The Texan

The Texan

The Texan's podcast includes weekly roundups of important news, additional insights from our reporters, and exclusive interviews with the people who have direct influence on politics and policy in Texas.

All Episodes

This week on The Texan’s shorter, holiday weekend edition of the “Weekly Roundup,” reporters Hayden Sparks and Daniel Friend discuss the most recent border apprehension numbers and state campaign finance reports.

Nov 26

35 min 16 sec

This week on The Texan’s “Weekly Roundup,” the team covers the latest in lawmaker retirements and campaign announcements, a state legislator switching parties, a federal investigation into a North Texas school district, a redistricting lawsuit in Harris County, a tragic instance of human smuggling at the border, discrepancies in COVID-19 vaccination data at the state and federal levels, photos of barbed wire fencing serving as the border wall shared by the governor, threatening remarks made at a Texas school board meeting, grand jury subpoenas issued in Harris County over a controversial vaccine outreach contract, more tracts of land purchased for the Panther Island project, and State Board of Education hearings on controversial curriculum.

Nov 19

1 hr 14 min

This week on The Texan’s “Weekly Roundup,” the team covers how critical race theory implications affected the November election, developments in the federal vaccine mandate lawsuits, a state representative opting to run for Congress, a congressman eyeing a run for attorney general, how illegal border crossing numbers in Texas are trending, the governor again wading into concern over obscene materials in public school libraries, Navy SEALs filing suit after being denied religious exemptions for the COVID-19 vaccine, a dispute between rural telecom providers and the state which has led to rising costs for Texans reliant on remote service, a deputy sheriff being investigated for bribery, Elon Musk and Tesla adding to their Texas operations, and deer season opening in Texas.

Nov 12

1 hr 13 min

This week on The Texan’s “Weekly Roundup,” the team covers the results of the November 2 election — including police staffing in Austin, ballot propositions to amend the state constitution, House District 118, and bond packages throughout the state. Additionally, our team discusses more legislator retirements, the governor wading into the debate over “obscene” library books, the Democrats in the race for Texas attorney general, more drama on the Texas border, a vaccine mandate rescission from a Texas professional sports team, the state once again suing Biden over vaccine mandates, a new Texas Supreme Court nominee, and the latest redistricting lawsuits.

Nov 5

1 hr 4 min

This week on The Texan’s “Weekly Roundup,” the team discusses where the candidates for Texas attorney general stand on vaccine mandates, how the governor’s approach to the COVID-19 vaccine debacle has divided conservatives, how Texas House and Senate districts shifted politically since redistricting, a lawmaker asking public school libraries to report sexually explicit or racially charged books, a Texas city returning federal coronavirus aid, redistricting lawsuits, the remain in Mexico policy in limbo again, arguments about how a police staffing proposition would be funded, developments in a tribal gambling case, and community college enrollment dropping.

Oct 29

1 hr 5 min

This week on The Texan’s “Weekly Roundup,” the team discusses the end of the third special session and calls from elected officials for a fourth, more lawmaker retirements, tuition revenue bonds for public universities, attrition in the Austin Police Department, local news workers fired due to their vaccination status, a progressive group in Austin leading the charge on many of the city’s controversial reforms, all 8 propositions currently on the ballot, and the latest in the whistleblower lawsuit against Attorney General Ken Paxton.

Oct 22

1 hr 10 min

This week on The Texan’s “Weekly Roundup,” the team discusses Governor Abbott’s latest vaccine mandate ban after mounting GOP pressure, the U.S. opening the border with Mexico and Canada for fully vaccinated non-essential travelers, Trump placing pressure on the Texas House speaker to pass an election audit bill, an Abbott primary challenger affecting state agency policy, backlogs at Southwest Airlines, a pilot seeking a vaccine exemption at United Airlines, issues within the Texas foster care system for children without placement, the Texas House approving its redistricting maps, a bill requiring public school athletes to compete according to their biological sex making progress in the legislature, and yet another lawmaker retirement.

