Texas

Detainees at the Port Isabel Detention Center in the Rio Grande Valley have been concerned about a potential COVID-19 outbreak at the facility for months, as the novel coronavirus continues to spread in Immigrant and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention facilities across the country.


North Texas LGBTQ advocates are celebrating Monday's U.S. Supreme Court ruling on sexual discrimination in the workforce. In a 6-3 vote, the court ruled that LGBTQ employees can't be fired because of their sexual orientation. 

With the number of people hospitalized for the new coronavirus continuing to climb in Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott said Friday that there’s “no real need to ratchet back the opening of businesses in the state.”

Texans who want to vote in the upcoming Texas primary runoff election have until Monday, to register.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott delayed the upcoming primary runoffs from May to July after the coronavirus pandemic hit the state of Texas.

President Donald Trump rejected calls to defund police during his visit to Dallas Thursday. Trump was in town for a roundtable discussion about policing and race relations, and his first in-person fundraiser since pandemic lockdowns began. 

Criminal indictments were announced against four executives at two of the largest poultry processing companies in the country last week. Friday, Jayson Penn the CEO of Pilgrim's Pride pleaded not guilty to the price-fixing charges. The same day the Justice Department issued subpoenas against the four largest beef processing and meat packing outfits.

People with intellectual disabilities and autism who contract COVID-19 die at higher rates than the rest of the population, according to an analysis by NPR of numbers obtained from two states that collect data. They also contract the virus at a higher rate, according to research looking into group homes across the United States.

The state of Texas has spent more than $200 million on 106 bulk orders of personal protective equipment from March 1 through early June, according to purchase orders released Tuesday by the Texas Division of Emergency Management.

After Sandra Bland's death in a rural Texas jail drew outrage across the nation, two Texas lawmakers filed a comprehensive bill to address racial profiling during traffic stops, ban police from stopping drivers on a traffic violation as a pretext to investigate other potential crimes, limit police searches of vehicles and other jail and policing reforms.

U.S. trade with Mexico fell by over 40% this April compared to last year, according to U.S. Census Bureau data. Laredo, the top trading port between the U.S. and Mexico, is hoping for a successful rebound.

April imports from Mexico staggered to $15.8 billion, the lowest since August 2009. Meanwhile, exports to Mexico were the lowest since February 2010. 

George Floyd, whose killing by police inspired days of protests in the U.S. and around the world calling for an end to systemic racism and police brutality, will be laid to rest on Tuesday in his hometown of Houston. Watch it here.

The two remaining Democrats vying for a U.S. Senate seat in Texas called for comprehensive reforms to address police brutality and racial inequality in a debate Saturday that featured little disagreement on the issues and in which both candidates focused their attacks on Republican incumbent John Cornyn.

Texas health officials are launching a study to look into why COVID-19 could be having a greater impact on vulnerable populations in the state.

Public hearings aimed at giving communities input in Texas’ redistricting process have been on hold during the coronavirus pandemic, but advocates say state leaders need to figure out a way to start them back up.


A three-judge panel of the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals extended its order Thursday blocking a lower court’s sweeping ruling that would have allowed all Texas voters to qualify to vote by mail during the coronavirus pandemic.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services released data Thursday on the number of reported cases of COVID-19 in nursing homes across the country. The data includes specifics on which facilities have cases — information that both Texas and Austin officials had previously refused to release, citing privacy laws.

Things are weird right now. You don’t have to be a musician to know that, but singer-songwriters are having a particularly strange time of it. This week, High Plains Morning checked in with Austin-based artist Ali Holder about her new album, Uncomfortable Truths.  Hear our full interview on the link below.

OH, and you can see Ali perform LIVE on her Facebook stream at 7pm CT on 6/27, 7/18, and 8/22.

The Republican National Committee is eyeing Dallas as a potential new site for part of its 2020 convention this summer.

Gov. Greg Abbott is calling for the resignation of the Republican Party chair in one of the state's biggest counties after she floated a conspiracy theory about the death of George Floyd.

Businesses in Texas previously operating at 25% capacity, such as bars and gyms, can now operate at 50% capacity, and restaurants will be able to offer dine-in service at 75% capacity starting June 12.

Gov. Greg Abbott said Tuesday that Texas won’t be asking U.S. military to come into the state in response to protests.

“We know that Texans can take care of Texans,” he said at a news conference in Dallas. “We have tremendous police forces in Dallas, in Fort Worth, in the surrounding suburbs, across the entire state.”

This week, thousands of people across Texas protested police killings of black Americans — sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. While some violent confrontations broke out between police and demonstrators, the vast majority of Texans participated peacefully. 

Texas collected about $2.6 billion in state sales tax revenue in May, leading to the steepest year-over-year decline in over a decade, Comptroller Glenn Hegar announced Monday.

The amount is 13.2% less than the roughly $3 billion the state collected in the same month last year.

Gov. Greg Abbott said Thursday he will extend the early voting period for an unspecified amount of time during the November election as concerns continue to persist around in-person voting during the coronavirus pandemic.

 

The Texas Supreme Court has ruled that the absence of immunity to COVID-19 does not qualify a voter to use the disability category to request a mail-in ballot during the coronavirus pandemic. The court also says it will not make election officials investigate – or deny – applications to vote by mail.

Confused by the back and forth over mail-in ballots in Texas? OK, let's sort some of that out.

From Texas Standard:

The pandemic has had an outsized affect on Texas prisons. Almost 4,000 inmates have tested positive for COVID-19, and 43 people in the system have died – that includes prison staff and inmates.

But Dallas Morning News investigative reporter Lauren McGaughy recently reported that thousands of prisoners who have been approved for parole can't leave lockup, and they're concerned for their health.

Three of Texas' top Republican leaders are vigorously fighting efforts to expand mail-in voting during the coronavirus pandemic, arguing it will lead to increased voter fraud, yet all three have themselves cast absentee ballots at least once in past elections.

In an effort to keep voters safe, states of all political complexions are finding ways to expand access to mail-in ballots as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Then there's Texas.

The state has some of the most restrictive laws limiting vote by mail in the country. Under Texas law, the program is open only to people who are 65 or older, people who will be out of the county during the election, people who are in jail and not convicted, and people who are disabled.

The moment Alexander Golinelli calls every evening to say he's almost home, his wife, Claudia Golinelli, springs into action.

She brings a clean T-shirt, a clean pair of shorts and flip-flops to the garage for her husband, whose work as an electrician potentially exposes him to the coronavirus while he's in people's homes and businesses. 

The Texas Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that a lack of immunity to the new coronavirus does not qualify a voter to apply for a mail-in ballot.

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