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


Abbott Gives Houston $50 Million for Harvey Recovery:

The Hurricane Harvey funding feud between Governor Greg Abbott and the Houston Mayor appears to be over.

Friday, Abbott handed Mayor Sylvester Turner a $50 million check for Harvey cleanup efforts. It comes just days after clashing with the Democratic mayor and insisting the city already had “all the money” it needed.

Turner had planned to raise property taxes for one year to pay for the recovery costs, noting it wouldn’t be needed if Abbott tapped the state’s savings account immediately.

But the tax increase has now been called off.

“The request that I was making would have generated about $50 million and this obviates the need to move on that,” Mayor Turner said.

Abbott reiterated that the Rainy Day Fund would be used for Harvey recovery and that if expenses are known, he could call lawmakers back.

“The time to use the thrust of the Rainy Day Fund is when the expenses are known, identified, and the cost of rebuilding are known so that members of the Legislature can know how best to use the Rainy Day Fund,” Gov. Abbott said.

He also noted the $10 billion fund would only be able to cover a “fraction of the costs” of longer term recovery and prevention.


Maternal Mortality Task Force:

It’s an unwanted distinction: Texas leads the nation in the rate at which mothers die due to childbirth. A task force created to study the issue met for the first time since lawmakers voted to extend it during the special session.

At 7, our Max Gorden explains why reversing such startling statistics is top priority for the task force.


Reporter Roundtable:

Paul Weber of the Associated Press, Ben Philpott with KUT News and Mike Ward of the Houston Chronicle join us to discuss Harvey recovery costs and President Trump’s Texas picks for the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals.


PolitiFact Texas:

President Trump has said hundreds of pounds of drugs are being catapulted over the border wall. Gardner Selby of PolitiFact Texas will be in to put that statement to the truth-o-meter. We’ll also look into a claim about population growth in the Austin area made by San Marcos Mayor John Thomaides.


Capital Tonight airs weeknights at 7pm on Spectrum News.


Posted by Karina Kling