Oct 15

1 hr 6 min

This week on The Texan’s “Weekly Roundup,” the team discusses our reporter’s firsthand account of a press conference with Gov. Greg Abbott and a litany of other GOP governors at the Texas border, the latest on the legal challenges to the Texas Heartbeat Act, updates on efforts to finalize redistricting maps in the legislature, why lawmakers are still talking about the power grid, candidates lining up to challenge Lt. Governor Dan Patrick, the House and Senate at odds over a new agenda item from the governor, comparisons between schools with and without mask mandates, a recap of the debacle in Del Rio, a GOP Texas senator receiving opposition from Trump, and an update on the sanctuary city for the unborn movement.

Oct 8

1 hr 11 min

Today, The Texan reporters talk through newly released Texas House and congressional redistricting maps, border plans from Texas’ GOP candidates for governor, two special elections to fill Texas House seats, the lieutenant governor wading into senate races, COVID-19 vaccine mandates in the Texas National Guard, how Texas universities rank according to free speech metrics, the secretary of state responding to Trump’s request for an audit of the 2020 election, what the blocking of family unit illegal alien deportations will mean for Texas, and how rural hospitals may have to pause birthing services due to vaccine mandates and employee attrition. 

Oct 1

1 hr 8 min

This week on The Texan’s “Weekly Roundup,” the team details the start of the third special session of the 87th legislature, newly proposed redistricting maps, four lawmaker retirements, a familiar name jumping back into contention for a Texas Senate seat, a doctor sued under the newly implemented Heartbeat bill, an update on the border crisis in Del Rio, developments in the Paxton whistleblower lawsuit, the federal government's investigation of mask prohibitions in Texas public schools, and a high profile Democrat preparing for a run for governor.

Sep 24

1 hr 6 min

This week on The Texan’s “Weekly Roundup,” the team discusses the latest candidate to jump in the race for Texas attorney general, a quorum-breaking lawmaker donating her per diem to Planned Parenthood, how the third special session could affect the governor’s reelection campaign, the latest on the Texas border wall, an update from the Austin police chief as homicide numbers spike in the city, the scheduling of a Texas House runoff election, conflict between gubernatorial candidates over the storage of nuclear waste, controversy over mask mandates at a Central Texas school district, and a lawsuit that highlights the growing problem of foster children without placement.

Sep 17

1 hr 13 min

This week on The Texan’s “Weekly Roundup,” the team discusses the upcoming third special session, the controversial election reform bill finally signed by the governor, lawsuits taking aim at the Heartbeat Bill, fundraising numbers from Democrats who fled the state to prevent a quorum, an Austin-based company looking to aid those seeking abortions, the details surrounding the arrest of Allen West’s wife, what the latest COVID-19 hospitalization numbers mean for Texas, how the state has fared in terms of tax collections in 2021, record breaking lottery sales, where the state’s takeover of Houston ISD stands, a Samsung plant coming to Central Texas with help from taxpayers, and finally — in another “Today in Texas History” segment — the 1900 hurricane that ravaged Galveston.

Sep 10

1 hr 5 min

This week on The Texan’s “Weekly Roundup,” the team talks through new bills that went into effect in Texas this week, election reform finally making its way to the governor’s desk, what to expect during the final days of the second special session, the U.S. Supreme Court allowing implementation of the Heartbeat bill, efforts to strip Democrats of their leadership positions after they fled the state, a new Democrat-led redistricting lawsuit, school districts taking new approaches to mask mandates, TxDOT parting ways with a vendor after millions of dollars of overcharges were billed to customers, and Bexar County’s ongoing battle with the state over mask requirements.

Sep 3

1 hr 1 min

This week on The Texan’s “Weekly Roundup,” reporter Holly Hansen joins us from Houston to talk about vaccine incentives in Harris County. Additionally, the team breaks down the election reform bill finally on the floor of the Texas House, San Antonio ISD's vaccine requirement for staff, the Supreme Court's ruling on the “remain in Mexico policy,” a new report following an internal investigation from the attorney general’s office, border wall funding, Austin business owners taking aim at the city’s implementation of a public camping ban, the Texas House looking to provide funding for virtual learning, and new rule proposals that look to punish future quorum breakers.

Aug 27

59 min 30 sec

State Rep. Matt Schaefer (R-Tyler) joined The Texan’s reporter Daniel Friend to discuss the withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan and the ensuing chaos in Kabul.

