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Sep 21

September 21, 2020 TML Coronavirus Update #124

Posted on September 21, 2020 at 4:05 PM by TML Staff

Urgent Updates


Is there yet another update in the Harris County mail-in ballot lawsuit?


Of course, it’s been one more day. Last Friday (September 18), a three-judge panel of Houston’s Fourteenth Court of Appeals issued its opinion in State of Texas v. Chris Hollins. (It’s hard to keep up – the controversy here is to whom the Harris County clerk can send mail in ballot applications. He wants to mail one to every registered voter, and the attorney general argues that he can’t. Keep in mind that this is the application for a ballot, not the ballot itself.) The panel rejected the attorney general’s argument that Hollins can’t send out the ballots, but the Texas Supreme Court has said he can’t send anything until it can hear the case.


The attorney general issued a press release following the decision:


“Attorney General Ken Paxton today announced that he would seek full review in the Texas Supreme Court of Harris County Clerk Chris Hollins’ unlawful plan to send every voter in Harris County an application to vote by mail. The Supreme Court temporarily blocked Hollins’s plan earlier this week, ordering Hollins not to send any unsolicited applications to vote by mail until the Supreme Court’s review is complete. Hollins may not, under the Supreme Court’s order, send any application to vote by mail until the Supreme Court authorizes him to do so following full review.” 


The Texas Supreme Court will make the ultimate decision.


Further Updates


What’s the latest from Washington on future stimulus efforts?


According to the National League of Cities (NLC), last week saw significant and growing bipartisan support in Congress to provide additional assistance to cities – assistance that will be critical to mitigating the long-term effects of the pandemic on the nation's economy. The release of the “Problem Solvers Caucus” March to Common Ground is affirmation that leaders in Washington are hearing the voices of mayors and city leaders. President Trump encouraged congressional Republicans to "go for the much higher numbers" in the next coronavirus stimulus package, showing signs that a deal could be on the horizon.


To that end, NLC is continuing to urge congressional negotiators to build on the Problem Solvers Caucus’ renewed commitment to bipartisanship. 


How has COVID-19 impacted our state’s prosperity and opportunities in the future?


Listen to Margaret Spellings, former U.S. Secretary of Education and President and CEO of Texas 2036, a data-driven long-term planning non-profit, discuss what their research shows are the most important issues facing our state today and tomorrow. She’ll discuss issues like health, broadband, workforce, education, and government performance, and recommend ways cities, businesses, and all Texans can work together to make sure our state is the best place to live and work for years to come. 


Register here to hear Secretary Spellings’ keynote session at the virtual 2020 TML Annual Conference, and view more than 30 other conference sessions related to disaster recovery and resilience.


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


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