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


No Gas Shortage and No Special Session:

The state is not running out of gas. That’s the latest message from state officials as panic-buying has led to long lines at the pumps and stations having to turn customers away.

Governor Greg Abbott made that announcement during a briefing on Harvey today. He also said a special session of the State Legislature will not be needed to address funding before lawmakers meet again in 2019.

We’ll have the latest where rescue and recovery efforts stand in the state at 7pm.


Rebuild Texas Campaign:

The founder and CEO of Round Rock based Dell Technologies has pledged $36 million to help with Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. The Michael and Susan Dell Foundation’s donation is the largest single contribution to help victims of the hurricane so far.

They also gave $17 million to launch the “Rebuild Texas Fund,” with a goal of raising more than $100 million for immediate relief efforts.

The couple said in a statement that the Houston street where Michael grew up is under water.


New State Laws On the Books:

More than 600 new state laws took effect today. One eases restrictions on carrying knives and swords over 5 inches. Another protects underage students who report sexual assault, even if they were drinking. Fees to obtain handgun licenses have dropped from $140 to $40. It’s also now a hate crime if you attack an officer.

David’s law is now in effect. It was named for 16-year-old David Molak, who committed suicide after extensive online bullying.

The measure makes cyber-bullying anyone under 18 with the intent to seriously harm or kill a misdemeanor.

And after several roadblocks, a statewide ban on texting while driving is now law. Texas is one of the last states in the country to implement such a statewide ban.


Laws Blocked from Taking Effect:

Meanwhile, two high profile measures that were set to take effect today have been blocked.

As we reported earlier this week — a federal judge halted major provisions of the so-called “sanctuary cities” law. He temporarily blocked the part that requires jail officials to honor all detainers. But he let stand the portion that allows police officers to question the immigration status of people they detain, though added officers are limited in what they can do with that information.

And yesterday, a different federal judge blocked the state from banning a common second trimester abortion procedure known as dilation and evacuation.


Reporter Roundtable:

James Barragan of the Dallas Morning News, Kiah Collier of the Texas Tribune and Mike Ward with the Houston Chronicle join us tonight to discuss the national, state and local response to Harvey.


PolitiFact Texas:

Did two-thirds of Hurricane Sandy relief have nothing to do with the storm? We’re fact-checking a claim by Sen. Cruz as he seeks federal relief following Harvey. Gardner Selby of PolitiFact Texas rates that claim and one by President Trump.


Capital Tonight airs weeknights at 7pm.


Posted by Karina Kling