plus the Texas Newsroom’s state roundup and Shelly Brisbin with the Talk of Texas.