Our daily digest is an update on the stories we’re following in Texas politics today. Here’s what we’re working on for 7pm:


Clean Power Plan Repeal:

The move away from the Clean Power Plan could mean a second chance for coal. Tuesday, the head of the Environmental Protection Agency repealed the Obama-era plan that aimed to reduce emissions at existing US power plants.

It comes on the heels of a Texas coal-fired power plant announcing it will be shutting down.

Energy experts say they don’t believe this will change the fate of that plant.

They say it was only being run a few weeks out of the year and was beginning to age.

It marks a similar trend as coal-fired power plants across Texas and the US face an uncertain future, even with the repeal of the Clean Power Plan.

At 7, hear the Texas take on the issue with views from all sides — Texas Public Policy Foundation, Environment Texas, Austin Energy and the UT Energy Institute.


Texas Tech Shooting Update:

Texas Tech University has identified the police officer shot and killed by a student last night. Officer Floyd East, Jr. had been with the University Police since 2014.

Authorities say the suspect has confessed to killing him. 19-year-old Hollis Daniels was taken to police headquarters after officers found drugs in his room. That’s when they say Daniels pulled a gun and shot East in the head and ran.

The campus was placed on lockdown around 8pm Tuesday until SWAT arrested Daniels around 9:30pm.

Meanwhile, the Texas Democratic Party is apologizing for a tweet it sent out in response to the shooting.

The group posted on Twitter, “Allowing concealed guns on college campuses was a dumb and dangerous idea.”

The tweet referred to a law that took effect last year. It allows Texans with a concealed carry permit to bring guns into university classroom and buildings.

But critics noted you have to be 21 to get a concealed carry permit in Texas — and the suspected shooter was 19.

The Party released a follow-up statement Wednesday saying, “Our words were inadequate, hurried and we apologize. That tweet has now been removed.”


Attorney General Tells Court Texas “Can’t Become Sanctuary State for Abortions”:

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton is urging a federal court to say that women in the US illegally do not have a right to abortion services.

It comes as advocates for a pregnant 17-year-old being held in a Texas facility for unaccompanied immigrant children are asking a federal judge to allow her get the procedure.

A hearing in the case is scheduled for Wednesday on a request filed by the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California.

A lawyer representing the Central American girl says she may be 14-weeks pregnant. Texas state law prohibits most abortions after 20 weeks.

Paxton argues if the girl wins — it will allow anyone who enters the US illegally the right to receive an abortion and added Texas must not become a sanctuary state for abortions.


Lawmakers Cost of Travel:

President Trump promised to drain the swamp. But a growing number of his cabinet members — including the former Texas Governor — are facing questions over using taxpayer dollars to take private or government jets, instead of commercial flights.

Our Washington bureau reporter Alberto Pimienta has a look at the numbers at 7.


Harvey’s Hit to the State Budget:

“The economy’s not going to grow us out of this, but the economy’s going to be fine,” Comptroller Glenn Hegar told Capital Tonight last week. “There’s just some tough decisions that are going to have to be made next session.”

Today, he released his year-end report reiterating that statement.

Hegar says the Texas economy will continue to grow over the next two years and see small changes due to Harvey’s destruction.

But added some uncertainty remains in the outlook for the biennium due in part to the ongoing assessment of the economic impact of Harvey.

Ross Ramsey of the Texas Tribune joins us to discuss the money issues lawmakers could face next session.


Capital Tonight airs weeknights at 7 on Spectrum News.


Posted by Karina Kling