Aug 23

33 min 6 sec

This week on The Texan’s “Weekly Roundup,” our team covers the disputes between localities and the state over mask mandates, Texas lawmaker responses to the Afghanistan conflict, a judge ordering the Remain in Mexico policy to be reinstated, the long-awaited release of census data, school finance accountability grades, renewed conflict among state officials over the power grid, Governor Abbott testing positive for coronavirus, three new sanctuary cities for the unborn, and a battle over police staffing ballot language in Austin.

Aug 20

1 hr 2 min

On this week’s edition of The Texan’s Weekly Roundup podcast, our team covers a lawsuit brought by Democrats against Governor Abbott and Speaker Phelan, updates on arrest warrants for absent lawmakers, fissures among Texas House Democrats, a Senate filibuster of GOP-backed election reform, funding for the legislature restored after threats from Abbott, developments in Republican efforts to ban gender modification procedures for children, school districts implementing mask mandates in defiance of the governor’s orders, trillions spent on an infrastructure package in D.C., the ongoing battle between a county judge and commissioner in Dallas County, and how localities are seeking to implement mask mandates of their own.

Aug 13

1 hr 9 min

This week on The Texan’s “Weekly Roundup,” the team talks about Governor Abbott's new agenda for another special session, critical race theory bans proposed in the legislature, a border related executive order from Governor Abbott blocked by a federal judge, the financial impact of UT leaving the Big 12, the influence of a Trump endorsement in the aftermath of 2020, new squabbles in the political rivalry between Ken Paxton and George P. Bush, developments in the James Younger case, a Dallas County commissioner suing county Judge Clay Jenkins over a mask mandate, the City of Austin’s packed August agenda, accusations leveled against Travis County’s district attorney, an impending legal fight for a Texas suppressor bill passed this year, actions taken in Hidalgo County in response to the release of asylum seekers, and more.

Aug 6

1 hr 2 min

On The Texan's "Weekly Roundup" podcast, the team gives updates and details enforcement actions that have — and haven’t — been utilized to bring the still-missing Texas House Democrats back to Austin. Additionally,  the reporting team discusses a state senator's attempt to strip the governor of power, UT's plan to exit the Big 12, the results of the special election in Texas’ 6th Congressional District, the National Guard assisting at the border, CRT in the Austin police department, STAAR test results, COVID-19 numbers, and more.

Jul 30

1 hr 7 min

This week on The Texan’s “Weekly Roundup,” the reporting team discusses the looming special election in Texas’ 6th congressional district, Texas Democrats contracting coronavirus while in D.C. in an attempt to kill GOP-backed election reform, a new candidate entering the race in Texas 24th congressional district, the GOP debating whether absent Democrats can be stripped of their committee chairmanships, Abbott teasing an announcement on a sex-change procedure ban for minors, a Texas judge making moves on DACA, a ransomware attack in one Texas school district, the application for over $1 billion in property tax abatements promising a total of 19 jobs, and how police funding is faring in two of Texas’ biggest cities.

Jul 23

1 hr 8 min

This week on The Texan’s “Weekly Roundup,” the reporting team discusses the Texas Democrats who fled the state in order to break quorum and prevent the passage of a GOP election reform bill, the Republican response, contrasting activity in the Texas Senate, and actions taken by House Republicans to return lawmakers to Austin. Additionally, we detail the election of a new Texas GOP chairman, a lawsuit targeting the Texas Heartbeat Bill, fundraising in the attorney general’s race, the land commissioner suing the Biden administration over the unfinished border wall, and the breakdown of federal COVID relief dollars in Texas’ top school districts.

Jul 16

1 hr 16 min

This week on The Texan’s “Weekly Roundup,” the reporting team discusses a new Republican candidate for governor, the results of a Sid Miller lawsuit regarding COVID relief for white farmers, a new addition to the Texas Freedom Caucus, and the items placed on the special session call by Governor Abbott. We also talk through the new election reform bills and the potential that Democrats will once again walk out to kill such proposals, as well as a resolution from a Republican that would punish them if they do. Additionally, the team covers Texas public school performance, state senate retirements, and a battle between a Christian nonprofit and the IRS.

