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Feb 04

February 4, 2021 TML Coronavirus Update #170

Posted on February 4, 2021 at 4:53 PM by TML Staff

Urgent Updates


Is Congress considering additional stimulus measures and how have Texas cities expressed their support?


Yes, President Joe Biden is working with the new Congress to pass another economic stimulus and relief package that will include another round of stimulus checks, funding for a nationwide vaccine distribution effort, and aid to states and cities affected by the pandemic.


Over 85 mayors across Texas signed this letter to our Congressional delegation to provide direct and flexible assistance to Texas cities.


What’s the latest on aid to states and cities through stimulus legislation?


Earlier this week, House and Senate Democrats started the budget reconciliation process to fund President Biden’s $1.9 trillion proposal by releasing a joint budget resolution. On page 46, the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform is authorized for $350,690,000. According to the National League of Cities, that dollar amount references proposed state and local fiscal relief. The House and Senate are both planning to vote on the FY2021 budget resolution this week.


Has the new administration taken action related to Federal Emergency Management Agency reimbursement?


Yes. Last week, President Biden issued a memorandum that increased FEMA’s cost share to 100 percent federal. However, it was not clear if this adjustment would be retroactive. On February 2, the Biden Administration issued a revised memorandum clarifying that FEMA will be “retroactively reimbursing states fully for the FEMA-eligible services – including masks, gloves, emergency feeding actions, sheltering at risk populations and mobilization of the National Guard – backdated to the beginning of the pandemic in January 2020.”


The revised memorandum states that FEMA shall provide a 100 percent federal cost share for all work eligible for assistance under Public Assistance Category B, pursuant to the Stafford Act, that was performed from January 20, 2020 through January 20, 2021.


City officials should contact their regional FEMA offices to ensure they receive the full reimbursement for the cost share adjustment.  


Further Updates


What pandemic-related statements did Governor Abbott make in his “State of the State” address?


Earlier this week, Governor Abbott presented his “State of the State” speech. At the speech, he laid out several priority items. Expanded broadband in the state and liability protections for business are the key pandemic-related items. 


Following the speech, he spoke to The Texas Tribune about legislation to curb his emergency powers. He said that he is open to reconsidering his executive powers during state emergencies and that his office is offering up some legislation on this issue. “What we are working on – and we've already begun working with legislators – is approaches to make sure we can pre-plan how a response would be done, but it has to be done in a way that leaves flexibility to move swiftly,” Abbott said.


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

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