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


Texans Divided Over GOP Tax Plan:

The US House narrowly passed a $4.1 trillion budget Thursday. It’s a crucial step in advancing the GOP’s tax plan.

But some are concerned the plan could lead to even higher property taxes in Texas.

A study commissioned by the Texas Association of Realtors shows that 95 percent of Texas homeowners would pay more in property taxes under the current plan.

That’s drawn concern that people will buy fewer homes in Texas. The economists behind the study say middle class Texans could end up with lighter piggy banks because of it.

“The GOP leadership has made it very clear that they want the tax plan to benefit ordinary households,” William Mellor of Angelou Economics said. “But based off of the plan, we see that households with $200,000 or more are going to be benefitting, and that’s not how I define ordinary households.”

Still, others argue the GOP’s plan will be a boon to the American economy,

“The key part of this plan is to reduce some of the loopholes and deductions that are picking some of the winners and losers through the tax code, and lowering the overall rates,” Vance Ginn with the Texas Public Policy Foundation said. “That way we can bring tax rates down for everyone.”


DACA Deadline Prompt Calls for Clean DREAM Act:

The clock is ticking down on a major deadline for recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy, or DACA.

As part of the program’s wind-down process announced by the Trump Administration last month, those eligible have until midnight to file for a renewal request.

After that, young undocumented immigrants won’t be able to apply to receive work permits and protection from deportation.

That led demonstrators to gather around the country to demand a clean Dream Act, which would provide a pathway to citizenship for so-called DREAMERS.

Hear the message protesters are sending to Republican Congressman Will Hurd in San Antonio, tonight at 7pm.


Calls for Bump Stock Regulations:

Congress is showing more signs of willingness to take up the gun control debate following the Las Vegas shooting. But that willingness centers on one very specific issue — bump stocks. It’s a legal gun modification that makes legal semi-automatic guns fire almost like a banned automatic weapon.

Thursday afternoon, The National Rifle Association issued a statement calling on the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives to immediately review whether bump fire stocks comply with federal law.

It said quote, “devices designed to allow semi-automatic rifles to function like fully-automatic rifles should be subject to additional regulations.”


Abbott and Texans in Congress Request Nearly $19 Billion in Additional Harvey Aid:

Texas members of Congress and Governor Abbott are requesting $18.7 in additional Harvey aid.

It’s a bipartisan effort to try to get extra funding to repair water projects and help homeowners and communities rebuild from the storm.

The request comes on top of President Trump’s call earlier this week for $29 billion in hurricane aid.

Last month Congress approved a $15 billion first installment for hurricane relief.


School Funding Cuts Study:

Back in 2011, state lawmakers cut $5-plus billion from public education. Fast forward five years and the effects of those cuts are still being felt.

That’s according to a new study released Thursday by a University of Texas professor and a member of the left-leaning Center for Public Policy Priorities.

They found that the state’s classroom funding still lags behind its pre-Great recession levels due to booming enrollment growth.

And despite increased funding more recently, it would take an extra $3.2 billion to bring 2016’s funding levels up to 2008’s.

The study also found low-income students have been hit the hardest.

Chandra Villanueva of CPPP joins us at 7pm to discuss the study further.


Capital Tonight airs weeknights at 7 on Spectrum News.


Posted by Karina Kling