Jul 9

1 hr 6 min

On The Texan’s “Weekly Roundup,” the reporters talk about what it was like behind-the-scenes of President Trump’s border visit with Governor Abbott and other Texas officials, interim charges seeking to address border security issues, a new border crisis disaster declaration that shuffles the list of included counties, charter school applications denied by the state education board, an overview of how constitutional carry became law, critical race theory controversies in Fort Worth ISD, a new candidate jumping into the race for agriculture commissioner, and a drastic restructuring of Harris County government.

Jul 2

1 hr 4 min

On The Texan’s "Weekly Roundup," the reporting team talks through the latest details on impending special legislative sessions, Beto O’Rourke rallying in opposition to GOP election reform legislation, The Texan's veto tracker and the bills vetoed by Governor Abbott so far, the Texas power grid going in to summer, a bill designating places of worship as essential during disasters, the rhetorical battle over the border waged among gubernatorial candidates, the IRS defies a Christian group's application for tax exempt status, border security realities as told by a former ICE special agent, tax abatements for solar projects promising one to two jobs in return, a state representative calling for an investigation into Pornhub, and updates on how statewide races are shaping up in Texas.

Jun 25

58 min 57 sec

On this week’s edition of The Texan’s Weekly Roundup podcast, our team discusses the governor’s latest border wall announcement, an ERCOT capacity scare, constitutional carry being signed into law, Trump and Abbott’s impending border visit, a homeless encampment being partially removed from Austin City Hall, Texas Democrats visiting with the vice president after their walkout over election reform legislation, the race to replace Allen West as chairman of the Republican Party of Texas, the attorney general weighing in on social workers ability to discriminate based on sexual orientation and gender identity, a new candidate challenging Ken Paxton, a potential rematch in Texas 21st congressional district, the Texas Supreme Court siding with a Lubbock Diocese over a deacon accused of sexual misconduct, and conservative to liberal rankings of the members of the Texas legislature.

Jun 18

1 hr 3 min

This week on the “Weekly Roundup,” the team details the vice president receiving criticism from a Texas senator over her border response, a review of Speaker Phelan’s first legislative session, campaign updates, a supreme court justice resigning, San Antonio giving tax incentive allowances to Petco despite a missed target, the state reinstating full work search requirements for unemployment, a rundown of the gun bills that passed this session, and updates on the local elections from the weekend.

Jun 11

58 min 30 sec

This week on the “Weekly Roundup,” the team discusses how election integrity, gambling allowances, and emergency power reform died, and whether the Republican-led legislature delivered conservative results. They cover what the governor said about special session calls and vetoing funding for the legislature, a Bush running for office in Texas, Trump wading into Texas politics, new details about the attorney general’s legal troubles, and the governor issuing a disaster declaration at the border.

Jun 4

1 hr 2 min

This week on The Texan’s “Weekly Roundup,” the team discusses the final week of the legislative session, priority bills that died like taxpayer-funded lobbying and big tech censorship, talk of a June special session, the status of various gun bills, and an ERCOT update.

May 28

1 hr 6 min

On this episode of our Weekly Roundup podcast, our team talks Abbott’s most recent face mask order, the City of Lubbock being sued by Planned Parenthood, the Governor opting the state out of a bonus federal unemployment benefit, Texas senators opposing Biden’s response to the Israel and Hamas conflict, controversy in Southlake over social media posts by an American Airlines pilot, and the potential elimination of a fee for the LTC program. We also cover legislative updates on taxpayer funded lobbying, sex change surgery bans for minors, critical race theory, the Texas Heartbeat Act, the Star Spangled Banner Protection Act, CPS recordings, and hospital price transparency. 

May 21

1 hr 9 min

On this edition of our Weekly Roundup podcast, the reporting team covers constitutional carry, critical race theory legislation, the Pandemic Response Act, alcohol to-go, religious service protections during disasters, and tax incentive extensions. Governor Abbott gets a primary challenger, hundreds of House bills face a midnight deadline, Austin’s homeless camping ban reinstatement comes in waves, the NRA’s Texas relocation hits a roadblock, and the border crisis intensifies.

