Breaking: Gov. Greg Abbott has issued an executive order banning any entity in Texas from requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for employees or customers — including private businesses.
Gov. Greg Abbott also called on the Legislature to pass a law with the same effect. The Legislature is in its third special legislative session, which ends Oct. 19. Read more here:
COVID-19 vaccine requirements by government agencies, cities, counties and school districts were already banned by a previous executive order — currently being fought in court by San Antonio ISD.…
The Legislature also already passed into law a ban on so-called vaccine passports — which would allow businesses to require proof of vaccination to receive service.…
Texas allowed private businesses to require vaccines of their own employees. The change appears to be partly motivated by President Joe Biden requiring all employers with more than 100 workers to mandate vaccines for workers or test weekly for the virus.…

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More from @TexasTribune

28 Sep
Breaking: Texas is set to release more than 220 migrants who were arrested under Gov. Greg Abbott’s new criminal justice system for migrants.

They sat in prison for more than a month without being charged with a crime, which violates state law.
2/ It’s unclear what will happen to the men when they are released from state custody.

Federal immigration authorities may choose to take them into custody or deport them, or they may be released into the U.S. while awaiting their criminal and potential immigration proceedings.
3/ They were part of Abbott’s new policy to arrest migrants accused of crossing the border illegally on state charges, like trespassing, since state police and courts have no jurisdiction over federal immigration law.
Read 4 tweets
24 Sep
NEW: Just weeks after a near-total ban on abortion went into effect in Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott ceremonially signed a separate bill into law Friday that will restrict Texans’ access to abortion-inducing medication.

It goes into effect Dec. 2.
2/ The new law narrows the window in which physicians are allowed to give abortion-inducing medication to patients from 10 weeks to seven weeks after conception.
3/ Earlier this month, Texas banned abortions as early as six weeks.

Abortion providers said the near-total abortion ban was the latest, most devastating blow from lawmakers who have been on a warpath to steamroll abortion access for decades.
Read 5 tweets
24 Sep
The Texas House has the votes to pass legislation that would restrict transgender student athletes’ participation in school sports, House Speaker Dade Phelan said in an interview at #TribFest21 on Friday.
Three times this year — in the regular legislative session and in two subsequent special sessions — legislation targeting transgender student athletes sailed through the Senate and then faltered in the House. #TXlege
We reported in May on how the GOP's slate of bills targeting transgender children took a mental health toll on the community:
Read 4 tweets
20 Sep
1/ Our journalists are covering redistricting, battles over voting, a near-total abortion ban, the pandemic and more.

We could use your support. Donate to our nonprofit newsroom here.
2/ We haven’t stopped covering the torrential downpour of news, and we aren’t going to stop anytime soon.

News events make it clear: Access to factual reporting is just as important now as ever.
3/ If that's not enough reason to give, here are two more:
—You can help us unlock $50k in matching gifts from @LoewyLawFirm.
—You could win vacation at Hotel Magdalena in Austin

Read 4 tweets
20 Sep
1/ Another special legislative session begins in Texas today.

Lawmakers will redraw the state’s political maps and consider new laws, including restricting sports participation for transgender students and distributing COVID-19 relief funds. #TXlege
2/ The tools for redistricting, or redrawing the state’s political maps, are in Republicans’ hands.

They will aim to entrench their power for the next decade. Here’s how it will work:
3/ Some of Gov. Greg Abbott’s other priorities:

—Distributing $16 billion in COVID-19 relief
—Restricting transgender students' participation in sports
—Deciding whether state or local governments can mandate COVID-19 vaccines
—Banning tethering dogs outside with heavy chains
Read 4 tweets
18 Sep
1/ The process of redrawing Texas’ political maps starts Monday.

Republicans will have more freedom to protect their dominance. Here’s what you need to know.
2/ The 2021 redistricting cycle will mark the first time in nearly half a century that a Legislature with a lengthy record of discriminating against voters of color will be able to redraw political districts without federal oversight.
3/ In 2013, the Supreme Court scrapped part of the 1965 Voting Rights Act that required states with a discriminatory history to have prior approval to enact voting maps or rules.

Texas has not made it through one decade without a ruling that the state disenfranchised voters.
Read 6 tweets

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