Stories by Ashley Lopez

Wednesday, August 12, 2020 by Ashley Lopez

Census changes could take political power, funding from Texas Latinos already hit hard by Covid-19

Texas’ growing Latino population is poised to be significantly undercounted in this year’s census, following a slew of recent Trump administration moves.Advocates say that means Latinos could face a decade of diminished political power and underfunding for essential government services…

Tuesday, June 30, 2020 by Ashley Lopez

Texans head to the polls amid spike in Covid-19 cases

Lee esta historia en español.Early voting for Texas’ primary runoff began Monday ahead of the July 14 election.Local officials are urging voters to take extra precautions during in-person voting as Covid-19 cases have been rising in the state.Travis County Clerk…

Wednesday, June 17, 2020 by Ashley Lopez

Gov. Abbott says Texas has enough hospital beds to handle increase in Covid-19 cases

There’s no reason to panic over a recent uptick in hospitalizations due to Covid-19, Gov. Greg Abbott said Tuesday.Although Texas has had a record number of people being hospitalized for Covid-19 in the past several days, Abbott said during a…

Wednesday, June 10, 2020 by Ashley Lopez

The pandemic is making it harder for college students in Austin to get counted in the 2020 census

College students in Austin are at risk of being severely undercounted in the 2020 U.S. Census, which could put federal funding and political power for young people at risk for the next decade.The census – a national headcount that happens…

Thursday, May 21, 2020 by Ashley Lopez

Federal appeals court temporarily halts expansion of mail-in voting in Texas

An expansion of Texas’ vote-by-mail program during the pandemic is on hold, again.The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday temporarily blocked a lower court ruling from a day earlier that opened up mail-in voting to people under 65.Texas…

Friday, May 15, 2020 by Ashley Lopez

Court order that opens up mail-in voting in Texas stays in effect for now, appeals court rules

Voters who don’t want to risk exposure to the coronavirus may use mail-in ballots during upcoming elections as a legal battle moves through the courts, a Texas appeals court ruled Thursday.The 14th Court of Appeals ruled a trial court order…

Thursday, April 16, 2020 by Ashley Lopez

Travis County judge says he will open up mail-in voting during Covid-19 pandemic

A Travis County district court judge said Wednesday he will clarify that voters fearful of contracting Covid-19 will be allowed to use mail-in ballots during elections in July and November.The Texas Democratic Party sued state and local election officials last…

Thursday, April 9, 2020 by Ashley Lopez

Austin officials plan for backup facilities if hospitals become overwhelmed with Covid-19 cases

City officials are preparing to increase the number of hospital beds in the area in case there is a surge of Covid-19 patients overwhelming existing hospitals.Dr. Mark Escott, Austin’s interim medical director and health authority, said the city has created…

Monday, April 6, 2020 by Ashley Lopez

Texas officials try to clarify who can vote by mail, but they might not be able to just say everyone

The Texas Secretary of State’s Office sent local election officials an advisory Thursday that was meant to give them guidance on how to handle elections during the Covid-19 pandemic.In particular, they tried to tackle an issue voting rights groups have…

Friday, February 14, 2020 by Ashley Lopez

Austinites are not at higher risk of getting coronavirus after first confirmed case in Texas

Austin health officials say the threat of coronavirus has not gotten any worse now that the first case has been confirmed in Texas.Dr. Mark Escott, the interim medical director of Austin Public Health, said there is “virtually a zero-percent chance”…

Tuesday, November 5, 2019 by Ashley Lopez

Political groups in Texas prepare to reach out to Latinos ahead of the 2020 census

If counted accurately, the 2020 U.S. census is expected to show a boom in Texas’ Latino population. That’s why groups in the state say they plan to focus their efforts on making sure Latinos here fill out the form and…

Tuesday, August 20, 2019 by Ashley Lopez

Austin could fund ‘logistical support’ for low-income women seeking abortions

Four Austin City Council members want the city to help low-income women obtain abortions – without the city actually paying for the procedure.At the urging of local reproductive rights groups, Austin city leaders are working to set aside up to…

Thursday, July 11, 2019 by Ashley Lopez

Texas’ strong economy is making it harder for officials to hire part-time census workers

The U.S. Census Bureau is having a tough time hiring workers in Texas for the 2020 census because the unemployment rate is so low – which means nonprofits and local governments may have to step in to make sure there’s…

Wednesday, May 22, 2019 by Ashley Lopez

State lawmakers approve legislation shielding most Texans from surprise medical bills

Surprise medical bills may be a thing of the past for many Texans. In a unanimous vote, the Texas House approved a Senate bill banning health care providers from sending steep medical bills to insured Texans in emergencies.Senate Bill 1264…

Wednesday, March 6, 2019 by Ashley Lopez

House Speaker Pelosi says attempted voter purge in Texas shows need for stronger federal protections

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi made a visit to East Austin on Tuesday to promote sweeping voting reform legislation currently before Congress.Among other things, House Bill 1 would ensure online voter registration or automatic registration for citizens across the country. The…

Wednesday, January 30, 2019 by Ashley Lopez

Civil rights group sues Texas over its call to remove alleged noncitizens from voter rolls

A Latino civil rights organization filed a lawsuit in federal court Tuesday against Texas’ effort to identify noncitizens who are registered to vote.The lawsuit brought by the the League of United Latin American Citizens argues that state officials violated the…

Wednesday, March 7, 2018 by Ashley Lopez

Sheryl Cole and ‘Chito’ Vela head to runoff in Texas House race, pushing Dawnna Dukes out

Democrats Sheryl Cole and Jose “Chito” Vela will move on to a runoff election for Texas House District 46 after pushing out embattled incumbent Dawnna Dukes in the primary on Tuesday.The district includes parts of East Austin, Manor and Pflugerville.Cole,…

Thursday, February 15, 2018 by Ashley Lopez

Is it really legal to walk down the street with a beer in Austin neighborhoods?

Colter Sonneville had a hunch that it might be legal to walk down the street with an open beer in most of Austin’s residential neighborhoods. It started when he noticed some big signs around Chicon and East Cesar Chavez streets.“The…

Tuesday, June 6, 2017 by Ashley Lopez

Democrats call on Dukes to step down for failing to show up

Democratic House Rep. Dawnna Dukes of Austin was already in hot water at the start of the legislative session. She had walked back a promise to resign and, soon after, was indicted.But Travis County Democrats say she then failed to…

Wednesday, May 11, 2016 by Ashley Lopez

The decades-old theory behind speed limits might make it harder to change them

High speeds are one of the biggest killers on our roadways. As city officials tackle an uptick in traffic fatalities here in Austin, speed limits come up a lot.But it’s unlikely that city and state officials will be able to…

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