MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS…

MEANWHILE, IN TEXAS…

Cool Runnings

About two weeks after a federal judge issued a ruling burning Texas’s prison system for keeping inmates in unsafe heat, the state submitted a plan to move about 1,000 inmates to cooler locations, according to the Texas Tribune. The plan follows the court order, which requires the state to provide cooler accommodations for inmates predisposed to heat-related illness. With a few options on the table, Texas, which argued in court that providing air conditioning was simply too expensive, decided to move the inmates. The plan calls for about 500 inmates to transfer to the Diboll Unit in East Texas, with about 425 more heading to the Travis State Jail in Austin. Some of the prisoners that need more medical attention will be transported to a medical unit in Beaumont. All of these units, of course, are already air-conditioned in the housing areas. This isn’t a long term solution, though, and the state is still fighting it—the lawsuit that forced the judge’s order is currently making its way through appellate court.

Texas to NATO

Kay Bailey Hutchison is officially the U.S. Ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. The former longtime Texas senator was confirmed by the Senate on Thursday, according to the Houston Chronicle. Unlike some of President Donald Trump’s other appointees, Hutchison’s confirmation was never really in doubt. Her nomination was received warmly by both sides of the aisle, and in her Senate confirmation hearing last month, she promised to stay tough on Russia, according to the Texas Tribune. The 73-year-old served twenty years in the Senate, where she sat on both the Armed Services and Intelligence Committees, before she retired in 2012. “Kay has always been known for tireless advocacy on behalf of Texans and her ability to work across the aisle to get things done,” Texas U.S. Senator John Cornyn said, according to the Chronicle. “She has the experience, determination, and poise to strengthen our relationships on the world stage, and I’m confident she’ll make Texas—and our country—proud.”

Flush With Power

The anti-bathroom bill contingent keeps growing. On Thursday, a slew of big businesses came out against the pending legislation, which would restrict bathroom use for transgender people in public schools and government buildings. According to the Dallas Morning News, CEOs from ten corporations—including Uber, Lyft, Dallas-based Neiman Marcus, JPMorgan Chase, PayPal, Plano-based Frito-Lay, PepsiCo, and Houston oilfield services company Baker Hughes—penned a letter to Governor Greg Abbott on Thursday, urging him to stop supporting the controversial bill. “No industry will remain untouched by the unnecessary harm that discriminatory laws will do to our competitiveness, to our ability to attract talent, and to our employees and their families,” the CEOs wrote. As the Morning News notes, this latest group brings the number of Fortune 500 companies who explicitly oppose the bill to 34. As it stands, the bill is unlikely to make it out of the House, so these corporate giants really have little to lose by taking a stand against legislation that is generally unpopular in the business community.