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:

 

House Passes GOP Tax Reform Bill:

House Republicans scored a major legislative victory Thursday, passing a massive tax overhaul. It’s a feat that hasn’t been accomplished in three decades.

While the Texas delegation voted along party lines, Republicans and President Trump got their much-needed win.

Tonight at 7, hear why the victory might be short lived as all eyes are now on the Senate where their tax plan has an uncertain fate.

 

Bike to Work Benefit on the Chopping Block:

A little known piece of the Senate’s tax reform measure has some flying off the handlebars. The plan would cut a tax benefit for bike commuters if GOP Senators get their way.

People who bike to work currently qualify for up to $20 a month in tax deductions through their employer for biking expenses.

The program was put into place in 2009 and is meant to encourage bicycle commuting.

It’s a tax break many in the biking community are just learning about for the first time and they’re worried the opportunity to promote this alternative mode of commuting is rolling on by.

Hear from bicyclists at 7.

 

Sen. Cornyn Files Background Check Bill:

Texas’ senior senator has announced the release of bipartisan legislation aimed at strengthening the federal background check system.

It comes nearly two weeks after a gunman opened fire at a church in Sutherland Springs and killed 26 people. And after the shooter’s violent criminal record should have prevented him from buying guns.

The bill would ensure federal agencies and state governments accurately report relevant criminal history to the FBI’s database of prohibited gun buyers.

Federal agencies that fail to properly report required records would be penalized under the legislation.

It also rewards states that comply with federal grant preferences and other incentives.

“This bill aims to help fix what’s become a nationwide, systemic problem so we can better prevent criminals and domestic abusers from obtaining firearms,” Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, said.

 

Groping Allegations Against Sen. Al Franken:

New allegations of inappropriate sexual conduct by a politician are making waves on Capitol Hill.

Sen. Al Franken, D-Minnesota, is under fire for allegedly groping and kissing a woman without her consent on a USO tour in 2006.

We’ll have the latest on this developing story, including the senator’s response.

 

Texas Capitol Sexual Harassment Training:

After widespread allegations of sexual harassment at the Texas Capitol, this week Governor Greg Abbott announced he’ll work with the Legislature to change its policies.

It comes after separate investigations by the Daily Beast and the Texas Tribune showed sexual harassment has gone unchecked.

The Tribune reported the House and Senate’s current policies only establish a reporting protocol for complaints and say that harassment will not be tolerated.

The investigation found few employees knew they could file a formal complaint — and none have been filed in either chamber since 2011.

This week, lawmakers in both chambers have spoken out in support of training for everyone.

Rep. Diana Arévalo, D-San Antonio, joins us at 7 to speak out about needed changes.

 

Democratic Mega Donor Steve Mostyn Dies:

Texas Democrats are mourning the loss of mega donor and Houston trial attorney Steve Mostyn. He died after what his wife called “a sudden onset and battle with a mental health issue.”

Mostyn was 46 years old.

He gave generously for years to top Texas Democrats. Last year, he donated one million dollars to a Hillary Clinton super PAC.

In a statement released today, his wife Amber called him a beloved husband and devoted father.

She didn’t confirm a cause of death but went on to say:

“If you or a loved one are thinking about suicide, or experiencing a health crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline right now at 1-800-273-8255.”

Democratic Analyst Harold Cook reacts to Mostyn’s passing tonight at 7.

 

Capital Tonight airs weeknights at 7 on Spectrum News.

 

Posted by Karina Kling

@KarinaKling