Archive for September, 2017

Daily Digest: Sept. 5

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


DACA Decision:

Today’s decision to end the Obama-era program that’s shielded young undocumented immigrants from deportation has left thousands facing an uncertain future.

It’s also prompted outrage and protests across the country.

President Trump now with an ultimatum to Congress: do something to fix the problem.

Join us at 7pm for reaction from DACA recipients and immigration attorneys who are being bombarded with questions from clients.


Congressman Joaquin Castro:

Rep. Castro called the DACA decision devastating for the 800,000 undocumented immigrants who have lived and worked in the country for years. He is also urging Congress to act.

“Over the last five years there have been many members of Congress that have been saying DACA should have been done legislatively,” Castro told Capital Tonight. “Now, here’s our chance and their chance to get that done. It’s going to be tough because it’s a six-month window but it’s doable.”

Hear Congressman Castro’s full interview on today’s DACA decision at 7pm.


Harvey Health Concerns:

The state is watching for health issues in areas ravaged by Harvey floodwaters — everything from mosquitos to bacterial infections. Governor Greg Abbott said during a briefing Tuesday morning that local spraying for mosquitoes is already underway, and state aerial spraying should start later this week.

Health officials urge anyone involved in any sort of cleanup efforts involving floodwaters to be safe. They are urging people to make sure they’re up to date on their tetanus shot and cover any cuts with bangages to stop bacterial infections.

Meanwhile, even with cleanup underway in much of the state, counties like Wharton, Brazoria, Jefferson, Orange and Newton are still* experiencing major flooding, which should subside later this week.

The governor said he has no doubt the federal government will help Texas with recovery efforts, even by sticking funding bills to other issues like the debt ceiling.

“I feel confident that Texas is going to get the resources they need from the federal government,” Abbott said. “Because of the timing of where we are in the budget cycle, it is appropriate for them to use the funding strategies they are using here in the month of September.”

More good news, Abbott said most of the state’s hospitals are back open. A handful remain closed in parts of Houston, Victoria and Corpus Christi.

At least 60 deaths have been blamed on the storm.


On the Agenda:

And the Quorum Report’s Harvey Kronberg joins us to go on the agenda. Hear his analysis of Gov. Abbott’s response to Hurricane Harvey and State Rep. Cindy Burkett’s decision to challenge State Sen. Bob Hall in the Republican primary.


Capital Tonight airs weeknights at 7pm.


Posted by Karina Kling


Daily Digest: Sept. 1

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