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:

 

Merging the Tax Plans:

Now that the Republican majority in the Senate has passed their bill to overhaul the US tax code, a new process begins.

And it could be just as complicated – combining the House and Senate versions into one. Our Washington D-C bureau reporter Samantha-Jo Roth takes a look at where things stand.

 

Repealing ACA Individual Mandate?:

The new tax bill could mean the end of the road for the individual mandate — the tax that punishes people who don’t buy health insurance.

It’s currently part of the Senate’s tax bill, and House tax writers signaled today that they expect it to make it into the final piece of legislation.

But as our Max Gorden explains, it has some health care leaders concerned.

 

Voter ID Law Back in Court:

Texas’ controversial voter ID law was back in court today. Federal judges heard arguments over the state’s modified law.

The state’s attorney argued any constitutional problems have been fixed since lawmakers approved changes this past session after years of court battles. He pointed to the revision allowing voters who don’t have an acceptable ID to vote by signing an affidavit stating they cannot reasonably obtain one.

But opponents say the law still demonstrates a discriminatory intent and limits the kinds of acceptable ID to ones more likely to be held by white voters.

They also argue some voters fear criminal penalties if they mistakenly enter wrong information.

The judges did not indicate when they would rule.

 

Lawmakers Warns Against Divisive Social Legislation:

Some lawmakers in the Texas House are warning against divisive social issues.

A select panel on economic competitiveness met for the second and final time today. The chair of the committee asked business leaders to go on the record telling Gov. Greg Abbott that he could help keep Texas’ business climate predictable by making a public statement that the Legislature is done debating the so-called “bathroom bill.”

“When social issues create uncertainty for its business climate, it hurts us,” Rep. Byron Cook, R-Corsicana, said.

On the issue of immigration, construction industry leaders who testified say there’s an urgent need for more legal workers in Texas. The worker shortage has been made more apparent after Hurricane Harvey — with many rebuilding efforts delayed due to a lack of a sufficient workforce.

Rep. Byron Cook joined us for a one-on-one interview this afternoon. Hear more from him at 7.

 

TMF Wants His Seat Back:

It’s been nearly two years since he’s served in the Texas Legislature. But former San Antonio State Representative Trey Martinez Fischer wants his seat back. He joined us from San Antonio to discuss why. Hear his full interview at 7.

 

Capital Tonight airs weeknights at 7 on Spectrum News.

 

Posted by Karina Kling

@KarinaKling