Here are the stories on Texas Standard for Friday, March 31, 2023:
Over 30 million people now call Texas home, according to new U.S. Census Bureau data. It’s the fourth fastest growing state in the nation. But that growth is not being felt evenly across the state. Helen You, associate director of the Texas Demographic Center, joins us to talk numbers.
A bill that would outlaw the death penalty in Texas for capital offenses committed by people with “severe mental illnesses” is making its way through the Texas House of Representatives. The Standard’s Sean Saldana reports its impact would be limited to schizophrenia, schizoaffective disorders and bipolar disorders.
Some Texas Republicans want to abandon a national voting security system that’s charged with ensuring that individuals can vote only in the state where they currently live – despite there being no replacement in sight. Michael Morse wrote for Slate about how the Electronic Information Registration Center works, and why GOP lawmakers want out.
GOP-authored bills target Harris County’s control over elections
The Texas Senate is considering a pair of bills aimed at removing Harris County’s elections administrator. Houston Public Media’s Andrew Schneider says the bills come in the wake of high-profile problems with last year’s primary and general elections in Harris County:
With growth and gentrification comes displacement. You can literally taste it in Austin’s tacos, where what might be a $2 meal at one location could cost $9 just a few blocks away. Taco journalist and podcast host Mando Rayo talks about it with us.
The tiny West Texas town of Toyah has been under a boil water notice for five years. The town’s leaders say the water is fine, despite reports of rashes, bacterial infections and noticeably dirty water coming out of taps. Marfa Public Radio’s Mitch Borden, in collaboration with Inside Climate News, met up with a team that recently came to test the water.
The gang delivers another custom poem. Get in touch with your own topic suggestions!
Texas Tribune political reporter James Barragán stops by with a recap of the week that was, including U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee announcing a run for Houston mayor, the resignation of state Rep. Jolanda Jones’ senior office staff, and state troopers’ enhanced patrol of Austin streets.
All this, plus the Texas Newsroom’s state roundup and Wells Dunbar with the Talk of Texas.