May 14

1 hr 3 min

This week on The Texan’s “Weekly Roundup”, the team gives updates on constitutional carry, the Heartbeat bill, homeless camping, federal overreach, transgender athletes in public schools, and bail reform. They run through the results of local elections in San Antonio, Austin, Dallas, as well as Austin’s homeless camping ban initiative, Lubbock’s abortion ban, the 6th Congressional District, a controversial amendment to a rural broadband bill, and the Texas Senate’s mask mandate.

May 7

1 hr 2 min

On this week’s “Weekly Roundup”, our team discusses the governor’s position on constitutional carry, census numbers and how they’ll affect Texas’s congressional districts, a proposal addressing critical race theory, the Texas House reevaluating its mask requirement, homeless policy comparisons, a local official chiding the president’s border policies, two Texans receiving nominations from the Biden administration, the challenges facing broadband expansion, and two lawsuits from state officials.

Apr 30

1 hr 2 min

On this week’s “Weekly Roundup” podcast, our reporters discuss budget night in the Texas House, a lawmaker looking to allocate money to the border wall, the status of constitutional carry, billions in subsidies given to businesses opposing election reforms, the latest federal campaign finance reports, a preview of a special election in Congressional District 6, the latest border apprehension numbers, the state launching a COVID-19 vaccine ad campaign, and the latest in Austin crime numbers.

Apr 23

1 hr 4 min

This week’s “Weekly Roundup” podcast, our reporters discuss the disaster act bills, the Texas attorney general suing the Biden administration, bills aiming to ban sex-change procedures for minors, primary election delays, the retirement of a Texas congressman, property tax proposals looking to lessen the burden on taxpayers, Cruz going to bat against the MLB, a Dallas homeless ministry looking to resolve conflict with the city, and a Dallas city council race focused on police defunding.

Apr 16

1 hr 5 min

On our Weekly Roundup podcast, the reporting team covers Lt. Governor Dan Patrick’s comments on the corporate reaction to election integrity legislation, a bill to make Texas a “Second Amendment sanctuary,” Governor Abbott’s jab at vaccine passports, COVID-19 numbers post-mask mandate rescission, the future of border wall construction, and a statewide elected official setting the stage for a challenge against Attorney General Ken Paxton.

Apr 9

58 min 27 sec

On this week’s “Weekly Roundup,” the reporters cover committee hearings in the Texas legislature relating to constitutional carry, George Floyd, police defunding, homeless camping bans, church opening protections, election integrity, and taxpayer funded lobbying. The team also discusses a visit to McAllen to cover a border visit by U.S. senators, the one year anniversary of “15 days to slow the spread” of COVID-19, utility regulator reforms, and the state budget.

Apr 2

59 min 47 sec

On this week’s “Weekly Roundup,” the reporters cover alcohol to go passing the Texas House, Democrats delaying the movement of election integrity legislation, updates on bills related to the gender-changing procedures, state senators being denied access to an unaccompanied minors facility, a Democratic mayor calling out President Biden over the border crisis, a lawsuit involving Native American tribes’ ability to worship at the Alamo, a look at why gas prices have skyrocketed, and more.

Mar 26

1 hr 5 min

On this week’s Weekly Roundup podcast, the reporting team covers state leaders battling over blackout electricity repricing, an Abbott-appointed PUC commissioner resigning, the governor’s press conference covering child trafficking prevention efforts at the border, election integrity bills filed in the legislature, border encounters breaking a 20-year record, a Texas congressman going after congressional earmarks, one bill filed to dismantle a state agency and another to abolish daylight saving time.

Mar 19

1 hr

On this week’s “Weekly Roundup,” the reporters discuss the rescinding of COVID-19 restrictions, public universities’ approach to mask mandates, legislation seeking to address “Big Tech” censorship, a slate of proposed election security measures, Texas democrats decrying the border crisis, the City of Austin seeking to keep their mask mandate, Congress’ latest COVID-19 stimulus package, Planned Parenthood being bumped off Medicaid, and Texas sending the National Guard to the border.

