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Aug 05

Texas City Leaders Meet to Determine Legislative Priorities for 87th Texas Legislature

Posted to Press Release by TML Staff

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Jennifer Stevens
                    512-236-1001
                     Jennifer@jhlcompany.com


Texas City Leaders Meet to Determine Legislative Priorities for 87th Texas Legislature

The League’s members recommended supporting issues such as local options and pay as you go financing for critical infrastructure projects, bridging the digital divide and increasing rural broadband connectivity, and the importance of community advocacy before the legislature.

Leaders from cities across Texas gathered virtually this week to discuss legislative priorities for the 87th Texas Legislative Session. The Texas Municipal League (TML) Policy Summit met for two full days to discuss priorities for cities which included preserving the tools to meet the needs of Texas taxpayers, bridging the digital divide and increasing rural broadband connectivity, pay as you go financing options for critical infrastructure projects, and the importance of community advocacy before the legislature.

“This is the time of year when all of our members come together and tell us what they want TML to be focused on,” said Bennett Sandlin, executive director of TML. “Our goal is to help city leaders better serve the diverse communities they represent. The League is looking forward to advocating on behalf of our members and working with the legislature during the session as we continue positioning our great state for success moving forward.”

Robin Mouton, chair of the TML Municipal Policy Summit and councilwoman from Beaumont said, “I was proud to chair this two-day policy conversation with leaders representing Texas cities of all sizes. It is encouraging to see that no matter the size of city, our members, from small communities like Daisetta to large metropolitan areas like Dallas, all have an equal voice in this process. This is an important statewide conversation and each city has an equal vote in creating the agenda that TML will help us advance during the next legislative session.”

“Each of the League’s 1,160 member cities get to vote on TML priorities and it is encouraging to see a unified and pro-recovery focus as we lead into this important session year. Issues such as broadband connectivity, support for critical infrastructure, and lessened reliance on debt issuance will assist in each city’s ability to aid in overall state recovery. With TML’s legislative agenda, it is evident that city leaders are looking forward to helping restart and continue the Texas miracle,” said TML President-Elect Karen Hunt, mayor of Coppell. “Texans elect local leaders to represent them on the issues that impact their daily lives. In addition to the work in our communities, locally elected officials have a responsibility to remain an active part of the state and federal legislative process and must work with experts to advance the issues important to the individual needs of their community."

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The Texas Municipal League is a voluntary, non-profit association of 1,160 member cities founded in 1913 to help city leaders better serve Texans who live in cities.





Jan 26

January 26, 2021 TML Coronavirus Update #167

Posted to TML Coronavirus Update by TML Staff

Urgent Updates

 

What is the new schedule for the TML Coronavirus Update?

 

The plan is to send one update email per week, usually each Tuesday. As always, we will send additional updates if needed to ensure that city officials remain informed of breaking news.

 

What are the latest COVID-19 statistics?

 

The Texas Department of State Health Services COVID-19 Dashboard shows that while deaths are increasing, cases and hospitalizations in much of Texas are slightly decreasing. The vaccine rollout continues nationwide. According to the Centers for Disease Control, about 19 million Americans have received the first dose, and more than 3.3 million are fully vaccinated.

 

What steps has the President taken with respect to the pandemic?

 

On January 21, President Biden released a 200-page National Strategy for the COVID-19 Response and Pandemic Preparedness

 

Relevant to cities, the plan places a strong emphasis on cooperation with, and support for, local government. Some examples include plans to:

·    build channels of communication with state and local leaders (p. 33);

·    make state and local-level data available to manage the pandemic and provide support to mayors and governors deciding on COVID-19 interventions (p. 30);

·    enlist EMS and firefighters to support vaccination efforts (p. 44); and

·    create as many venues as needed for people to be vaccinated (p. 9).

 

What pandemic-related executive actions has the President initiated?

 

Last week, President Biden signed executive orders, proclamations, and memoranda related to various subjects. At least 15 are related to the pandemic. Arguably some of the most important for cities are:

 

-Executive order coordinating a government-wide COVID-19 response: Creates the position of COVID-19 response coordinator, who will advise the president and oversee the distribution of vaccines, tests, and other supplies.

 

-Executive order strengthening public health supply chain: Requests that the heads of various federal departments assess the nationwide availability of personal protective equipment and other resources needed to distribute COVID-19 tests and coronavirus vaccines, as well as to develop a strategy to manufacture supplies for future pandemics.

 

-Executive order establishing the COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force: Creates the COVID-19 Health Equity Task Force, which will provide recommendations on the allocation of resources and funding in light of “disparities in COVID-19 outcomes by race, ethnicity, and other factors.”

 

-Executive order promoting workplace safety amid the pandemic: Directs the Department of Labor to revise and issue new guidance for employers to promote the health and safety of their workers, including mask-wearing in the workplace.

 

-Executive order establishing a COVID-19 pandemic testing board: Creates the pandemic testing board to coordinate national efforts to “promote COVID-19 diagnostic, screening and surveillance testing” and to increase the distribution of free tests to those without comprehensive health insurance.

 

-Executive order guaranteeing unemployment insurance for workers who refuse work due to COVID-19: Requests that the Department of Labor consider clarifying its rules to establish that workers “have a federally guaranteed right to refuse employment that will jeopardize their health,” and that workers who do so will still qualify for unemployment insurance.

 

Further Updates

 

Where can I find archived issues of the TML Coronavirus Updates?

 

TML Coronavirus Updates are archived by date here and by subject here.