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

 

House approves must-pass “sunset bills”:

The Texas House has tentatively approved sending the so-called sunset legislation to the Governor. The measures were what forced the governor to call lawmakers back for the overtime session after Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick let the typically routine bill die during the regular session.

The sunset bills are needed to extend the lives of the Texas Medical Board and other agencies that were set to expire in September.

The House approved the Senate’s version with no debate today.

“With this everything sunset is to the governor,” Rep. Larry Gonzales. R-Round Rock, said.

The sunset legislation is expected to gain final approval Friday and then go on to the Governor’s desk to be signed into law.

 

Ethics Reform:

It’s not on the call, but some lawmakers have been pushing for the Governor to place ethics reform on the agenda. The House Investigating and Ethics committee met Thursday to discuss one resolution that would prohibit the governor from accepting political contributions during a special legislative session. Rep. Joe Moody, D-El Paso, authored the measure. He said he’s willing to open it up to all lawmakers.

Texas officeholders are not allowed to accept political contributions during the regular session, but there’s not a ban during a special session.

Tonight at 7 we’ll have more on the measure and why some lawmakers and watchdog groups thinks it’s necessary to keep government accountable.

 

Judge Dismisses Paxton Lawsuit Over Sanctuary Cities:

As we reporter Wednesday, a federal judge has dismissed Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s lawsuit against Travis County over the state’s new sanctuary cities law.

Paxton filed the pre-emptive suit shortly after the bill was signed — seeking to have the measure ruled constitutional.

The law bans sanctuary cities. or the term commonly used for local governments that do not enforce federal immigration laws. It also allows local law enforcement to question the immigration status of people they detain or arrest.

Another lawsuit regarding what’s referred to as SB-4 is still pending in federal court in San Antonio.

Several cities and counties have argued the law violates certain provisions of the Constitution and are trying to prevent it from taking effect.

If they lose their court challenge, SB-4 will be enforced beginning September first. Paxton issued a statement Wednesday saying he was disappointed in the ruling but that the decision has no effect on the San Antonio case.

Travis County Judge Sarah Eckhardt joins us at 7pm to discuss Paxton’s lawsuit and why the county continues to fight back against the new law.

 

Remembering Gov. Mark White:

Hundreds of people lined up to pay their respects to former Gov. Mark White as he laid in state at the Texas Capitol Thursday. White died Saturday at the age of 77 after a battle with kidney cancer.

His casket was draped with a Texas flag and displayed in the rotunda beneath his gubernatorial portrait.

White was set to be buried Thursday at the Texas State Cemetery in Austin.

Hear from lawmakers, colleagues and friends tonight at 7 as they remember the former governor.

 

North Korea Latest:

Mixed messages from the Trump administration on next steps, as North Korea claims it could have a plan to strike the U-S territory of Guam for leader Kim Jong Un’s approval within days. We’ll have the latest on the escalating exchanges between Pyongyang and Washington. Plus we’ll be joined by Paul Miller to discuss the increased tension. He’s the associate director of the Clements Center for National Security at UT-Austin.

 

Capital Tonight airs weeknights at 7pm.

 

Posted by Karina Kling

@KarinaKling

 

 

HJR 54        Moody Proposing a constitutional amendment prohibiting the governor or a specific-purpose committee for supporting or assisting the governor from accepting political contributions during a special legislative session.