Our daily digest is a mid-day update on the stories we’re following in Texas politics today. Here’s what we’re watching:


Redistricting Trial Day 2:

The legal battle over Texas’ political maps continues in court. On day two of the state’s redistricting trial, plaintiffs argued about a lack of legislative process when redrawing some boundary lines in 2013.

One of the people testifying today was State Rep. Eric Johnson. Johnson’s a black Democrat from Dallas. He told the 3-judge panel that in 2013, when lawmakers were redrawing maps under a court order, there was no real process to provide input. According to lawyers defending Mr. Johnson and other minority voters, here’s why:

“No one in leadership reached out to the African-American representatives, to the Latino representatives and said, ‘how do we fix this?’” Allison Riggs, Southern Coalition for Social Justice senior attorney, said.

For the first time in the trial, state attorneys argued the maps could have been drawn with partisan motivation rather than racial ones. The US Supreme Court has ruled that’s not necessarily unconstitutional.

John Salazar will have the latest on the trial tonight at 7 p.m.


We’ll also be joined by former state representative Trey Martinez Fischer. He testified yesterday in the trial.


Trump/Russia Probe:

We’ll have the latest on the Donald Trump, Jr. meeting with Russian attorneys, plus reaction from lawmakers in Washington.


Local Control:

“Man your special session battle stations.” That’s the message from the Texas Municipal League heading into next week’s lawmaker overtime.

About half of Governor Abbott’s list for the special session include local control issues, or matters that cities, counties and school districts oversee or play a role in handling.

From how cities collect property taxes and set budgets, to regulating land use and restricting access to bathrooms, such topics are set to dominate debate.

“I call it the goldilocks form of government,” Bennett Sandlin, executive director of the Texas Municipal League, said. “The federal government is big and bad, cities are small and bad and somehow the state gets it just right? That can’t possibly be the case. Cities are to the state what the state is to the federal government. We’re the laboratory of democracy. Every city is different and citizens like that.”

Tune in for Sandlin’s full interview.


Capital Tonight airs weeknights at 7 p.m.


Posted by Karina Kling