Trump Justice Department Gives Its OK To Texas Voter ID Law

Our daily roundup of Texas headlines.

By Becky FogelJuly 7, 2017 2:21 pm

The Standard’s news roundup gives you a quick hit of interesting, sometimes irreverent, and breaking news stories from all over the state.

The U.S. Justice Department says the Texas Voter ID law is good to go after state lawmakers made changes to it during the recent legislative session.

In a brief filed Thursday, the DOJ said an ongoing legal challenge to the controversial law should end.

Trey Shaar from KUT News in Austin has more.

“That’s a big change from the Obama administration’s Justice Department, which argued the original law was discriminatory. The 5th Circuit Court agreed and sent the matter back to a lower court to determine if that discrimination was intentional. The court also ordered changes to the law ahead of last November’s election. The new version of the law adopts those changes, mainly allowing people without one of the accepted forms of photo ID to use other means to prove who they are. As far as the current Justice Department is concerned, that’s good enough. But the court will have the final say.”

Last week, we mentioned that the Dallas Museum of Art would try to set a world record.

The plan was to assemble the largest gathering ever of people dressed as artist Frida Kahlo.

It was meant to mark her 110th birthday – which would have been Thursday.

And that night, hundreds of people dressed as the iconic Mexican artist swarmed into the museum.

Kimberly Daniell, one of the organizers with the museum, told KERA’s Art&Seek, what people had to wear to be counted toward the attempt to be recognized by Guinness Book of World Records.

“A unibrow must be worn. You need to have at least three artificial flowers in your hair. A pink or red shawl. And a flower dress that hits below the knees and does not have any slits on the side.”

The contest, and the costume requirements, sparked concerns about cultural appropriation on the museum’s Facebook page. But Thursday night, there were no protests.

Thirty-six-year-old Angela Benitez, said taking part in the record attempt and celebrating Kahlo’s birthday, is a way to connect to her Mexican heritage.

“I’m very proud of my heritage,” Benitez says. “My husband recently took me to see her museum in Mexico City and it was just beautiful to see the way she lived. I feel like the fact that they’re celebrating her, it’s a good thing. I think it’s just a way of honoring her as a person. I think anyone that interprets her to be beautiful and Mexican is a good thing.”

There’s still no official word yet on whether a record was set – but it hasn’t been attempted before.

Texas is the second best state in the country to start a business, edged out only by North Dakota.

That’s according to recent report from the finance website WalletHub.

Jill Gonzalez, an analyst with the company. says several factors gave Texas an edge.

“Things like costs, not only things like the mature corporation tax rate, but also just general things like cost of living, median income, so that if you are starting a business you can kind of gage how much that will cost you in terms of human capitol,” she says.

Gonzalez breaks down what earned Texas the number two spot.

“First of all, we’ve seen that the number of small businesses have grown by about 10 percent over the past year,” she says “and that’s the second highest number that we saw. We also saw business revenues grow as well – almost by 40 percent over the last five years, and that number is really hard to top.”

Gonzalez adds that overall the business climate is really healthy in the state, making for plenty of resources and access to employees.