The State of Texas: Voter ID Law Will Be Weakened In Time For November Election
Plus: Mosquito repellant for women is now covered under Texas Medicaid, a new analysis finds homes are bigger in Texas, and a grammatical error tarnishes UT’s monument to the Tower shooting victims.
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“The GOP has a drunk driver at the wheel, chugging vodka, and he’s got other people’s children in the car. He must be stopped.”
—Matt Mackowiak, a Texas GOP strategist and vice chairman of the Travis County Republican Party, on Twitter. Mackowiak took to social media for a self-proclaimed “Trump tweet storm,” basically begging Donald Trump to drop out of the race and suggesting possible ways for #NeverTrump-ers to make it happen. Good luck with that.
Texas said it would loosen up its voter identification law ahead of the November election, according to the Associated Press. The agreement, which will let voters use more forms of ID than the law previously allowed, comes after a federal appeals court ruled last month that the controversial law discriminated against minorities and poor people. The federal court ruling agreed with a lower court’s finding that the voter ID law left 600,000 Texans without the ability to vote. But with the agreement, your birth certificate, utility bills, bank statements, paychecks, voter registration cards, and pretty much any government document will now be accepted as valid forms of ID at the polls come November, and polling place officials won’t be allowed to question you about why you don’t have more common forms of ID like a driver’s license. According to the Austin American-Statesman, opponents of the law are treating this development as a big victory, but conservative state leaders like Attorney General Ken Paxton, who signed off on the agreement between the U.S. Justice Department and the state, apparently think the fight isn’t over. A spokesman for Paxton’s office told the Statesman that the agreement is an “interim remedy,” and indicated that the state might appeal the federal district court’s ruling to the U.S. Supreme Court. Just a reminder: the legal battle over this law has been going on basically since the moment it passed through the state Legislature in 2011.
MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS
Get Your Bug Spray Here
The Texas Health and Human Services Commission announced on Wednesday that mosquito repellant will be paid for by Texas Medicaid, according to the Texas Tribune. It’s not a particularly fun freebie, but a vital one nonetheless, especially with the mosquito-borne Zika virus creeping into the continental United States. There have been 92 reported cases of Zika in Texas so far, and though none of those cases were locally transmitted via mosquito bite, it seems inevitable that mosquitos here will be carrying the virus eventually, if they aren’t already. The free repellant provides a first line of defense for those vulnerable to Zika’s most harmful potential effects, which include microcephaly, a birth defect linked with Zika that causes an abnormally shrunken head. According to the Tribune, pregnant women and women between the ages of 10 and 45 are eligible for the mosquito spray, and all they have to do is get a prescription for repellant and then pick it up at a pharmacy.
The Big House
A new analysis ranks Texas at the top when it comes to large homes. Real estate website Trulia found that homeowners who want more space would be far better off searching in Texas than anywhere else in the country. Austin has the biggest “starter” homes, with a median size of 1,428 square feet, while Houston has the most space to offer if you’re looking to upgrade, with a median 1,997 square footage in trade-up houses. Dallas came in second place in the third and most expensive category of homes Trulia looked at. If you have big bucks and want a big house, the Big D has you covered, with a median square footage of 2,945 among what Trulia calls “premium” housing. Trulia’s analysis also found that homeowners in San Antonio who jumped from a starter home to a trade-up property saw a 51.7 percent increase in square footage, the second-biggest gain of any U.S. city. Houston and Dallas weren’t far behind in that category, either, both landing in the top five. In short: everything is bigger in Texas.
Et Tu, Autocorrect?
When the University of Texas at Austin installed its new granite monument on Monday memorializing the victims of the 1966 Tower shooting, the spellings of the victims’ names were “double- and triple- and quadruple-checked,” according to the Austin American-Statesman. But there’s still a mistake. It’s not a spelling typo, but instead a grammatical error in the monument’s Latin inscription. UT classics professors slammed the incorrect use of the word Interfectum, which “refers to the killing of ‘a neuter singular thing,’ when the context involves multiple men and women,” writes the Statesman. One prof said the word is “coldly impersonal,” while another criticized the memorial’s makers for not asking someone in the classics department to look over the inscription. “We are 100 yards from the memorial, and nobody bothered to ask us,” the department’s chairwoman told the Statesman. Another classics professor’s perfect response: “One wants to weep that at a supposed world-class university the powers that be do not have the instinct to get things right by consulting the Latin and Greek professors. This is atrocious — from the Latin ‘atrox.’”
WHAT WE’RE READING
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