Federal judge again threatens contempt-of-court fines for Texas’ slow progress on foster care reforms
The judge warned the state could be held in contempt of court for not following through with three mandates: youths not knowing their rights, not adequately responding to abuse allegations and still having too many children without placement.
How a Texas songbird and its endangered status became the center of a fight over the Hill Country
Scientists say a study that estimated far more golden-cheeked warblers in Texas than previously thought has been attacked and taken out of context as the state and federal government battle over the bird’s endangered status.
Texas universities with federal contracts are caught between Greg Abbott and Joe Biden over COVID-19 vaccine mandates
While some universities in other states that hold federal contracts have mandated vaccines for all employees, many Texas universities, which collectively have billions in federal contracts, are still reviewing the executive order before it goes into effect Dec. 8.
U.S. Department of Justice investigating abuse, mistreatment at Texas’ juvenile lockups
The department says it’s looking into whether the Texas Juvenile Justice Department provides “reasonable protection from physical and sexual abuse by staff and other residents, excessive use of chemical restraints and excessive use of isolation.”
Federal government announces funding for emergency contraception for Texans impacted by near-total abortion ban
The Biden administration also issued memorandums detailing two federal statutes officials says they would enforce to provide protection for patients who may need an abortion and health care providers who assist pregnant patients in certain situations.
Justice Department exploring ways to challenge Texas’ abortion ban, U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland says
Garland provided no details of how federal officials may challenge one of the nation’s strictest bans on abortion. His statement came days after the U.S. Supreme Court declined to block the law, at least for now.
Biden administration threatens to sue after Texas officials say they’ll yank licenses from facilities housing unaccompanied migrant children
A federal attorney claims an order from Gov. Greg Abbott violates the U.S. Constitution’s Supremacy Clause and said legal action could follow if the state carries through with plans to pull licenses from the federally contracted facilities.
Houston Newsmakers: Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee says federal government takeover of vaccine distribution necessary
“At a time when the words “government takeover” may not be the most popular, that is exactly what’s being called for by Congresswomen Sheila Jackson Lee, (D) 18th as it relates to vaccine distribution. The Oath Keepers is just one of several far-right groups that has the FBI and Homeland Security officials concerned. His book is: Oath Keepers, Patriotism and the Edge of Violence in a Right-Wing Anti Government Group. More Information: Houston Newsmakers airs Sundays at 10:30am. U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D), 18th Congressional District· Website: https://kevinbrady.house.gov/· Twitter: @JacksonLeeTX18AdSam Jackson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, College of Emergency Preparedness, Homeland Security and Cybersecurity, University at Albany· Website: https://www.albany.edu/cehc/faculty/sam-jackson· Website: https://sjacksonphd.wordpress.com
FEMA ends extra $300 unemployment benefit for Texans this week. Here’s why
HOUSTON – The Federal Emergency Management Agency ended the Lost Wages Assistance (LWA) program, which provided an additional $300 a week to qualified unemployment recipients impacted by the coronavirus pandemic, according to a press release. FEMA previously approved TWC funding requests for the benefits weeks between Aug. 1 to Sept. 5. Recipients will continue to receive normal weekly benefit amounts for any benefit weeks for which they are eligible. The Lost Wages Assistance Program was a temporary provision established after the expiration of the $600 Federal Pandemic Assistance Program, a part of the CARES Act. For more information on eligibility requirements, available benefits and questions about the unemployment process, visit TWC’s COVID-19 FAQ page.
As Congress feuds over unemployment payments, many jobless Texans are about to lose a $600 weekly benefit
If Congress doesn’t extend the $600 benefit, that will leave many Texans getting anywhere from $69 to $521 per week in unemployment benefits. Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz opposes extending the weekly $600 payments. U.S. Sen. John Cornyn’s office said the Texas senator supports extending unemployment assistance but did not specify whether he supports extending the weekly $600 payments. “And that's not good.”Economists say the end of the weekly $600 payments will lead to Texans with less spending money to fuel an economic recovery. Mason fears what will happen if the weekly $600 payments end Saturday and he is still working reduced hours.
Houston small businesses look to federal government for lifeline
HOUSTON – Elizabeth Swift Copeland did something Wednesday she hasn’t done in over 30 years of owning a business—apply for a loan. “I just hope the government will act quickly and respond to my application for a loan,” said Swift Copeland. “We need money fast,” said Swift Copeland. “I mean for small business; timing is everything. He believes the federal government should mandate banks to delay payments to small businesses hurt by the coronavirus.