Texas Tribune Brief

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Start your day with a concise round-up of what you need to know today — delivered straight to your podcast player or smart speaker. With reporters based in Austin, Washington, D.C., and on the U.S.–Mexico border, The Brief is your go-to source for news on statewide issues.

The Texas Tribune


    • Jul 5, 2022 LATEST EPISODE
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    Latest episodes from Texas Tribune Brief

    State of Texas can enforce 1925 abortion ban, state Supreme Court says

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 5, 2022 4:34

    The ruling Friday night exposes abortion providers to fines and lawsuits even before the state's trigger law goes into effect.

    Supreme Court rules Biden administration can end “remain in Mexico” policy, sending case back to a Texas court

    Play Episode Listen Later Jul 1, 2022 4:34

    The Trump administration created the Migrant Protection Protocols, also called the “remain in Mexico,” program in 2019 before the Biden administration canceled it in 2021. The ruling sends the case back to a Texas federal court.

    53 people who died in human smuggling tragedy came from Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 30, 2022 4:39

    DPS Director Steve McCraw says officers in Uvalde could have taken down gunman within 3 minutes had commander not hesitated

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 22, 2022 5:07

    McCraw testified before a Texas Senate committee, laying blame on local police officers in Uvalde for not acting faster to save children in school shooting.

    Senate Democrats in Texas call again for a special session on gun safety in response to Uvalde shooting

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 21, 2022 5:45

    The senators said they would support proposals like raising the age to legally own an assault weapon from 18 to 21, creating red flag laws and regulating private gun sales.

    The race for governor between Abbott and O'Rourke tightens, according to first poll since Uvalde shooting

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 16, 2022 5:36

    A new Quinnipiac University poll shows that Gov. Greg Abbott's 15-point lead has shrunk to 5 points over Beto O'Rourke as more Texas voters now say gun policies are a top priority.

    Greg Abbott's handwritten notes raise fresh questions over who “misled” him about Uvalde shooting response

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 15, 2022 5:45

    The nine pages of blue ink on white lined paper, first published by the Houston television station KTRK, show how the governor prepared his remarks for a news conference May 25, the day after the shooting — presumably based on information being given to him.

    Texas House Speaker pitches spending more than $100 million for mental health, school safety programs

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 14, 2022 4:18

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

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 13, 2022 4:49

    Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, 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. Biden and House Democrats had wanted to go further.

    Uvalde schools police Chief Pete Arredondo's talks with The Texas Tribune

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 10, 2022 5:25

    Uvalde schools police Chief Pete Arredondo and his attorney granted an exclusive interview to The Texas Tribune to detail his version of what happened inside Robb Elementary School on May 24, when a shooter killed 21 people.

    Federal investigation into law enforcement's response to Uvalde shooting won't be criminal, DOJ says

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 9, 2022 5:54

    Authorities have been criticized for waiting over an hour to enter the school and confront the shooter. U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said law enforcement agencies have promised to cooperate with the federal inquiry.

    Uvalde native Matthew McConaughey visits White House to push for stricter gun laws and mental health reform

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 8, 2022 4:15

    The Texas actor spoke at a press briefing Tuesday after meeting with President Joe Biden about responding to mass shootings. A Uvalde gunman killed 19 children and two teachers at an elementary school last month.

    Republicans want to arm more school employees, but few districts are opting in

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 7, 2022 6:00

    Since Texas launched the school marshal program in 2013, just 84 school districts out of more than 1,200 have armed school staff. Educators say the program's lack of popularity shows that teachers don't want to be the ones to defend schools from mass shootings.

    Some Texas GOP donors urge Congress to act on gun control measures like “red flag” laws, expanded background checks

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 6, 2022 2:59

    More than 250 self-declared gun enthusiasts, including donors who have contributed to Gov. Greg Abbott's campaigns, have signed on to an open letter supporting Sen. John Cornyn's efforts at bipartisan gun reform legislation.

    Bonus Episode: City Cast Houston presents, "Hurricanes 101"

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 4, 2022 16:20

    Hurricane season is here. City Cast Houston host Lisa Gray dives into how gulf coast residents can prepare with Hurricanes 101.

    Uvalde school district's police chief didn't know about 911 calls coming from inside the school, lawmaker says

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 3, 2022 7:10

    State Rep. Roland Gutierrez, D-San Antonio, said the commanding officer at the scene of the shooting was not informed about the calls that Uvalde police were receiving, calling the lack of coordination a “system failure.”

    Uvalde students and staff not returning to Robb Elementary School after deadly shooting

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 2, 2022 4:33

    The district's superintendent said students will be moved to other campuses but did not confirm reports that the Robb Elementary School building may be razed.

