100% Austin news, info, and entertainment, straight to your inbox at 6 a.m. every morning.
In five minutes, you're fully informed and ready to start another great day in our city.
President-elect Joe Biden released 500 names that will be part of his transition teams this week, including two University of Texas professors.
Norma Cantú, professor of law and education, will serve on the Department of Education transition team, whereas Mary Wakefield, professor of nursing, will serve on the Department of Health and Human Services transition team.
The president's transition team is responsible for laying the groundwork and preparing the new administration for office. Transition teams normally consist of industry leaders, healthcare professionals and experts.
The two UT professors weren't the only professors from Texas shortlisted—Texas Tech University law professor Vickie Sutton was also circulating but she has yet to receive or accept an official notice.
As for the professors officially chosen to serve on Biden's teams, this is not their first rodeo.
Cantú graduated from Harvard Law School when she was 22 and served as Assistant Secretary of Education for Civil Rights in Bill Clinton's presidential cabinet for all eight years of his presidency. Cantú will take a temporary leave of absence at UT for the position.
Wakefield, a registered nurse, is a UT alumna and has a Ph.D in nursing. In 2019, Wakefield was honored with The American Academy of Nursing's "Living Legend" award, which is reserved for individuals who have spearheaded "extraordinary contributions" to the nursing profession.
Because transition teams can begin working anytime after election results are released, Biden has already started rolling out policies to implement. Some policies include plans to institute a national mask mandate, reversal of President Donald Trump's immigration policies and rejoining the Paris Climate Accords.
- Joe Biden defeats Donald Trump for the presidency - austonia ›
- Texas man says he 'slammed' Biden-Harris bus on I-35 - austonia ›
- Texas experts weigh in on Biden's COVID response - austonia ›
- Austin immigration advocates hope for Biden policy changes - austonia ›
- Austin Rodeo cancels ProRodeo for the second year - austonia ›
- Austin's Dr. Pritesh Gandhinamed DHS's chief medical officer - austonia ›
- Trump caravan attack on Biden bus used in impeachment trial - austonia ›
- SXSW: George W. Bush confirms the election wasn't stolen - austonia ›
- Abbott goes against latest Biden gun control policy with push for Second Amendment 'Sanctuary State' bill - austonia ›
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott announced Monday that Texas will opt out of further federal unemployment benefits related to the pandemic effective June 26, citing the number of current job openings and concern about potentially fraudulent unemployment claims. The benefits include a $300 weekly supplement.
"The Texas economy is booming and employers are hiring communities across the state," Abbott said in a statement. "According to the Texas Workforce Commission, the number of job openings in Texas is almost identical to the number of Texans who are receiving unemployment jobs."
TWC listed 837,273 job openings as of Monday afternoon compared to 226,849 unemployment insurance claims filed statewide between March 31 and May 1. An estimated 1 million Texans were unemployed as of March, according to latest estimates released by the state agency.
Some local business owners, including Doc's Backyard Grill owner Charles Milligan, suspect unemployment benefits are deterring Austinites from returning to work. But others agree with economists who say multiple factors are at play, including health concerns and child care availability.
We're seeing lots of posts about how nobody wants to work right now. Just wanted to share our experience.
We received over 60 resumes for a taproom bartender position we posted last week. Every applicant we've set up an interview with has shown up.
People want 𝘨𝘰𝘰𝘥 work.
— Austin Beerworks (@AustinBeerworks) May 11, 2021
Abbott also cited fraudulent unemployment claims. Between March 2020 and April 2021, TWC received 4.48 million unemployment benefit applications, 611,000 or around 14% of which were tagged as suspicious. Most of those tagged were blocked before any benefits were paid out, according to an April 29 press release.
Federal law requires the effective date of such benefits change to be at least 30 days after the U.S. Department of Labor is notified.
- Reopening Austin offices plan for one-way foot traffic, sanitizing ... ›
- Buc-ee's avoids national workers shortage with benefits - austonia ›
- Austin restaurants struggle to hire workers after pandemic year ... ›
Is it just us, or is the current Austin mask situation confusing? Are we supposed to wear a mask or not, and where? And should we wear one anyway, even if not requested or required?
Austin health orders requiring masks expire Tuesday. What then?
Take our three-question quiz, and tell us what you're thinking.