QUOTE OF THE DAY
“I just was out riding around. I thought I’m going to go have me some coffee or a sandwich or something because I hadn’t eaten all day. But I never got it.”
—81-year-old Nancy Strader to WFAA. Strader led police on a slow-speed chase through the streets of Denton, never topping 25 miles per hour, after pulling away from cops who stopped her for driving the wrong way down a one way street.
Senator Ted Cruz announced on Thursday that he doesn’t support the GOP’s newly unveiled health care reform bill in its current state. “Currently, for a variety of reasons, we are not ready to vote for this bill, but we are open to negotiation and obtaining more information before it is brought to the floor,” Cruz said in a joint statement with Senators Rand Paul of Kentucky, Mike Lee of Utah, and Ron Johnson of Wisconsin, according to the Texas Tribune. “There are provisions in this draft that represent an improvement to our current health care system, but it does not appear this draft as written will accomplish the most important promise that we made to Americans: to repeal Obamacare and lower their health care costs.” Most Republican lawmakers in the Senate and in Texas support the legislation, so Cruz is once again singling himself out as an outsider here. Cruz is also at odds with his Senate colleague John Cornyn, who gave his support for the bill. “After years of debate, hearings, and stories from folks harmed by Obamacare, today is a critical step towards delivering on our promise to provide the relief Texans so desperately need,” Cornyn said in a statement, according to the Austin American-Statesman. The Senate’s process leading up to Thursday’s unveiling of the bill was done in complete secrecy, and Republicans have drawn intense criticism from Democrats, who say the bill will strip millions of people of their health care coverage. According to the New York Times, the bill would “make deep cuts in Medicaid and end the [Affordable Healthcare Act] law’s mandate that most Americans have health insurance.”
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
The man who allegedly set fire to a mosque in Victoria in January was charged on Thursday with a hate crime, according to the Victoria Advocate. Marc Vincent Perez, a 25-year-old Victoria resident, was indicted for a hate crime—damage to religious property—in connection with the blaze, which destroyed the mosque on the morning after President Donald Trump issued a travel ban targeting majority-Muslim nations. Perez is already in custody after he was arrested back in March for possession of an incendiary device stemming from a January incident unrelated to the mosque arson, but according to the Advocate, federal authorities suspected he was behind the fire. The mosque’s story went viral after a GoFundMe account set up to help rebuild raised more than $1 million, and the support mosque members received from the Victoria community following the fire was pretty heartwarming. Mosque members held a groundbreaking ceremony for their new place of worship last month.
No California Love
California has issued a ban preventing state agencies, universities, and commissions from using state funds to travel to Texas. California Attorney General Xavier Becerra implemented the ban for three other states too, and cited Texas’s recent law that allows adoption agencies to refuse families based on religion as the reason for the Lone Star State embargo, according to the Texas Tribune. “While the California DOJ works to protect the rights of all our people, discriminatory laws in any part of our country send all of us several steps back,” California Attorney General Xavier Becerra said in a statement. “That’s why when California said we would not tolerate discrimination against LGBTQ members of our community, we meant it.” The ban doesn’t impact private citizens, so there’s really nothing here that would stem the steady tide of Californians jumping ship and making their way to Texas. Governor Greg Abbott doesn’t seem too concerned about the ban. His office responded as any true Texan would: by trolling California. “California may be able to stop their state employees,” Abbott spokesman John Wittman said in a statement, “but they can’t stop all the businesses that are fleeing over taxation and regulation, and relocating to Texas.”
Texas’s NBA teams laid the foundation for their futures at the NBA draft on Thursday. The Dallas Mavericks selected explosive point guard Dennis Smith Jr. with the ninth overall pick. This was the first time under Mark Cuban’s reign that the Mavs have had a lottery pick, and Smith certainly fits the bill, giving Dallas a much-needed point guard who can absolutely fly. Smith recorded a ridiculous 48-inch vertical leap in a workout this spring, and the 19-year-old is expected to contribute right away after averaging 18 points per game as a freshman for North Carolina State. The Spurs, meanwhile, sat pat amid trade rumors swirling around their big man LaMarcus Aldridge and shooter Danny Green. With the twenty-ninth overall pick, San Antonio selected Derrick White, a somewhat unheralded point guard out of Colorado who spent most of his college career in Division II. The Rockets didn’t have a first round pick, but they nabbed Lithuanian seven-footer Isaiah Hartenstein and Oregon star Dillon Brooks in the second round. Don’t worry about the lack of rookie star power, though, Rockets fans, because Houston is reportedly targeting top free agents like Chris Paul, Blake Griffin, and Kyle Lowry.
WHAT WE’RE READING
Some links are paywalled or subscription-only.
Will Trump’s border wall have solar panels? Associated Press
Trump told a Texas congressman that he’d help deported military vets, but his staff has different ideas BuzzFeed News
Galveston is back to normal after a tropical storm scare Houston Press
Bexar County has the highest rate of drug-addicted babies in Texas KENS
San Antonio just landed a AAA baseball team San Antonio Current