Mar 12

1 hr 5 min

This week on The Texan’s “Weekly Roundup,” the reporters discuss Governor Abbott’s rescinding of statewide coronavirus restrictions, the latest ERCOT firing and PUC resignation news, energy industry fallout since the blackouts, a bill that would rename an Austin overpass to spite the mayor, the Texas Pandemic Response Act, the Alamo Cenotaph, and President Biden’s comments about Texas’ reopening.

Mar 5

1 hr 5 min

This week on The Texan’s “Weekly Roundup”, the reporters discuss blackout and ERCOT drama, legislative priorities from L.t Governor Patrick, Gov. Abbott’s address on winter storm action items, special election news in HD 68 and CD 6, Biden’s immigration policies relating to unaccompanied minors, a halt of the president’s deportation pause, developments on Planned Parenthood and Medicaid, Gina Carano and The Mandalorian’s connection to Texas, and Austin homelessness ballot language discrepancies.

Feb 26

1 hr 4 min

This week on The Texan’s “Weekly Roundup,” our reporters Brad Johnson and Daniel Friend discuss the state’s major energy crisis by breaking down ERCOT, how they responded, and how lawmakers plan to move forward.

Feb 19

41 min 45 sec

This week on The Texan’s “Weekly Roundup,” our reporting team discusses the Dallas Mavericks national anthem controversy, gun control proposals from Texas legislators, a proposed tax on natural gas flaring, reactions to Biden’s border policies, developments on gambling in Texas, proposed changes to gendered language in state code, a bar’s license suspension due to COVID-19 regulation violations, and more.

Feb 12

1 hr 4 min

This week on The Texan’s “Weekly Roundup,” our team discusses the governor’s state of the state address, federal fundraising numbers, Texas House committee assignments, the governor’s comments on limiting his own emergency powers, developments with Planned Parenthood and Medicaid, a potential reinstatement of the homeless camping and lying ban in Austin, rare earth processing in Texas, human and drug smuggling across the Texas-Mexico border, and gun purchases continuing to spike.

Feb 5

1 hr 1 min

This week on The Texan’s “Weekly Roundup,” our team discusses a special election for a Texas House seat, Beto O’Rourke eyeing a run for a statewide position, a conservative caucus outlining legislative priorities, the battle between state and local governments, Dallas distributing COVID-19 vaccines, the City of Austin purchasing a hotel to house the homeless, Texas blocking a deportation freeze from the Biden administration, and a bevy of legislative proposals from state lawmakers.

Jan 29

1 hr 3 min

This week on The Texan’s “Weekly Roundup,” our team discusses executive orders from the Biden administration affecting Texas, public school revenues in the age of coronavirus, bonds issued by school districts, drama in Dallas over elections, fundraising numbers from the “Big Three,” the Alamo being referred to as a symbol of “whiteness,” a special election slotted for Saturday, confederate monuments attacked by a Texas House member, and a proposed grant for the “Walker, Texas Ranger” reboot.

Jan 22

1 hr 3 min

On our Weekly Roundup podcast, the reporting team discusses the opening day of the 87th legislative session, rules changes in the chambers, and the election of a new Texas House speaker. They also cover updates to the Tinslee Lewis story, Trump’s visit to the border in Texas, public school dropout numbers, and a bill filed to address implicit bias in law enforcement. 

Jan 15

1 hr 1 min

This week on The Texan’s “Weekly Roundup” our reporters discuss the insanity in DC surrounding the certification of the Electoral College votes, the coronavirus protocols of the opening days of the 87th legislative session, new bill proposals relating to emergency powers, big knives, and annual legislative sessions, news in North Texas about COVID-19 vaccine distribution and the retirement of a mayor, and an impending special election.

Jan 8

1 hr 2 min

This week on a special edition of The Texan’s podcast: our reporters discuss the top stories of 2020, including state and local government’s response to the coronavirus, the fight over mail-in ballots, and the 2020 general election.

Dec 2020

59 min

Railroad Commissioner-elect Jim Wright joined The Texan’s reporter Brad Johnson to discuss his campaign, Texas’ energy sector, and his coming job on the regulatory board. In the interview, the political upstart Wright explains what the Railroad Commission does and details his plan for serving on the body.

Dec 2020

50 min 12 sec