August 5, 2022, Number 31

Download the full .pdf version here: TML Legislative Update Number 31

mandated cybersecurity training and reporting due august 31

Cybersecurity training is mandated by Texas Government Code Section 2054.5191 for city employees, elected officials, and appointed officials who have access to a local government computer system or database and use a computer to perform at least 25 percent of their duties. The training must be certified by the Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR). Cities must certify their compliance by August 31, 2022 by using the Cybersecurity Training Certification for State and Local Governments form.

The Texas Municipal League Intergovernmental Risk Pool (TMLIRP) has three DIR-certified options available free of charge. TMLIRP’s free cybersecurity training program can be assessed here. Other DIR-certified training programs are listed on the agency’s website.

DIR has developed an optional tool, Texas by Texas (TxT), for cities to track compliance of individual employees and officials training compliance. For any city using TxT, employees will report their training completion and DIR will send reporting from the TxT application to each city to verify training compliance. Interested cities must submit the Texas by Texas Self Reporting Form.

More information on training requirements can be found here.  

federal infrastructure bill update

In November 2021, the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act (IIJA) was signed into law. The IIJA is altogether a $1.2 trillion bill that will invest in the nation’s core infrastructure priorities including roads, bridges, rail, transit, airports, ports, energy transmission, water systems, and broadband.

The League will monitor state and federal agencies and work with the National League of Cities (NLC) to access the latest information relating to the IIJA. We will be providing periodic updates in the Legislative Update on resources for Texas cities on how to access IIJA funding for local infrastructure projects. 

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Last week, the USDA announced a new $1 billion Community Wildfire Defense Grant Program. The IIJA-funded program is designed to assist at-risk communities with planning for and mitigating wildfire risks. Individual grants will fund up to $250,000 to create and update community wildfire protection plans or conduct outreach and education, and up to $10 million for associated infrastructure and resilience projects. City governments located in an area with a risk of wildfires are eligible applicants for funding. Applications from Southern States (including Texas) must be submitted by October 7, 2022. The Notice of Funding Opportunity is available here.

U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT)

DOT’s Federal Highway Administration recently announced new guidance and $7.3 billion (over five years) in formula funding to help states and communities better prepare for and respond to extreme weather events like wildfires, flooding, and extreme heat through the Promoting Resilient Operations for Transformative, Efficient, and Cost-Saving Transportation (PROTECT) Formula Program. The PROTECT Formula Program is designed to make transportation infrastructure more resilient to future weather events and natural disasters by funding highway and transit projects, bicycle and pedestrian facilities, and port facilities that help improve evacuations or disaster relief. The Notice of Funding for the PROTECT Formula Program will be released later this year.

DOT’s Federal Transit Administration announced the availability of $343 million in grant funding through the All Stations Accessibility Program (ASAP). The purpose of the ASAP grant program is to provide funding to states and local governments to help finance capital projects to upgrade the accessibility of rail public transportation systems for persons with disabilities. The law limits ASAP to legacy rail fixed guideway public transportation systems with stations or facilities for passenger use that are not already accessible to and usable by persons with disabilities, including wheelchair users. Applications are due by September 30, 2022.

National League of Cities (NLC)

The Local Infrastructure Hub, sponsored by NLC and the U.S. Conference of Mayors, among others, is now live. The Hub is designed to help city officials navigate the funding programs made available by the IIJA. Interested city officials can sign up for the mailing list, attend virtual learning events, and access articles and other resources on some of the key IIJA funding opportunities. Upcoming events include:

  • August 16: Focusing on Broadband

house and senate committee interim hearings

The Texas House and Senate Committees are underway studying interim charges outlined by Speaker Phelan and Lt. Governor Dan Patrick.

Below is a full list of committee hearings set to hear certain city-related charges. All hearings will be held at the Texas Capitol unless otherwise indicated. If a committee has newly posted notice and was not included in last week’s edition of the Legislative Update, it is indicated as such.

House Committee on Natural Resources

The committee will meet on Tuesday, August 23 at 10:00 a.m. to hear the following interim charges:

Review the adequacy and efficiency of current mechanisms used to compensate water right holders when the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality temporarily transfers a water right under an emergency authorization. Make appropriate recommendations for the protection of private property rights of water right holders.

Information on the hearing, including how to register and submit electronic comment, can be found here.

House Committee on Natural Resources

The committee will meet on Wednesday, August 24 at 10:00 a.m. to hear the following interim charges:

Examine the condition of Texas’ water and flood mitigation infrastructure capabilities and consider future infrastructure needs. Evaluate sustainable funding sources to provide for water project development and infrastructure repair and replacement. Examine and make recommendations for cost-effective improvements that enhance the state’s available water supply.

Note: the desalination portion of this charge will be held at a later date. 

Examine the state’s groundwater management policy and regulatory framework. Include a review of large-scale water transfers and their impact on groundwater resources. Make appropriate recommendations for legislation or state agency action to:

  • Promote the achievement of planning goals under Chapter 36, Water Code, including those involving desired future conditions;
  • Provide adequate transparency to the permit application process;
  • Further the state’s groundwater quality protection efforts, including an assessment of risks posed to groundwater by abandoned and deteriorated water wells and orphan oil and gas wells; and
  • Promote conservation and waste prevention.

Information on the hearing, including how to register and submit electronic comment, can be found here.

House Committee on Pensions, Investments, and Financial Services

The committee will meet on Thursday, August 25 at 11:00 a.m. to hear the following interim charge:

Review the impact of investments by public retirement systems of their endowment and other trust funds in businesses and funds owned or controlled by the Russian government or Russian nationals, and determine the need for investment restrictions. Consider the impact of any proposed investment restrictions on fund performance.

Information on the hearing, including how to register and submit electronic comment, can be found here.

don't forget: resolutions for 2022 annual conference due august 22

Resolutions for consideration at the Annual Conference are due no later than 5:00 p.m. on August 22, 2022. The TML Constitution provides that resolutions must be submitted by any member city, TML region, or TML affiliate to the TML headquarters 45 calendar days prior to the first day of the Annual Conference. 

The League’s advocacy efforts are based on a legislative program that is developed by member city officials in 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 representatives 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 only if needed. 

Second, member city officials can participate in the League’s Municipal Policy Summit during the summer of 2022. The report of the Summit takes the form of a resolution that is submitted to the Annual Conference in interim years. The summit participants have been appointed by the TML President based on volunteers and others chosen to balance the demographics of the TML membership at large. 

Details on the submission process can be found here.


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.