    Uvalde buries 10-year-old Amerie Jo Garza, the first of many funerals to come

    Play Episode Listen Later Jun 1, 2022 6:32

    She wanted to be an art teacher. Her favorite color was purple. She was laid to rest three weeks after her birthday.

    Uvalde worshippers pray for peace, healing and the souls of 21 lives lost

    Play Episode Listen Later May 31, 2022 5:02

    Residents of Uvalde, a deeply religious community, prayed, cried and embraced each other on the first Sunday since a gunman killed 21 people at an elementary school.

    Authorities took an hour to stop Uvalde gunman, raising questions about law enforcement response

    Play Episode Listen Later May 27, 2022 4:49

    Officials clarified the timeline of the shooting Thursday after giving varying accounts. They refused to answer many questions about the tactics.

    Uvalde elementary school shooter chronicled his actions on social media, Gov. Greg Abbott says

    Play Episode Listen Later May 26, 2022 4:16

    Top Texas Republicans also resist gun control and push for more armed teachers and police at schools in wake of Uvalde shooting

    19 children and 2 adults dead in Uvalde elementary school shooting

    Play Episode Listen Later May 25, 2022 3:00

    Texas voters will finalize which Democratic and Republican primary candidates will be on the ballot in the November general election

    Play Episode Listen Later May 24, 2022 3:40

    In 50 races in the March 1 primary, no candidate exceeded 50% of the vote, bringing about runoff races between the candidates who came in first and second.

    Judge blocks Biden administration from lifting public health order used to quickly expel migrants

    Play Episode Listen Later May 23, 2022 4:21

    The administration was set to end Title 42, a pandemic-era rule aimed at slowing the spread of COVID-19, on Monday. A lengthy legal battle is likely.

    U.S. Sen. John Cornyn calls Ken Paxton scandals an “embarrassment” when asked about attorney general runoff

    Play Episode Listen Later May 20, 2022 3:38

    Cornyn is the most prominent Texas Republican to criticize the attorney general's rocky record ahead of his runoff election against George P. Bush.

    U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz is the target of a bar association complaint over his role in undermining the 2020 election results

    Play Episode Listen Later May 19, 2022 4:37

    A group of lawyers says Cruz played an outsized role in the efforts to void the 2020 election results and accuses him of repeatedly making false claims about voter fraud.

    Power grid leaders say they're confident the lights will stay on in Texas this summer

    Play Episode Listen Later May 18, 2022 4:10

    Texas Public Utility Commission Chair Peter Lake and ERCOT President Brad Jones said the power grid is prepared for record-breaking summer electricity demand.

    The federal emergency declaration is expected to last through at least mid-October and has kept states from dropping people from Medicaid ro

    Play Episode Listen Later May 17, 2022 5:49

    The federal emergency declaration is expected to last through at least mid-October and has kept states from dropping people from Medicaid rolls.

    Early voting starts today for May 24 primary runoffs

    Play Episode Listen Later May 16, 2022 3:40

    Republican-backed Texas law prohibiting social media companies from banning users over their viewpoints reinstated by appeals court

    Play Episode Listen Later May 13, 2022 3:59

    The court did not evaluate the law on its constitutionality but will allow it to go back into effect while a legal case plays out. Texas lawmakers passed the law, saying social media platforms have an anti-conservative bias.

    U.S. Sens. Ted Cruz, John Cornyn poised to once again vote against bill to legalize abortions

    Play Episode Listen Later May 11, 2022 2:54

    In February, Cruz and Cornyn voted against a similar bill that was inspired after Texas passed its abortion restriction law.

    The state of Texas isn't ready to support more parents and kids in a post-Roe world, advocates warn

    Play Episode Listen Later May 10, 2022 5:13

    More than a quarter of women of childbearing age are uninsured in Texas, the highest rate in the nation, and the state has chosen to cap Medicaid benefits for new moms earlier than other states.

    Voters in Texas approve two modest property tax relief measures

    Play Episode Listen Later May 9, 2022 3:08

    The state's high property taxes have taken center stage as Texas' real estate market explodes and drives up home values.

    With piles of campaign cash, a Christian cellphone company is making North Texas school board races a state battleground

    Play Episode Listen Later May 6, 2022 4:23

    In Tarrant County, conservative PACs animated about the teaching of race and sexuality are flooding school board races with hundreds of thousands of dollars.

