March 18, 2022, Number 11
Download the full .pdf version here: TML Legislative Update Number 11
get involved in tml's legislative process: volunteers needed
Texas Municipal League (TML) advocacy efforts are based on a legislative program that is developed by member city officials. The program is essential to the legitimacy of the League’s advocacy efforts. To develop the program, city officials provide input in primarily two ways.
First, a member city, TML region, or TML affiliate may submit a resolution for consideration at the business meeting of each year’s annual conference. Each city is asked to provide one delegate to serve as its liaison at the meeting. The delegates will be briefed on the content of the resolutions and given a chance to discuss and vote on whether they merit inclusion in the legislative program. The resolutions form the basis of a fixed legislative program, under which – each session – modifications to the program will be made as needed.
Second, member city officials can participate in the League’s Municipal Policy Summit as well as any topic-specific policy committees. The reports of the summit and committees take the form of a resolution that is submitted to the annual conference in interim years. The summit and committee participants will be appointed by the TML President in early 2022 based on volunteers and others chosen to balance the demographics of the TML membership at large.
The summit will be an intensive, two-day workshop during which League staff briefs the participants on the issues faced by cities. Most will be issues that arise each session, but several will consist of issues brought by city officials. After each subject-matter briefing, the participants will make concise recommendations on the issues. Those recommendations are placed into resolution form and submitted to the League’s annual business meeting, discussed above.
The somewhat complex policy development process is necessary to ensure that the League advocates as directed by its members. The League is nothing without the involvement and expertise of its members, and participation in the process is an invaluable part of protecting municipal authority.
The process starts in earnest this spring, and TML President Martha Castex-Tatum, Vice Mayor Pro Tem of the City of Houston, is seeking volunteers to provide input. No particular expertise is needed. Volunteers need only have a willingness to learn and the ability to come to Austin for the Municipal Policy Summit and other necessary committees.
If you have questions or would like to volunteer for the Municipal Policy Summit please contact JJ Rocha, TML Grassroots and Legislative Services Manager, at firstname.lastname@example.org by April 1, 2022.
Please include your full contact information in your email. Due to space limitations and other considerations, not all those who apply will be appointed to a committee but will certainly be considered for future volunteer opportunities.
comptroller survey for city officials on texas' broadband development plan
H.B. 5 created the Broadband Development Office (BDO) for the purpose of closing the digital divide in Texas. In preparation to use significant funding in the most efficient way, Texas Comptroller Glenn Hegar, who has oversight of the BDO, is touring the state to hear what Texans have to say about internet access. The feedback collected on tour will be used to develop the state’s first broadband plan.
Part of that feedback process is hearing directly from local elected officials, which is critical to understanding unique broadband needs and learning what initiatives are currently being pursued at the local level. All local elected officials are encouraged to take this online survey that will help Texas be the most connected state in the nation. The survey will close on May 5, 2022.
U.S. Treasury to Host Webinar on slfrf reporting Requirements for neu's
The United States Treasury Department (Treasury) will be hosting a webinar on Monday, March 21 at 2:00 p.m. CDT on State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds (SLFRF) reporting and compliance for non-entitlement units of local government (NEUs), which are those typically serving populations of less than 50,000. NEUs are subject to the first reporting deadline to submit the Project and Expenditure Report on April 30, 2022. Treasury has previously issued the final rule and the Compliance and Reporting Guidance on SLFRF funds.
In addition, Treasury encourages all NEU recipients to access the Treasury Portal as soon as possible in order to confirm their accounts, designate SLFRF reporting roles, and submit the required agreements and supporting documentation to Treasury prior to the submission of the first Project and Expenditure Report.
To assist recipients with logging into Treasury's Portal, an NEU User Guide is posted to assist NEUs to confirm their reporting roles, and provide the required documentation to Treasury.
Treasury has produced a video on how to confirm accounts and submit the required agreements and supporting documentation.
TML member cities may use the material herein for any purpose. No other person or entity may reproduce, duplicate, or distribute any part of this document without the written authorization of the Texas Municipal League.