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Headlines / Quote of the Week

January 5, 2024, News

Some Don't Like It Hot: 2023 was Austin's average hottest year on record since the National Weather Service started keeping track 126 years ago, the Statesman reported. Austin's average daily temperature was 72.3 degrees, slightly higher than the previous average hottest year, 2017.

More Bannable Abortions: Despite federal law that requires doctors to provide lifesaving care in emergency rooms whether patients can pay for it or not, Texas can ban abortions in ERs, the conservative 5th Circuit Court of Appeals decided this week. Shortly after the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in 2022, the Biden administration told hospitals that they "must" provide emergency abortions under federal law. Attorney General Ken Paxton sued over that guidance, and he's now won with a U.S. district judge in Lubbock and the 5th Circuit. Read more online.

Layoff Capital of Texas: Austin led the state in layoffs last year, KUT reported. Companies with 100 or more employees planning layoffs must alert the government under a law known as the WARN (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification) Act. Austin accounted for a fifth of all WARN notices in Texas during the first 10 months of 2023.

No More Wire: Tuesday, the Biden administration asked the Supreme Court to allow Border Patrol to cut or move razor wire at the Mexico border. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar said in a court filing that Texas has no basis to get in the way of Border Patrol's duties, arguing that the wire prevents agents from getting to migrants who are already on U.S. soil. Read more online.

An Independent Nation: Secessionist group the Texas Nationalist Movement is planning to sue the Texas GOP for rejecting a ballot measure that would ask voters if the state should secede. The group claims it got enough signatures to add the question to the primary ballot, but the state GOP says they filed after the deadline, rendering signatures invalid. Looks like we're still Americans for now.

Microchip, USA: Semiconductor production has become a major driver in the Central Texas economy. Now, UT-Austin plans to expand its semiconductor research capabilities with a $175 million renovation of the Microelectronics Research Center located at the J.J. Pickle Research Campus, the Austin Business Journal reported.

Texas Grid Connecting to South?: Quietly, a decade-old project to connect the state's ERCOT grid to other Southern states is inching ahead, The Dallas Morning News reported. State regulators are working on the plan with private company Pattern Energy to create the Southern Spirit Transmission, a 400-mile line running through Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi. DMN reports federal regulators would have "no jurisdiction over the project because of the way it's set up." Read more online.

Quote of the Week

“To Brigitte. Love, Dolly Parton.

– Message on a bejeweled guitar from Dolly Parton to Austin drag queen Brigitte Bandit, the “Dolly of Austin” and plaintiff in a successful suit over the state’s drag ban

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