    78% of Texas voters think abortion should be allowed in some form, UT poll shows

    Play Episode Listen Later May 5, 2022 4:21

    Only 15% of respondents to a recent University of Texas at Austin poll said access to the procedure should be completely outlawed.

    If Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, Texas will completely ban abortion

    Play Episode Listen Later May 4, 2022 3:49

    Politico said it obtained a draft Supreme Court majority opinion indicating the landmark abortion ruling will be overturned. Abortion is still legal in Texas up to six weeks of pregnancy.

    Gov. Greg Abbott redirects $500 million from other agencies to fund border security mission through end of fiscal year

    Play Episode Listen Later May 3, 2022 3:28

    Abbott said the money would be taken from the budgets of other Texas agencies, including nearly $210 million from the state's Health and Human Services Commission over two years and about $160 million from the Texas Department of Public Safety.

    Gov. Greg Abbott asks for private donations to bus migrants to D.C. after criticism for using taxpayer money

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 29, 2022 3:26

    The decision to crowdfund the free bus trips for migrants is a new development since his initial announcement on April 6 that the rides would be paid for by Texas taxpayers.

    National Guard soldier who drowned trying to help migrants wasn't equipped with flotation device

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 28, 2022 3:34

    Spc. Bishop Evans died after jumping into the Rio Grande to save migrants. He and other members of Operation Lone Star were not provided safety equipment. Texas Military Department said an order for buoys and ropes was made but has not been fulfilled.

    Two Texas constitutional amendments could lower some property taxes. Here's how the measures work.

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 27, 2022 3:38

    The propositions on the May 7 ballot would lower property taxes by shifting more of the cost of public school funding to the state. But the measures' language can be hard to understand.

    Melissa Lucio's execution halted by Texas Court of Criminal Appeals

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 26, 2022 2:23

    Acknowledging substantive questions about Lucio's guilt and the fairness of her conviction, the appeals court blocked her Wednesday execution so the case can be further investigated.

    National Guard soldier missing after trying to save two migrants in Rio Grande

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 25, 2022 2:32

    Rescue efforts have included search parties in boats and helicopters, as well as dive teams. The Guard member has not been found.

    What did Greg Abbott's border inspections turn up? Oil leaks, flat tires and zero drugs

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 22, 2022 5:34

    The governor ordered troopers to thoroughly inspect every commercial truck coming from Mexico in what he described as an effort to stop illegal drugs and migrants from being smuggled into Texas. His order for increased state inspections led to trade delays between the two countries.

    “The most hated conservative college student in the state”: How a UNT student embroiled her campus in a culture war

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 15, 2022 4:38

    Senior Kelly Neidert has repeatedly thrust the University of North Texas into the conservative media spotlight, most recently by bringing Texas House candidate Jeff Younger to campus. Her motive? It depends on who you ask.

    First bus of migrants arrives in Washington, D.C., from Texas under Abbott's new controversial plan

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 14, 2022 4:24

    About 30 people from Colombia, Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua traveled to the U.S. capital as part of Gov. Greg Abbott's new plan in response to the end of Title 42.

    Predicting food shortages, Sid Miller calls on Gov. Greg Abbott to stop new vehicle inspections at the border

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 13, 2022 5:27

    Abbott's new policy has resulted in hourslong delays and protest blockades at border crossings. The state's agriculture commissioner criticized the measure as an “economy killing action.”

    International trade halted at Texas border crossing as truckers protest Greg Abbott's new inspections

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 12, 2022 4:00

    Importers said buyers have already canceled orders and the blockade could impact the flow of produce to restaurants and grocery stores around the country.

    After pursuing an indictment, Starr County DA drops murder charge over self-induced abortion

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 11, 2022 4:17

    Texas law exempts a pregnant person from being charged with murder or any lesser homicide charge for an abortion.

    Some landlords got a piece of Texas' $2 billion in rent relief money — and evicted their struggling tenants anyway

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 8, 2022 4:46

    It's unclear whether landlords face any penalties by state agencies for improperly evicting tenants while receiving rent relief dollars intended to help those tenants stay housed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Gov. Greg Abbott's plan to bus migrants to Washington, D.C., will be voluntary

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 7, 2022 5:53

    Abbott said he's responding to the Biden administration announcement that it will lift a pandemic-era emergency health order that allowed immigration authorities to turn away migrants at the border, even those seeking asylum.

    The Texas Guard's border mission needs an additional $531 million to continue past this month, top general says

    Play Episode Listen Later Apr 6, 2022 3:14

    Texas Military Department leaders say they've addressed many of the issues that arose late last year when the mission ramped up to 10,000 service members — but more money is needed to run the mission at its current pace.

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